Certified public accountant Lisa London, above, said in a press release issued this week that churches in America need to protect their coffers far better than they do at present.
Why? Because apparently thieves and fraudsters find it as easy to do to churches what churches do to their congregations: fleece the bejesus out of them.
Brotherhood Mutual, an insurance company specialising in serving religious institutions, says that over $39 billion was stolen from churches in 2014, surpassing the $35 billion churches spent on missionary work in the same period. And the Association of Certified Fraud Examiners revealed that nonprofits lose an average of 5-7 percent of their revenues each year to fraud and theft.
London, author of the globally recognised guide Using QuickBooks Online for Small Nonprofits and Churches, says the thieves are usually the people you would least suspect.
Their crimes require motives, means, and opportunity.
Not much can be done about motives, London notes, but churches and nonprofits can do something about limiting the means and opportunities that may be present for the more than 62 million people who volunteer each year for their churches, local PTAs, Little Leagues, homeowner associations, and civic groups who may be asked to handle money for the organisation or a fundraiser.
Dishonesty among the godly?
Good grief, next we’ll be told that kiddies aren’t safe in the presence of priests.