Counting Issues at a Church 5001-77 ZZchu

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                              TO:  Interested Churches                                                           FROM: Jim Bramer, Retired CPA-Auditor  
                                                                                                                                         FILE: 5001-77/Chu 

                              RE:  Church Counting Issues                                                    Originated:  June 1989                            


      You can imagine the interesting and variety of experiences we have had the last three/four decades in examining the ways that churches do their collecting and/or depositing, plus reporting, of church monies -- especially as to what happens on Sunday. 
        So below are some "Church Counting Issues" that hopefully will help your church to have some "prudent processes" as you care for this important church finance responsibility.

Offering taken on Sunday AM at worship service

  • Ushers collect monies
  • May be more than one offering taken and a second offering is taken for immediate reporting purposes.
  • One person to be in charge, Head Usher, or a Deacon.
  • At some churches the Collection is returned to the front of the church and picked up later by applicable person.
  • Or the collection is immediately taken to a secure area and counted by Usher/Deacons
  • It may be placed uncounted in secure place - preferably a Safe..
  • Be discrete about who has access thereto

Non Sunday AM Monies

  • Offerings collected during some Sunday School sessions or during a Sunday PM service.

  • Given to head Usher so can be counted or placed in a Safe for later handling.

  • Use of an "On Campus" secure deposit box.

  • Monies collected during the week - need clear expectations when this occurs, but minimally the money should go to the Church the next Sunday and NOT remain in people's homes.

Counting/Deposit Process

  • Preferably on that Sunday in a secure area.

  • At least three rotating counting personnel teams - preferable non-family members on a single counting team.

  • Checks are endorsed immediately

  • In general, one person verifies what another does; always two people involved until the money is deposited at the Bank..

  • Papers (hopefully Giver envelopes are in use) are completed for Giver Record Keeping, or for the process below.

  • Conclude verification process as to giving envelopes -- it is usually desirable to balance types of batches; such as cash, checks and non Sunday proceeds. 

  • Amounts and designations should be verified by a second person.

  • Independently balance batches to the total amount of Deposit.

  • Produce adder tapes and Bank deposit slips

  • Pursue concurrent posting/balancing within your CMS, Computer Management software, or  DonaMail system so Bank deposit slip can flow therefrom.

  • At least two people deliver to the Bank ASAP at a safe distance away.

  • Via night depositary - if Sunday

  • Or via the Bank Teller - not later than Monday

Donation Record Keeping Process

  • Applicable party (either volunteer or church staffer)

  • Via a CMS-Church Mgt Software/DonaMail software package.  Please go to  0921  for more views on this topic.

  • Post to Donor's records from Counter verified info - usually via a pre-numbered giver envelope.

  • Do the applicable "proof process" that might include: 1> Control Account/Subsidiary effort whereby the year to date giving total is balanced to the posted Giver totals - as provided by your the CMS system; 2>  Batch verification of posted Giver numbers via a 'hash total" adder tape process. The intent is to be sure you have posted to the appropriate Giver as Giver number totals agree with the batch adder tape, etc..

  • Proofs to Counter batch dollar adder tape totals, etc.

  • Proofs to the total deposit amount and provide Fund totals for the Fund Accounting General Ledger system.

  • Provide Church leadership with non confidential donation statistics, etc.

  • Renders at least annual Giver reports in January of each year.  Some churches provide calendar quarter giving info.

                               Click on items below for church related links: 

Ministry Finance Team Info 
Personalized Giving
DonaMail and Integrated Software 
Internal Control Ideals
Internal Controls Self Testing Process Helps
Fund Accounting - Not Fun 
Pledge Accounting 
Tax Deduction for use of Own computer 
Church Giving Database 
QBooks Church Samples Link 

      Originally published in June 1989 and was .  UPTD: April 24, 2010