Considerations to Curb Your Church’s Chances of Embezzlement

Embezzlement 4

His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” Mt 25:23a


Essential to establishing accountability in your church finances is:

  • Formal bookkeeping app, like the one GoodBooks provides
  • Separating financial functions: Receiving, Spending, Reconciling Funds should be split between multiple persons
  • Reconciling all bank, credit, loan and payroll accounts every month and having a second person review them
  • Preparing AND Reviewing full financial statements regularly by the Treasurer or Finance Committee
  • Review and Supervision by another knowledgeable person in the church who has not been involved in the record keeping or reporting. Consider a 3rd party review quarterly or annually by a bookkeeping service that specializes in church bookkeeping like our sister company, Bellwether.

In too many churches the pastor has to shoulder the responsibility of the financial records. Having this responsibility is not only taking away from their vocational calling, but it also puts them in the position of having an “appearance” of impropriety if someone disagrees with the way they are handling the books. And who is going to supervise or audit the pastor?

Volunteers are wonderful; but too often do not have the experience or expertise to properly handle church bookkeeping. Churches have special and different requirements than normal businesses. What is the opportunity cost and/or financial cost of having this person improperly care for the church’s financial business? And are they being supervised or audited?

Many churches are fortunate enough to have a paid administrative assistant. But please, please take a look at my previous blog about “One is not Enough”. The financial records must be reviewed by others, the reconciliations should be performed religiously (excuse the pun) and there must be transparency and audit/review of their work. Are your bank statements and financial documents being properly reviewed and audited by an independent person? If not, why not?

GoodBooks provides the bookkeeping app, the training and the knowledge database to help churches have good books all for under $40/month. Why do we do this? Because good books for churches is our mission. We are here to serve you.

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