Many churches think that an external audit is the best way to prevent fraud from occurring, or at least to detect fraud once it has occurred. I’m an audit partner, so I don’t encourage churches NOT to have financial audits! Financial audits are important and I believe most churches/ministries should have one. But the primary purpose of an audit is not to detect fraud, and there are more effective ways to protect your church from fraudulent activity.
The Association of Certified Fraud Examiners (ACFE) says that a much higher success rate exists for those who take matters in their own hands, doing some of the work themselves, rather than farming out fraud prevention to their auditors.
Management review and internal audit steps account for more fraud detection that anything else! These are steps that church leaders (finance committee, elders, board members, etc.) can perform.
In this blog, over the next couple of months, we’ll discuss a variety of concrete ways you can examine yourselves to see how your church might be susceptible to fraud – and what you can do about it!
And don’t forget our website dedicated to Church Fraud – http://weedsinthegarden.com/