What Are The Basic Church Audit Procedures?

The Church Audit Procedures (CAP) are designed to assist in implementing The Procedure for Ministry Audits, an annual audit program established by the Executive Council to provide accountability and stewardship for local church ministries. CAP checklists are provided to promote consistency between audits, verify compliance with The Procedure for Ministry Audits, and allow all members of the council board time to review governance documents, financial statements, and records during ministry audits.

CAPs are developed under the direction of the Faith Formation Committee with input from each council/conference committee outlined in The Procedure for Ministry Audits.

The goals that should be kept in mind when reviewing your individual church’s procedures:

  • To ensure that board action is taken only within the parameters of its authority and responsibility
  • To ensure that board action is taken only with the authorization of the church (generally through a vote)
  • To make sure board actions are accurately recorded and passed on to future boards for their consideration
  • To prevent unauthorized use or expenditure of church funds and to regularly review financial records, policies, and procedures to safeguard these assets

The Procedure for Ministry Audits allows each council/conference committee outlined in PLP 11-2.04A to take appropriate measures when compliance cannot be met by submitting a request for an exception or variance from Faith Formation Committee. The following list is not all-inclusive, so it is recommended that your favorite search engine be used in determining additional procedures necessary at a local level:

The Procedure for Ministry Audits specifies that each local church committee conducts an audit of its accounts at least once every five years and discloses the results to the conference/council board. All local churches complete a full-cycle audit as outlined in this document to meet this requirement. It is also recommended that each subsequent cycle be less involved than previous ones. However, there will always be value in performing a full-cycle audit.

The Procedure for Ministry Audits specifies that each local church must complete an annual review of the church’s bylaws. The Procedure for Ministry Audits is all churches make sure they are in compliance with their state laws (where applicable) and the governance documents established by the General Council.

  • Review Bylaws regularly to ensure changes were implemented correctly and all provisions are current
  • Ensure proper signing authorities, if any, were granted
  • Make sure submissions to legal authorities, voting requirements, etc., were met (where applicable)
  • Conduct an annual review of the church’s constitution/charter – your local conference/council office may have specific requirements.

In conclusion, Church Audit Procedures are designed to assist in the implementation of The Procedure for Ministry Audits, an annual audit program established by the Executive Council to provide accountability and stewardship for local church ministries.

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