- Does the ward have a budget and are budget expenditures kept within the budget allocation from the stake?
- Are all ward expenses funded through the budget allowance? Specifically, do members provide services or supplies at their own expense without getting reimbursed?
For item 1, there is nothing at all on the ward audit. The ward could be operating without any budget at all, overspending its allocation by thousands of dollars each year, and it would not show up on the audit. The stake audit has question #40 that makes sure the stake as a whole doesn't have a negative Budget balance, but there is no such ward audit question. I know the budget allocation is administered at the stake level, but it seems like this is an auditable item for wards, too.
For item 2, there is question #22 that asks us to check if "Funds are being raised or collected beyond the budget allowance guidelines." That covers one related issue where members are asked to pay fees to participate in activities. But when leaders provide significant services or supplies or long-distance transportation and are not reimbursed, that is a violation of the Budget Allowance Guidelines in the Church Handbook of Instructions (p. 159). Yet that important question is nowhere on the audit form.
I know the audit forms don't cover every possible question, but these seem like major omissions, and they are ongoing problems in our stake for some wards. Does anyone else share these concerns? How do you handle these issues in your stakes? Do you just deal with them outside the regular audit process?