15. accountingpicnov

Many churches require dual signatures on all checks as a part of their internal control procedures. This is a valid policy to help strengthen internal controls; however, we find that most churches do not follow the policy as intended and as a result we suggest that they require only one signature.

Most of the time, we find that in order to have both signatures, one signor signs blank checks in advance, and leaves them somewhere in the church office. When asked, both signors rarely, if ever, review the check to verify the payment is for a valid and approved church expense. This defeats the purpose of requiring two signatures, and creates more of a security risk than simply requiring one signature. We do suggest that checks over a certain dollar amount still require two signatures.

We also strongly recommend against using a signature stamp to sign checks. Anyone who gains access to the stamp would have the ability to sign a check. I have seen where the signature stamp was left out in the open and blank checks were in an unlocked drawer, both in a common area where everyone has access to both. If you trust someone enough to give them access to a signature stamp to sign a check, then let them be a signor on the account.

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