SECC Auditing

Faith Whitter-Director, Alberta Brown-Staff Auditor, Gin Mung-Staff Auditor, Christian Soto-Staff Auditor, Rita Lualemaga-Secretary

Purpose Statement

The Auditing department audits the financial records of our local churches, companies, groups, K – 8 schools, junior academies and child development centers. Besides financial audits the department assists treasurers and other officers of these organizations so that they comply with denominational policies and government regulations. Our goal is to increase members’ confidence in the financial operation of these church organizations.

Highlights of the Last 5 Years

  • We have maintained the staffing level since April 2000 of 3 full-time equivalents.  In addition to auditing all 17 educational organizations annually, we have audited between 60 to 70 of the 170 churches, companies and groups each year. This is below our minimum requirement of auditing all 170 churches, companies and groups every 2 years.
      • The formalized audit notification procedures and process for distributing the audit report with responses to audit findings achieved in the past 5 years has had mixed results so far.  The goal of formalizing both of these processes was to minimize delays in receiving financial records so that audits can occur in a timely manner and to help ensure that significant audit findings are properly addressed by the church or school board and that all board members of the church or school receive a complete copy of the written audit report, including all enclosures.  Some of the results that need improvement are:
          • Several churches and schools still do not provide their financial records for a timely audit.  Steps IIB, III and IV, which involve the conference administrators and executive committee have not been carried out by the conference on a consistent basis to help make improvements.
          • Several of our smaller churches, companies and schools have not staffed the treasurer position with personnel having the knowledge for performing several of the treasurer’s duties and appear to look to the conference to be the resource for performing those duties. This includes accounting services.
          • Many of our churches are not using a computer accounting program which results in significant time on the auditor’s part in conducting the audit.
          • Several of our churches, companies and schools still are not addressing the significant audit findings nor showing that they and the respective audit report are being presented to their board members.
  • We have maintained the communication between the auditing department and local treasurers by:
              1. Making presentations in the church treasurer workshops the conference holds twice each year.
              2. Arranging Jewel and QuickBooks accounting software training to church treasurers.
              3. Providing our churches, companies and educational organizations with our phone numbers, fax number and email addresses as avenues to reach us on auditing and treasury matters from outside the conference office.
              4. Besides performing some field audits at certain churches and educational organizations, our auditors use similar avenues listed above to communicate with the local treasurers and other individuals when arranging or performing audits in the conference office.
              5. One staff auditor is fluent in Spanish and audits all Spanish churches and companies.  This has improved our communication with Spanish speaking treasurers and pastors and has resulted in some audits having improved results.

Goals for the Next 5 Years

  • To continue encouraging treasurers to use a computer based accounting program and to assist them in the transition.
  • To continue increasing the number of churches, companies and groups audited each year to 85 of our 170 churches, companies and groups.  This would require a combination of improvements in the audit process by our churches and companies and increasing our department’s present staffing by up to 1 full-time equivalent.
  • Continue improving the audit process:
    • Lessen the number of churches, companies, groups, and schools causing delays in the audit process.
    • Create a solution for churches, companies, groups and schools that are not performing some treasurer duties.
    • Create a solution for church, company, group and school boards to do their part in responding to the significant audit findings and take steps to ensure these findings do not occur in future audits.