Internal Fraud in Churches—Taking Its Toll
Internal fraud is happening everywhere and the potential for internal fraud in churches is no exception. No matter how trustworthy you perceive your staff and volunteers—there is always the possibility of internal fraud in churches. For example:
- The former business manager of a church pleaded guilty to embezzling $74,000.
- A former church employee found guilty for embezzling $1.2 million from his church.
- Former church secretary charged with embezzling $13,000 also had previously served prison time for fraud and embezzlement.
Prevent internal fraud in churches by those working in high-risk financial positions:
1) Recognize the Threat: Every church’s hierarchy must recognize that internal fraud in churches is a possibility. The profile of an employee or volunteer who commits internal fraud in churches generally holds a position of trust, has the greatest opportunity, is least suspected, and has insufficient supervisory oversight.
2) Hiring or Volunteer Processes: The most important step in controlling internal fraud in churches begins prior to the initial point of entry. To prevent internal fraud in churches conduct a comprehensive background and credit check.
3) Multiple Tasking: It is amazing at the number of preventable acts of internal fraud in churches that take place as result of an employee/volunteer having the ability to affect every stage of a critical work process without adequate controls. No single individual should be given this opportunity.
4) Supervisory Oversight: Supervisors must ensure that proper internal controls are in place and enforced. Otherwise, fraudsters may well seize on weaknesses and commit their devious acts of internal fraud in churches with little, if any, fear of detection.
These “four steps” will deter internal fraud in churches.
To learn more about preventing internal fraud in churches, but a copy of Business Fraud: From Trust to Betrayal today!