treasurer Archives - Church Executive

Who’s watching the funds?

While a church’s ministry often refers to its worship services, activities and community outreach programs, protecting your financial resources also is an important part of the organization’s mission. Financial collections are vital to keeping the various programs running. Unfortunately, it is all too common to have a trusted church member admit to embezzling from the funds they were asked to safeguard. Recently, the treasurer for a church in Connecticut was charged with embezzling nearly $300,000 over a five-year period. This church member had access to all of the church’s accounts and engaged in more than 100 thefts of church funds during this time period. Sadly, this type of theft happens far too often, as churches are naturally trusting. However, every church has the stewardship responsibility of protecting the money that is given by its members. The best way to ensure your finances are secure is to have a financial policy in place. The policy should address procedures for handling funds from the time collections are taken until the money is disbursed. Having such a policy is likely to help deter individuals from embezzling.

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