Article Resources


Why a Church Audit? 

Mention the word “audit,” and you will get several reactions. (Seldom is it met with over-exuberance!) However, having an independent source involved in the church’s accounting systems and processes as well as the financial reporting has many benefits. Having served in public accounting for 20 years and being the outside perspective for many ministries, I clearly understand the reaction some people have regarding the idea of an audit..

Navigating Your Congregation’s Reaction to a Firing

Terminating a staff member is difficult under the best of circumstances. When the congregation gets reactive in response to the termination, leadership becomes especially tricky.Not all staff terminations provoke a strong reaction. If the staff member has not been with you very long, congregants may not be attached enough to react. 

Fraud: Part 3

This article is the last in a series of articles about fraud in the church. In previous articles, we observed that tips, management oversight, and internal audit efforts are the most common methods of fraud detection; however, we also outlined some easily implemented anti-fraud maneuvers. By far, sound internal controls are the best component of an anti-fraud culture. 

Blockchain Technology - Getting Ready

Blockchain technology, which was introduced over 10 years ago, is still in its infancy. Early indications are that it will significantly alter the landscape of how we do business. The first blockchain was created to facility Bitcoin transactions. That use is now just the tip of the iceberg as other potential uses are quickly being discovered and researched. Worldwide spending on blockchain applications is projected to grow from the current $3 billion in 2019 to almost $12 billion in 2022. All four of the Big Four accounting firms and every major financial institution are investing hundreds of millions of dollars into this technology.

Policy and Procedure

Good policy and finely tuned processes can be the backbone of the healthy church. Policy and ridged process can be the noose of death for congregations. But wait… Are those statements a clear contradiction? Bear with me in this short post, and let's think about the difference. Policies often have an origin in the law, regarding employment or protection for members or staff.

Fraud: Part 2

This article is the second in a series of articles about fraud in the church.  Statistics cited in this article are derived from the 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. In Part 2 of the series, I will revisit or expand upon some of these topics and also provide additional food for thought based upon my experience as fraud examiner and a church financial statement auditor. 

#metoo #churchtoo

The Houston Chronicle’s release of details on the Southern Baptist churches history of sexual abuse shadowed by a Vatican conference on the subject resulting in termination of key churches leaders has once again shined a light on the church’s need be serious about abuse and take action to support victims. The #MeToo, a social media movement that began in November 2017, ignited awareness of and accountability for sexual harassment. The growing awareness of church leaders’ abuse of power is causing all of us to pause...

Fraud: Part 1

This article is the first in a series of articles about fraud in the church. Statistics cited in this article are derived from the 2018 Global Study on Occupational Fraud and Abuse published by the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners. When I interview church administrators and ask them about their fraud prevention measures, the answer I most often get goes something like this: “Well, we have our financial statements audited every year, and we feel like we have all...

Turning Your Vacation into a Sabbatical

Each of us takes a vacation every year for one, two, three, or more weeks. The problem, however, is that we take on the culture’s view of “vacations,” treating them simply as days off away from work.Let me suggest a larger biblical perspective, one that sees them as Sabbatical gifts from the Lord our God. Once Geri and I began to do so 12 years ago, it completely transformed the way we prepared and planned.

Safeguards for Church Funds: Understanding the Theology of Fraud

Fraud is an unavoidable reality in the Church. In 15 years of working on forensic engagements with churches, Christian ministries, and other nonprofit organizations victimized by fraud, I have come to the conclusion that fraud is fundamentally a theological issue. Furthermore, I believe sound theological reflection supports my position. Please fasten your seat-belt for an exciting theological journey through the topic of fraud.