Even though we started with keeping an eye on receipts, most of the budget busts I have seen have been in this area. Stories are legendary about ministers with little regard to the budget process and some of the budget bypassing techniques they employ can be quite creative. Many of these situations I have helped churches work through if the church has simply understood this: A formal bill paying and approval system is a must!
A strong bill-paying system must clearly document:
- Who authorized the purchase of goods or services
- Who received the goods and compared them to the original order
- Who compares the invoice with the authorization?
- Who prepared the check
- Who signed the check
- Who mailed the check
- Who recorded the transaction in the general ledger