Church embezzlement is preventable with AP audits

Most not-for-profit organizations operate on restricted budgets. It's important that all income is allocated to the proper operations, or else these businesses run the risk of falling short of their goals. Additionally, reputation loss from financial mismanagement is a very real threat, as these entities often depend on donations and other philanthropic efforts to serve their communities.

According to KARE-TV, Raenay Hendrickson, a former employee of the Minneapolis Area Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, pleaded guilty to embezzling more than $300,000 from the organization over the course of one year. The source reported that Hendrickson worked as an executive assistant to the bookkeeper, bishop and synod administrator, and took extra paychecks, paid medical bills for my family, my daughter's expenses," Hendrickson testified in court, the news provider reported. "I was thinking at some point I would be paying it back but I knew it was wrong and I had no approval to do that."

Managing Your Church emphasized that there are often a few factors behind misappropriation in churches, including relying too heavily on trust to protect assets, fast growth and a lack of segregation of duties. Fortunately, by using regular AP audits in addition to other financial control methods, it's possible for the organizations to reduce risk and keep running smoothly.

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