2019-2020 “Safe Church” Annual Report
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2019-2020 “Safe Church” Annual Report
Andrew McCabe, Network Engineering, Computer Rescue, Storrs, CT. www.RescueWorld.com
- Use appropriate network security to make sure each user has their own unique login and private password. This adds identity protection for the user and trackability for the account.
- Have at least 2 persons responsible for bookkeeping role and use monthly statement printouts (save a tree use pdf) to verify old information is not changing over time. Report #1 shows account balances and accounts #2 list vendors paid and amounts.
- Perform an audit at least biennially and when changing finance personnel.
Faraz Rehman, Associated Security, East Hartford, CT. www.AssociatedSecurityCorporation.com (Professionals installing commercial alarms, cameras & auto-detection systems.)
- Make sure your alarms systems are checked annually & that a letter is sent to your local Fire Marshal. Consider having an annual fire drill. Many churches overlook this simple but necessary practice. Fire alarm systems are expected to help protect people, property, and assets. But you can’t tell if they’re fully operational by looking at them.
- Consider reviewing new devices available. A water flow detector or a temperature detector can be added, on your alarm system, and help protect your building from freezing weather or water damage from pipe breaks. The sensors are very affordable in today’s environment.
Steve Pedneault, CPA, CFE, Glastonbury, CT, Certified Fraud Examiner, speaker, and author, has over 15 years’ experience resolving embezzlement issues. www.ForensicAccountingServices.com
- Every bank statement should be reviewed by the primary check signer each and every month, as well as review the check images. Checks should only be hand-signed, and signature stamps should never be used. Review the bank accounts and activity on-line regularly using a secured network, to allow detection of any issues, both internal and external to the church, as quickly as possible.
- Any money that comes into your church; whether by collections, donations, fundraising, events, and every other source, needs to have properly designed controls to ensure funds received are properly counted, receipted, recorded, safeguarded, and deposited into the church’s bank account. Depending on the revenue source, two or more people need to be involved in the collection to deposit process, especially when cash in involved.
- Many smaller organizations, including churches, rely upon QuickBooks, a robust low-end accounting system, to track, record, and report the organization’s finances. QuickBooks is highly subject to manipulation, and thus any church utilizing QuickBooks needs to ensure that the information reported through QuickBooks is corroborated to outside information, such as the bank statements, investment statements, and supporting documents.
Doug Comstock, AED Service America, Granby, CT, www.AedServiceAmerica.com
Providing AED Sales, Service, and Warranty programs for Defibulators.
- AED. If you have an AED (automatic external defibrillator) available in your parish community make sure the cabinet is connected to your life safety/fire system. When the AED door is opened the 911 EMS system goes into action by notifying the local dispatch center. AED’s, batteries & pads need to be checked for expiration dates. Most expire every 2 years & some AED’s need their operating software updated.
- Sponsor a CPR class in your community once a year. This helps keep your congregation staff stay at par & reminds your community how important this effort is. June 1st to June 7th is National CPR & AED Week.
- Sudden Cardiac Arrest is the leading cause of death in the USA. 365,000 people in the USA die of SCA each year. SCA is not a heart attack. Without an AED, chances of surviving SCA is less than 5%. With an AED over 70%.
Carl Slicer, BestHire, LLC Vernon, CT, www.BestHire.com
- Verify your Business Insurance Owners Insurance policy under the peril “Employee Dishonesty. Two areas of great concern are policy coverage limits and how an “Employee” is defined. Don’t choose a limit of $25,000 to save premium dollars when most embezzlements are much higher. (Internet news showed an average of $232,000 was embezzled from churches summer of 2019). Not including 3 cases in the millions.
- What amount will you insure against? How much can your church withstand when hit with this devasting peril? Are your volunteers or interns considered an “Employee” if money is stolen under your insurance plan for this peril? Ask your Insurance Agent to reply in writing.
- Does your “Safe Church” policy include checking the backgrounds of volunteers having access to: Assets, Private information, and Youth? Not all local court systems always show DWI charges so we recommend purchasing the driving record and history as well annually. Are youths ever left alone one on one? Ask parents to chaperone but never allow children left to one adult. In scouting, our sons were never alone at any meeting nor any other event.
- When counting cash from donations or events always require two or more people to count. Never use a pencil to account for the cash. A small safe should be available to leave cash for the church staff. Audit all checkbooks & credit cards. Consider Regular business accounts, Ministers Benevolence, and Fundraising committees.