Segregation of Financial Duties
Should pastors have authority over the finances?

Question:
Is it right for the pastor to have the authority over the finances?

Answer:
The issue to be addressed here is whether there is good segregation of duties. The pastor may need to be involved with some level of the finances if the church is quite small. However, he should not be the sole individual responsible for any aspect of the accounting (such as cash receipts, cash disbursements, or payroll). He may make the deposits, but others should count the funds, enter amounts into the donor system, and reconcile the deposit ticket with the contributions module. He may be a check signer, but someone else should review the unopened bank statements and canceled checks to make sure all amounts appear appropriate. Keep in mind that these principles are for the protection of both the church and the pastor!

More information on segregation of duties and internal controls can be found in the book, Essential Guide to Church Finances.

December 2009.

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Posted: December 21, 2009
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