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Five Common Mistakes Churches Make with Money and the Policies to Avoid Them

By Keith Clark-Hoyos, Owner, Certified Public Bookkeeper Chi Ki Transformation


Keith ClarkIn June 2017, I was asked to make a presentation for the Southern California Nevada Conference of the United Church of Christ during their Annual Gathering.  The video below is a recreation of my presentation:





The presentation title is “Five Common Mistakes Churches Makes with Money and the Policies to Avoid Them.”  In my presentation, I address the five areas of church finance in which I find the most problems during Financial Controls & Procedure Audits.

The top five mistakes are presented in a countdown format leading to the most severe issue.  We begin with Vendors, Favoritism and Overspending, discussing the challenge of having inexperienced volunteers responsible for securing contractors to do work around the church.  Next we move to Property Rental and Tax Consequences, touching on issues beyond the basic question of for profits renting church space.  We next move to Endowments, Quasi-Endowments and Fundraising.  This is one of the most challenging areas in church finance.  Let’s get a grip on the language and who can do what.  Next, we move to Segregation of Duties.  This is an increasingly challenging area for churches as staffs and volunteers are fewer than in the past.  How do we maintain controls with fewer people?  Finally, the biggest issue I find: Outdated or Nonexistent Financial Policies and Procedures.  Is it time to update?  Do we need a financial audit?

This presentation, while just over an hour long, is extremely brief considering the content discussed.  We can’t go into great detail on any of the subjects, much less all of them in one hour.  I encourage questions for discussion.  How do we do that here?  You can visit the original blog post and ask your question in the comments section.  This way we all learn together.


About the Author:  Keith Clark-Hoyos has an M.A. in Ministry, Leadership & Service from Claremont School of Theology, a Certified Public Bookkeeper and a Certified QuickBooks Advisor. He has a background of serving the Church as the Executive Associate Conference Minister for the United Church of Christ in Southern California and Nevada, as well as, over twelve years in retail and sales.



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