Maintaining control of church assets, particularly cash, is a critical function of a church financial system. Having the proper procedures in place protects not only the church, but also protects the staff and volunteers from any false allegations. It is not a matter of IF someone would violate the church’s trust and embezzle funds, but COULD they do so as the result of weak internal controls.
Here is a summary of some basic guidelines:
- All collections should be locked in a fire-proof safe until two or three unrelated people can count the money together.
- At no time should collected monies be taken off of the property to be counted.
- The amount should be recorded on a “receipts record” and each counter should sign that they agree to the amount counted. This process should be also be used to count cash and checks received in envelopes.
- By Monday morning, you will have multiple receipt records filled out for the prior week – as money is received from multiple offerings. When the deposit is prepared, the receipt records should be added up and should balance to the amount of the deposit, thus verifying that all monies collected equals the amount of the weekly deposit.
- The weekly receipt reports should then be stapled to the back of the deposit slip and filed.