“As a pastor, it’s my JOB to help people avoid temptation.”
You may have delegated finance policy to others. But – good people though they are – they are not experts. Up to a third of churches will experience theft by staff or volunteers. Too many churches are placing their people in temptation’s way. Serious and avoidable temptation.
We can help you avoid that risk, with expert eyes on your financial procedures.3 traps to avoid
What Do You Get?
- Reduced temptation for your staff and volunteers
- Protection from false accusations for you and your staff
- Safe donations – the median 2018 nonprofit loss was $75K.
- Insurance against a dead church – or an ugly church split
- Member confidence – they’ll listen if you’re straight with money
- Community respect – for you, your church… and for the Gospel
I give you tools to protect your people.
It’s heartbreaking to see church fraud. I’m a Certified Fraud Examiner specializing in church financial procedures. I have been doing numbers-based detective work for forty years.
- Is this the same as a CPA audit? No – it’s better! CPA audits are for investors and the stock market. What churches REALLY need is trained eyes to look at their financial procedures.
- Will you catch fraud if it is going on here? Our goal is to prevent it. Adopting our recommendations will make it much harder for someone to steal from you. Or to keep stealing.
- What is the risk if we DON’T hire you? You may be OK – but every third or fourth church is likely to be hit. The cost can be in the hundreds of thousands of dollars. And the fallout could kill your church.
- Back that up? One study asked, “Has your church had fraud, theft, or embezzlement in the last five years?” Of the thousand pastors they called, 13.3% said they had. Those were the ones who knew about it and were brave enough to admit it. The real number HAD to have been well over that number. Other studies put the risk to churches at 9% up to 33%. The median loss for nonprofits (2018 data) was $75,000. Another source says the average church loss to fraud is $120,000 – and is growing.
- How ’bout the inter-relational cost? You can imagine how the papers might treat fraud at your church! But what if the thief is a trusted and beloved member? It could easily split your church. FAR better to tighten things up so you stay out of that situation!
- How long does the process take? At least two weeks, typically twice that. details
- How much does it cost? We charge $1400 for an in-depth look at your financial procedures. Performed by a Certified Fraud Examiner, this is by far the most important audit for a church to have. (Note that a typical CPA audit of the books usually costs more than $10,000.) Our service includes:
- Access to the online questionnaire
- Shepherding through the referred questions and verification
- Printed copies of the report, one for each Board member, the Treasurer and the Pastor
- A video conference where the Board, the Treasurer, the Pastor, and I meet to discuss the results
- If you really DO need a CPA audit of your books (some lenders require one), find several CPAs I recommend here.
- How do we get started? Call so we can get acquainted! If you need Board approval, print them all copies of this page for your next meeting.
Want a sample of the things we look for? Check your church now for the Big Three:
Three Ways Churches Set Up Their Staff To Steal From The CollectionClick here for a free download!
Comments from Others
“It’s not that you’re trying to hide anything – it’s just hard to stop being busy long enough to be thoughtful.
The investment is well worth the peace of mind.”
Deacon, Redeemer Church, Blacksburg VA
“This audit is thorough, and Tim is available to help with patience and humor. His depth of knowledge and understanding in these matters is unbelievable.”
Bookkeeper and Business consultant
“It’s crazy to me how many different ways someone can be tempted to steal from the church. Tim Stephenson has thought through all sorts of horrible scenarios, in hopes of helping protect churches.”
“As a former external auditor, I am impressed with the quality of work you have done. The questions are clear and concise… I believe this has great value now and well into the future …superb work.”
owner, Small business accounting and business solutions of OK
Blog: Church Fraud Cases
Churches really are at risk, and a quick Google search brings up thousands of cases. Here are a few, with comments on how to protect your church.