Can the risk of embezzlement be reduced? If so, how? The good news is that there are number of steps that church leaders can take to reduce this risk, and most of them are quite simple. Consider the following:
1. Implement an effective system of internal control. The first and most effective deterrent to embezzlement is a strong system of "internal control." Internal control is an accounting term that refers to policies and procedures adopted by an organization to safeguard its assets and promote the accuracy of its financial records. What procedures has your church adopted to insure that cash receipts are properly recorded and deposited, and that only those cash disbursements that are properly authorized are made? These are the kinds of questions that are addressed by a church's system of internal control. A table in this newsletter addresses a number of common weaknesses in church internal control that increase the risk of embezzlement. The table provides helpful suggestions for responding to these weaknesses.