This is NOT a CPA audit of your books.
CPAs assure investors that a company’s books reflect reality. They put their name on a report attesting to their findings. They are the only ones who can do this sort of a report.
But that’s not the type of audit you need.
You need a review of your internal controls. (That’s a fancy word for financial procedures. You know, policies like, “Have at least two unrelated people counting the collection.”)
Most churches are long on trust and short on financial procedures.
Most churches are long on trust and short on financial procedures. They believe, ‘it can never happen here.’ But by doing this, churches pile on the temptation for a weak brother. At some point, many under such temptation will steal from the church. Our job is to spot the temptations and build them out, so your people don’t even face them. In the process, fraud is reduced, and your church is a better steward of its donations. And you protect your good name (as well as the reputation of each of your staff).
So what is this “Audit” all about?
The first thing to understand is that this is NOT a witch-hunt. No torches and pitchforks! I am not trying to ‘catch someone out’ or point fingers. Think of me as your coach. If I can watch what you’re doing and teach you a better way to throw the ball, you benefit. Frankly, I do not expect to find fraud at your church. (If I find it, of course, I’ll let your board know and give advice on how to proceed.)
This also NOT an examination of your books. If you have $10K or so available you can hire a CPA to do this. Or swap bookkeepers with a neighboring church treasurer. Instead, I look at your Internal Controls – your financial procedures. The goal is to look forward and to build fraud out, SO IT WILL NEVER HAPPEN IN THE FUTURE.
What this is: an online questionnaire that should take between an hour and two to complete. The person giving the answers can refer a question to someone else as needed. And everyone at the church who touches money will have the chance to review the answers.
Once that’s done, I write a report for you which tells what you’re doing well, and what could be improved. I give you a prioritized ‘To-Do’ list, too. And the report finishes with a ‘Best Practices’ section.
All in all, a great deal of solid information for a whole lot less than a CPA audit would cost – and targeted dead-center for what churches need.
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(Scholarships are available for tiny churches - email firstname.lastname@example.org for information.)