The church should do everything in its power to safeguard its reputation by putting measures in place to prevent any appearance of impropriety. These controls will also serve to preserve the integrity and safety of the members since they help to remove temptation and provide structure and established guidelines as to how accounting for church finances should be done.
Every church will from time to time invite another minister speak at their service or function. Very often a special offering is taken from those in attendance at the meeting and it is announced that these proceeds will be donated to the guest speaker. Care must be taken in handling these contributions and the internal control measures that need to be in place will include a number of the procedures already discussed.
To begin with, the overarching internal controls procedure -separation of responsibilities- need to be in effect. This means, the collecting, counting, recording and bookkeeper functions must each be carried out by separate individuals or groups. Also the best practice procedures regarding the appointment, training and scheduling of ushers still need to be followed.
The procedures for the delivering of offering to be counted must be followed.
Recording and Bookkeeping
The persons who do the counting will follow the procedures and guidelines set out and the recording is done.
Where the counting is done immediately at the end of the service in order to allow for a payment to the guest speaker, the amount recorded as received for the special offering is still deposited intact and check for that total is prepared and given to the guest speaker.
By following the above in a very practical way, the church is ensuring that there can be no hint of misconduct in how they handle the finances entrusted to them.