Audit Questions

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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dajoker
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Audit Questions

Postby dajoker » Thu Jul 28, 2011 1:53 pm

In the handbook there were (last time I checked, before the latest revision) some restrictions on payout per person for fast offering purposes (dollar amounts per year). There were also limitations on types of things that could be covered (fines/penalties/etc. on payments, vs. paying the principal of a payment). I haven't seen any questions in the audit that basically ask, "Have you done anything against handbook guidelines outside of the previous questions." (kind of reminds me of the last couple temple recommend questions). Should there be this type of question?

I've seen wards where these types of things are done and aside from asking explicitly the information never seem to be volunteered and while I trust the leaders making those decisions to be doing it for good reasons I may be blissfully naive or blessed to live in a place where that trust is deserved, while others may not be.

Sorry if this is slightly diverging from the original topic of updated forms.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Jul 28, 2011 5:27 pm

dajoker wrote:In the handbook there were (last time I checked, before the latest revision) some restrictions on payout per person for fast offering purposes (dollar amounts per year). There were also limitations on types of things that could be covered (fines/penalties/etc. on payments, vs. paying the principal of a payment). I haven't seen any questions in the audit that basically ask, "Have you done anything against handbook guidelines outside of the previous questions." (kind of reminds me of the last couple temple recommend questions). Should there be this type of question?

I've seen wards where these types of things are done and aside from asking explicitly the information never seem to be volunteered and while I trust the leaders making those decisions to be doing it for good reasons I may be blissfully naive or blessed to live in a place where that trust is deserved, while others may not be.


There are all sorts of questions that could be on the audit but aren't. For example, there is no question that asks if clerks ever receive donations. That's an obvious problem in some units and it used to be on the audit form, but it is not now.

It may seem like it would be helpful if all relevant questions were on the audit form, but I fear that such an approach would lead to 10-hour audits. The Church Audit Committee has to choose what subset of the possible questions to ask. For all other financial issues, the bishop and stake president have ultimate responsibility to make sure that policies are followed, and the ward clerk, stake clerk, and stake financial clerk all have responsibility to be provide training on following procedures.

dajoker wrote:Sorry if this is slightly diverging from the original topic of updated forms.


I moved this question from the original thread (Updated Financial Audit Forms) to a new thread in the Local Unit Finance forum.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Jul 28, 2011 7:16 pm

Audits provide an opportunity to train your clerks. If this is a common problem among your clerks, I would expound upon the fast offering questions, explaining the proper protocols and procedures to them as part of the question. Whether it actually gets marked on the form or not is irrelevant. Explaining and correcting the problem is.

Incidentally, this could still be part of the audit. When auditing expenses, be sure to select a couple FO checks. As part of the review, check that the payment purpose is appropriate, drawn from the correct category, etc. It means it won't be volunteered, but is still a way to check.

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dajoker
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Postby dajoker » Fri Jul 29, 2011 8:21 am

Thank-you both for the responses. It's understandable that audits be kept to a reasonable duration... I recall that the portion where auditors get to go through paperwork can be fairly length depending on the months chosen for review. I was hoping for a way to encourage open discussion from the perspective of the clerks but if you feel it's good enough then so be it.
Have a good weekend.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:17 am

dajoker wrote: I was hoping for a way to encourage open discussion from the perspective of the clerks but if you feel it's good enough then so be it.


I don't think either of us were saying that "it's good enough"; rather, the audit form is just one component of a total approach to healthy financial procedures within a ward or stake. Although there may not be a lot we can do to change the audit form, I think an open discussion on what we can do in our individual wards and stakes is a great thing. It can give us ideas as to what we can do to improve our procedures.
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dannykos
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Postby dannykos » Fri Jul 29, 2011 10:58 am

The new audits in the UK ask to have ALL expenses listed & checked for the audit period. No escaping any rogue FO payments!

simonawright
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Postby simonawright » Sat Jul 30, 2011 10:07 am

dannykos wrote:The new audits in the UK ask to have ALL expenses listed & checked for the audit period. No escaping any rogue FO payments!


I just looked at the current ward audit forms on our system, ver 10.10, and they ask for 12 expenses in the 6 month period to include Fast offering and unusual expenses. It asks that all Fast offering expenses to the Bishop or his immediate family be recorded, not all fast offering expenses regardless of who they are paid to.


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