Legality of copying donor checks
(Chapel Hill, NC USA)
In order to facilitate the ability to record donor information, we copy donor checks, place them in a bank safety sealed pouch, and hand them to our church accountant who enters the donor information into the software off site, then returns the copies of the checks to us.
We then keep them in a locked file cabinet until after our quarterly statements to donors are mailed as a means of being able to quickly check for any discrepancies.
Recently, a church member shared that she was uncomfortable with her donor check being copied because of concerns about identity theft, even going to far as to suggest it was illegal.
So what do you think?
I know of several churches that do this, but do you see problems with this process or have ideas about a better solution?
It is not illegal that I know of (not saying it is not...just could not find anything about it being illegal).
However, I can tell you that if the unthinkable happened such as the church being broke into or the accountant having an accident and the copies of the checks were stolen...the church could be held responsible for any loss your donors might incur.
Maybe there is a better method of recording donors’ checks...especially if it is making some of your donors uncomfortable.
We record the required information from our donors’ checks on our count summary sheet. The checks are stamped "For Deposit Only" immediately and locked in a safe until they are deposited.
The count summary is given to the church secretary to record donor’s contributions and then the count sheets are locked in a filing cabinet...but they only have the donor’s name, check number and amount...not the routing and account number...which is what probably concerns your church member.
Readers...do you have a better solution? Please click the comment link below and share with Jimmy how you handle your donor checks.
Hope this helps,
Church Accounting Package