Auditor conflict?

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blairjames
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Auditor conflict?

Postby blairjames » Sun Feb 21, 2010 11:41 pm

We seem to have a shortage of qualified Auditors for the Stake. As the Stake is working to resolve this point, I am told that one of auditors that we do have, should not perform an audit in his home ward because of some feeling of a conflict of interest.
The question is; does anyone know of a policy that talks about a conflict of interest? I don't find one.:confused:

Blairjames

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Feb 22, 2010 12:36 am

blairjames wrote:does anyone know of a policy that talks about a conflict of interest? I don't find one.


I can't find any such policy or guideline in the Handbook, audit forms, or training lessons. However, the Audit Committee does assign individual auditors to audit particular units, and may make those assignments however the chairman feels is appropriate. Concern for a potential conflict of interest could be a reasonable criterion used by the Audit Committee -- but that is a local decision.

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Postby Freedom55 » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:26 pm

Similarly, the conflict of interest question was raised once because I have audited my home ward for years. The response was that since I have no direct responsibility or signing authority for the ward finances, I am at "arms length" and no conflict exists.

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Postby RossEvans » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:55 pm

I'm a ward finance clerk, and I home-teach our auditor. That did not constrain him from dinging us on a certain item in the last audit.:)

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Postby jonesrk » Mon Feb 22, 2010 2:56 pm

boomerbubba wrote:I'm a ward finance clerk, and I home-teach our auditor. That did not constrain him from dinging us on a certain item in the last audit.:)


Or maybe that is why he dinged you.:rolleyes:
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lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Mon Feb 22, 2010 3:11 pm

blairjames wrote:I am told that one of auditors that we do have, should not perform an audit in his home ward because of some feeling of a conflict of interest.
The question is; does anyone know of a policy that talks about a conflict of interest? I don't find one.


As Alan said, it is up to the Stake Audit Committee. We have an assistant ward clerk who is also a stake auditor. Because he does finances in his ward, he is never assigned to audit his own ward.

We have a former bishop who now serves as an auditor. We did not assign him to audit his ward for several years after he was released as bishop, but recently we did send him there. Decisions he made as bishop, as well as any responsibility for the finances of that ward, have long since passed. But we could not send him there at first, because the initial audit after his release was really an audit of the ward finances as he left them at the time of his release.

We have an auditor who is a close personal friend of one of our bishops, so we do not send that auditor to that ward.

We usually (but not always) rotate auditor assignments so that there is a fresh look at each ward and branch each time. Some of our auditors are better than others, and we send them in to units that struggle with their financial responsibilities. Sometimes we ask a high councilor to perform an audit while he is visiting a far-flung ward or branch.

If a ward has had no audit findings for several audits, we will send in one of our best auditors. He is not sent to make sure there is a finding. He goes merely to make sure that nothing is being overlooked. And in most cases, he completes another audit without any findings.

Like most other callings in the Church, we know our auditors, and we know our bishops, branch presidents, and clerks. We try to assign auditors in a way that the audits are impartial and effective, and that the experience is varied and enjoyable for all involved.

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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Tue Feb 23, 2010 7:53 am

lajackson wrote: We have an assistant ward clerk who is also a stake auditor. Because he does finances in his ward, he is never assigned to audit his own ward.


It is my understanding that finance clerks cannot be auditors, even if they do not audit their own ward.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Feb 23, 2010 8:26 am

mlh78 wrote:It is my understanding that finance clerks cannot be auditors, even if they do not audit their own ward.


That's basically correct. In the Stake Audit Committee lesson on slide 14, it says:

Because of their close ties to stake and ward finances, stake and ward clerks should not serve as auditors or as members of the stake audit committee.


I suppose that if skilled auditors are in short supply in a stake, the "should" word might allow an exception (of course a clerk would never audit his own ward), but the general rule is pretty clear.

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Postby lajackson » Tue Feb 23, 2010 4:14 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:I suppose that if skilled auditors are in short supply in a stake, the "should" word might allow an exception . . ., but the general rule is pretty clear.


Thanks. We definitely "should" look at this one, and we will. Another agenda item for this week's meeting. [grin]

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Postby blairjames » Tue Feb 23, 2010 10:14 pm

blairjames wrote:The question is; does anyone know of a policy that talks about a conflict of interest? I don't find one.:confused:


It will never cease to amaze me of the wisdom and insite that the members of this forum have, to almost any subject that is posed.

I have resolved to my satisfaction the question posed in the original thread, mostly from the response and conversation that it created. It appears that other thoughts and questions have evolved from the original question, and I think that is great. Thanks Folks

Blairjames


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