Counting Team

by Ruby
(Waterflow, New Mexico)

How many churches out there have a counting team/committee that counts the Sunday offering? Has anyone had problems with a Counting team/committee revealing or discussing the offering? Who gave and how much? Who didn't give? How does your church handle these types of issues regarding the count team/committee divulging sensitive information? I have a Confidentiality Agreement, but people can still gossip about members and their offerings.

I've been trying to setup a counting team at my church as part of the internal controls, but my pastor does not want a team because of what happened at another church where he was at. Apparently at this former church those on the counting team divulged who gave what or who wasn't giving etc. He feels the less people who handle the offering the better. I guess most people retain what they see each Sunday as to who gave and how much and who didn't give. Currently our church secretary counts the offering, pays the bills and signs the checks and reconciles the bank account. I've tried to implement separation of duties but we are a small church and it's on her job description to do these various processes, which I guess can't be changed. I was helping with the count, but it was made clear to me that if I wanted to review the unopened bank statement I shouldn't be counting the offering. So I've stopped and there isn't anyone who will assist with this process. I'm stuck, the secretary should not count the offering by herself and I think she might have the Pastor assist with that, any thoughts on the Pastor counting the offering with the secretary?

Thank you for your thoughts and input,
God Bless,

Comments for Counting Team

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counting team
by: Anonymous

We have a counting team of 6 members (7 if we can swing it) We are divided up into 3 teams of two people each. We then rotate every third week. The 7th person is an alternate that can jump in anytime for an emergency. It seems to work very well -- until COVID. We have lost 3 counters and are struggling to replace them. I agree, that this is a position for someone who can keep their mouth shut.

Pastor's wife counting
by: Anonymous

Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Please advise if it is poor financial practice for Pastor's wife to be in the counting committee. It's the Pastor's idea to put his wife in the counting committee

The Lord's Prayer
by: Anonymous

Give only one or two people exclusive charge of funds, at least one of whom is a paid employee?

Lead us not into temptation!

by: David

No one person should be handling cash. It should always be handled by two unrelated individuals that have signed confidentially agreements.

Church Secretary
by: Anonymous

The Pastor nor the secretary should have no part in counting the offerings.
The secretary only pays the bills does not actual have the money in her hands. Two people at all times should count the money.
Same problem if you have different people all the time. But hard to get the same people all the time. And yes people do discuss who gives what and how much and how often.

by: Anonymous

We are a small church so we have two people count the money & sign the receipt book. We have an auditor that receives the original bank statements and verifies everything. This has worked well with us, because tithes are confidential.

Counting Team, Just good sense!
by: Anonymous

While our church has had a "counting committee" for many years, there was still bad practices for records and such going on. I have been trying to correct that for over a year, and those who's toes have been stepped on are not happy, especially "The old timers".

BUT, there has to be a standard of operation and accountability for every measure.

I suggest that when a policy is set in place to protect the donations(who & how much)there should be a policy that is STRICKLY enforced that those who discuss those donations in any manor, are OUT OF THE POSITION that gave them that knowledge. They are obvilously there to snoop and not there to be a good steward.

IMHO, A Pastor should NOT be helping count the collections. Pastors are human, as much as we hate to remember that fact, and I have witnessed more than once, a Pastor giving special "attention" to the "big tithers" and scolding the ones who are struggling to keep a roof over their heads for not tithing enough. It is for that fact alone, many in our church refuse to donate via check or envelope, and just place their cash in the plate, folded so the amount can't be seen until the plate is emptied in the counting room.

One person should not have all the control over the counting, depositing and records. It leads to tempation, not to mention a huge ego trip.

by: Sandi

You really should separate the duties, it is just good financial practice.
Our church council (6 people) are on a rotating schedule.
2 different people should always count and sign the offering form.
We use a spreadsheet with numbers only for envelopes and a line for "loose".
There are also columns for approved designated fund accounts.
It is easy to use once you get used to it and keeps everyone honest.
imagine a spreadsheet here :0)
Column A/cell 1: Envelope Number(Please write in check #)
A/2: General Fund
A/3: Benevolence
A/4: Mission
A/5: Youth Activities
A/cell 2: 336
A/cell 3: 337
A/cell 4: 338
A/cell 5: 339
A/cell 6: 340
A/cell 7: 341
A/cell 8: 342
you get the idea :0)

Envelope Sub totals:
Loose Offering total:
Special collections total:

The master copy with names is kept only by the bookkeeper and treasurer for creating end of year statements.
side note: if a "loose" offering is a check for 250 or more the treasurer makes a copy for the bookkeeper to input info for end of year statements as required by the IRS.

Prayers & good luck! hope I was helpful

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