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Preventing Fraud in Church Accounting: Common Problems and Practical Solutions that Church Leaders Can't Afford to Ignore

Lee Ann Crockett

ISBN 10: 1983940917 / ISBN 13: 9781983940910
Published by CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, 2018
Condition: Good Soft cover
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Title: Preventing Fraud in Church Accounting: ...

Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

Publication Date: 2018

Binding: Paperback

Book Condition: Good

About this title


Is your church or non-profit vulnerable to fraud?
One-third of all congregations experience theft, but researchers estimate 80 percent of cases go unreported and expect church financial fraud to reach $60 billion by 2025.

Those are staggering statistics, but sadly this is a common problem that most church leadership prefer to ignore. "Not in our fellowship," they resolutely affirm.

However, no individual is immune to temptation and studies show that the number one deterrent is fear of getting caught. The vast majority (87%) of the perpetrators have never been charged with fraud or embezzlement before.
Pastors, elders, and trustees have an obligation to safeguard their ministry and shepherd the flock. This includes practices and procedures that prevent an easy stumble down the slippery slope of creative bookkeeping and skimming the church offering.
Preventing Fraud in Church Accounting is a quick read for busy leadership. It exposes the problem and outlines the basics of the solution, including options for taking action. It's the perfect primer to educate the senior pastor or the young volunteer. It even includes a free confidential analysis of your organization's financial status quo.

The first step to a solution is knowledge, but the education process can seem overwhelming. Not with this short book. It can be read together in one committee meeting and will guide leadership to:

  • Examine two major problems with pastors functioning as Chief Financial Officer
  • Recognize three categories of fraud and how they apply to churches and nonprofits
  • Learn the types of internal controls that will decrease the risk of theft
  • Understand how the budget creation and review process creates accountability for ministry leaders
  • Explore what a full accounting plan of formal financial processes and reports entails

Pastors, board members, treasurers, and anyone concerned about the safety of their ministry and mission can't afford to NOT read this book.

From the Author:

It was mid-morning one spring when I received a phone call from an old acquaintance who was pastoring a church near me. The church leadership team had just discovered that the treasurer was embezzling from the church. They weren't sure how much or how long, but it appeared to have been going on for several months.

The treasurer had been providing spreadsheets each month to the leadership team with income and expenditure information. Everything looked fine. Paychecks were being processed as they should be. The bank account seemed to have funds. It all looked healthy.

But what they didn't know was the treasurer had been using his church debit card for months making personal purchases that ranged from gasoline and Starbucks to his electricity bill. He had quit paying the church's credit card bill and payroll taxes, and he was not maintaining accurate donation records.
These revelations were heartbreaking -- for the pastor, the leadership, the congregation, and me. This was a man who had been known for years by the leadership. He was a founding member of this congregation. Everybody loved him. This act of betrayal was beyond anyone's imagination.

"How does this happen?" I wondered. "This must be a rare event. Surely this was just a fluke."

I'm afraid not my dear reader. After the shock subsided, I began investigating to determine how common fraud or embezzlement is perpetrated in our churches. I was sure it must be the exception rather than the rule.

And that's why I wrote this little book. It is my sincere prayer that it will be the impetus to ensure that your congregation never experiences this heartbreak of deception and betrayal.

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