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Q&A: Securing Financial Records

Should our treasurer and bookkeeper be the only ones to have access?

We have an office manager, and a bookkeeper, who have separate offices that are connected by an unlocked door. The doors on the outside of both offices are locked. About seven people have keys to the combined office so that they can get in to make photocopies and get other office supplies when needed. Should we have a separate lock on the door leading into the bookkeeping office that only the bookkeeper and treasurer can access?

Security of information and financial records is critical. If items such as giving information, check stock, and payroll records are kept in the bookkeeper's office, there should be limited access to that room. An exception to this would be if all items were secured within the room itself such as in a locking file cabinet or a safe. Once that determination is made, be certain you are aware of all individuals with access to the various locked areas. Sometimes we forget that an executive pastor or a facilities employee has a master key and access to safe keys or file keys. All individuals should be considered when determining the appropriate level of access to financial records.

Vonna Laue has worked with ministries and churches for more than 20 years. Vonna was a partner with a national CPA firm serving not-for-profit entities through audit, review, tax, and advisory services. Most recently, she held the role of executive vice president for a Christian ministry that works to enhance trust in the church and ministry community.

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Posted:
  • May 11, 2010

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