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Financial audit

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Financial audits are conducted twice per year by assigned auditors under the direction of the stake audit committee.

Church funds are sacred and should be handled with integrity and wisdom. Audits evaluate how funds are gathered, spent, and recorded. Audits provide opportunities to identify and correct problems early. Audits also provide protection to Church leaders

Stake audit committee

The stake president, with the help of his counselors, organizes a stake audit committee. This committee consists of a counselor in the stake presidency, who serves as committee chairman, and two members of the stake who understand financial matters.[1] The counselor who serves as chairman generally should not sign checks or otherwise be involved in stake financial record keeping. Committee members should not be stake auditors and should not perform stake or ward financial record keeping.

The Church-produced training lesson The Stake Audit Committee   will help learners understand the responsibilities of the stake audit committee.

Responsibilities

  • Recommend two or more trustworthy brethren in the stake who have some financial experience to serve as stake auditors. These brethren should hold temple recommends.
  • Meet with auditors in January and July before the semiannual audits and give assignments and instructions.
  • Ensures that audits are timely completed.
  • Review the completed audits in early March and early September and submit the completed audits to the Assistant Area Auditor by the 15th of these respective months.
  • Make sure stake auditors review The Stake Auditor   lesson.

Stake auditors

At least two stake auditors should be called by the chairman of the stake audit committee. They are approved by the stake presidency and high council.[1]

The Church-produced training lesson The Stake Auditor   will help learners understand the responsibilities of the stake auditor.

Auditing schedule

Units are audited twice per year.

Mid-year audit

  • Audit period is January-June
  • Audit conducted in August
  • The stake audit committee then reviews the audits and assigns follow-up on instances of exceptions.
  • Completed audits should be submitted to the Assistant Area Auditor by September 15.
  • In October, the audit committee meets to follow up on corrective action plans.

Year-end audit

  • Audit period is July-December
  • Audit conducted in February (of the following year)
  • The stake audit committee then reviews the audits and assigns follow-up on instances of exceptions.
  • Completed audits should be submitted to the Assistant Area Auditor by March 15.
  • In April, the audit committee meets to follow up on corrective action plans.

Ad hoc audit

An audit may also be requested by the stake president at other times, such as after a new bishop is set apart or when a ward or branch is discontinued.

Who is responsible?

The stake audit committee is responsible for ensuring that audits of all units, including the stake itself, and any family history centers in the stake, are carried out according to policy and time scheduling.

General procedure

Preparation

Reconciliation of Action Items on financial statements must be up to date (through June for mid-year audits, or December for full-year audits).

The unit "Other" category (account) will be examined in detail; the Income and Expense Report (Summary by Subcategory) on the amounts allocated for all "Other" subcategories must be printed from MLS to complete the audit.

Conducting the audit

The audit consists of a checklist of questions, to ensure that proper financial procedures have been followed. The auditor schedules the audit with the unit financial clerk and bishop or branch president or stake president; a number of the questions require the unit leader's personal answer. The more detailed questions of the clerk will extensively review documentation, including deposits, receipts for expenses paid, reviewed and signed Unit Financial Statements, and related records.

At the conclusion of the audit, the auditor reviews any exceptions with the unit leader, who formulates an action plan to resolve the problems.

Follow-up

Corrective Action Plans Work Sheet
After the audits have been completed, the stake audit committee reviews the audits. A representative from the stake is assigned to follow up within 30 days on each exception to make sure that the problem is resolved. Each audit form is signed by the audit committee chair and stake president. The completed forms are submitted to the assistant area auditor (US/Canada) or to the administrative office (other areas) no later than the 15th of March (annual audit) or September (mid-year audit).

The assigned stake representatives work with the units to resolve exceptions and then report back to the audit committee on the resolution of the problems. The audit committee then meets to determine that corrective action plans for the previous audit period were completed on the specified date.[2] As high-risk exceptions are resolved, the stake audit committee chairman should report their resolution to the assistant area auditor.

Audit forms

Some units complete the audit using the online system called LUFAS (Local Unit Financial Auditing System). If your unit has not specifically been asked to use LUFAS, or if you are unable to use LUFAS for any reason, use the printed forms.

The audit forms (stake, ward, FHC) can be printed from MLS or LUFAS. Financial clerks can print the form and use it as a guide to help them prepare during the year for upcoming audits.

To print the forms from MLS:

  1. From Other Resources on the main MLS screen, select Church Audits.
  2. Select the audit form you want to print.
  3. Click Print.

To print the forms in Spanish, you can access them from a Spanish unit's computer or temporarily change the language setting in MLS to Spanish.

To print the forms from LUFAS:

  1. Login to LUFAS using your LDS Account information.
  2. From the initial screen select Print and Audit Form.

To print the form in Spanish select the Spanish language before you log in to LUFAS.

Training

The Record-Keeping and Auditing Training available at LDS.org contains several lessons relevant to auditors:

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 Handbook 1: Stake Presidents and Bishops [2010], 14.9.1.
  2. Stake or District Financial Audit form [Version S3, dated 4/11], question #11.
This page was last modified on 13 October 2013, at 12:06. This page has been accessed 43,925 times.

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