“What happens in accounting, stays in accounting.”
If your finance team’s motto goes something like this, you might have an internal controls problem.
Internal controls are put in place to clearly define proper procedures for finance and accounting team members, to minimize risk, and to alleviate suspicion. Even churches must mitigate risk and ensure that policies and procedures are in place and functioning as intended.
In our last installment, “Church Audits: Know the 4 V’s,” we discussed the importance of keeping things organized, which in turn supports efficiency and accuracy. It can be somewhat overwhelming for pastors to focus on the eternal welfare of his or her parishioners and keep a pulse on financial affairs, specifically when it comes to defining good internal controls. Maintaining organized business operations is extremely important, but it must not intrude on mission-critical efforts.
I have been given the opportunity to share some of what I've learned in church finance and accounting via a series published in Church Executive Magazine entitled Church Accounting Basics. The series will include 6 installments - the first was published in April and takes a holistic view of church finance, asking the question, "What makes a healthy church?" The second was published in June and covers the 4 V's of church audits. This is the third installment. The remaining installments will be published in October, December, and finally in February of 2016.
For those that haven't yet subscribed to this wonderfully informative publication, I thought that would share these articles with you as they come out. Please click below to read the first two installments of this series.
And stay tuned as we will not only revisit basic best practices for churches, but also offer lesser-known strategies and processes that can improve (often long- standing) approaches and procedures. Subscribe to our blog, check back with us regularly, and visit churchexecutive.com for more information on keeping your church financially healthy.
Tammy Bunting is AcctTwo’s Director for Not-for-Profit Services. She is also the CFO of Preston Trail Community Church in Frisco, Texas. Tammy has more than 25 years of experience in accounting, business administration, operations, and management. This includes work in both the secular and non-profit Christian environments. She’s been responsible for providing the controllership functions of all business environments at a multi-ministry church enterprise, and been a partner in a thriving Intacct value-added reseller business. Tammy was raised and educated in the Christian church, and has a unique perspective into the world of non-profit and faith-based business administration and accounting.
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