Couples in the Finance Ministry

by Deborah
(Bloomfield Hills, MI)

We have a couple in our ministry that donate a lot of their time. She works in the finance ministry and he does maintenance. However, sometimes she will ask her husband to help her count the offering. Her husband has access to her key to the finance office and he knows the combination to the safe.

I have heard that churches shouldn't have a couple working in finance together. Is this an internal control or against the law?

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Comments for Couples in the Finance Ministry

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Internal Controls
by: Vickey

I agree with Marcus and Kathy. It is not against the law, but could cause some issues with your church's internal controls.

I would handle it delicately though. The couple sounds like they have worked faithfully for your church.

I would point out for their protection against any false allegations; a third unrelated person needs to be there when the offering is counted.

Also, as Kathy and Marcus pointed out, other internal controls should be put in place for the proper checks and balances.

Just Asking for Big Trouble
by: Marcus in Texas

I cannot agree with Kathy more. This is very inappropriate and poses a very high risk. It is only a matter of time before the scandal hits, to it is time to bring this to a screeching halt.

Two members of the same family should not be allowed to do this sort of thing and the person who pays the bills (writes the checks) should not be involved in any way with handling the contributions from members.

Other church members, not less than two (who are not related in any way) should handle the counting of the money and preparation of the deposits to the bank. I would think that keys need to be changed along with the combination to the safe, and the sooner the better.

Bad Idea
by: Kathy

I believe that it is a bad idea for any relations to count money without a third party present.

Also, the person counting should not be recording the donations. You lose a check and balance in that system. At our church, we have different people count the money and record the contributions.

Times are not what they used to be and you need to protect yourself as well as your church from problems arising because too many of the same people are doing all the jobs. Internal controls are the only way to do that.

I don't believe there is anything illegal in them both counting the money, it is just a bad idea.

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