It is time to standardize that counting process, and put modern practices into place. It is not personal. Asking married couples to stop counting together and breaking up the brothers who count is NOT PERSONAL! It is essential to establish trustworthy transparency in financial practices of the congregation.
You know that Aunt Tilley is trustworthy with the congregation’s money, but the new member and insurance company do not. The bookkeeper who has been entering records for twenty years may not mind throwing-in a penny or few dollars to make the numbers balance and work out, but the new person may. It may be alright that you “know what is intended” by the way John and Daryl count even though it’s different from the way Aunt Tilley counts, but when the books are audited or a question arises, who will be left to interpret the difference?
How to Be a Counter
- Quarterly Training events sponsored by the Congregation Treasurer and Financial Secretary. These events are intended as encouragement, accountability, updating changes in practices, reviewing of practices and policies, scheduling changes, thanking for reliable hard work, addressing any concerns or questions, and even recognizing those counters who have gone above and beyond. Did they have a 100% accuracy rate or attendance? Are they the fastest team? Do they consistently drop in their own money to round up the numbers? Do they sing while counting? Have a 100% attendance record?
- State background checks will be conducted for all counters.
- A minimum of two unrelated counters are required for all money handling.
- Counters are bound by the confidentiality required by the Donor Bill of Rights.
How to Count
- Unless otherwise indicated all funds are undesignated.
- Concerning Designated Funds Counters shall be provided with a list of all designated accounts. A donor may NOT create a new designation. Account Designations are created by Council, only. All checks written to designations other than those already in existence are submitted to the Treasurer or Financial Secretary (depending upon policy), but are not deposited. Depositing a check indicates acceptance of the terms of the designation. Once the donor has clarified the designation OR re-designated the check to an existing account in writing OR Council has approved the designation, then the check will be deposited.
- Offering envelopes are unsealed and contents noted on the exterior of the envelope, if donor has not already done so.
- Concerning Checks Verify that all checks are correctly written to existing designations and signed. Note the check number on the exterior of the offering envelope, if provided. Photocopy all checks.
- Cash & Checks Each counter counts the money for each category completing the back (Detail, page 2) and writing their totals on the front (Summary, page 1). If counters 1 & 2 do not match, a recount together is in order, then record in Total. If counters 1 & 2 match, then the total is written in Total.
- Duplicate Deposit slips shall be provided by the Treasurer or Financial Secretary for the correct financial institution. The original will be submitted in a locked bag for deposit and the copy will be stapled to the Counters’ Sheet with check photocopies. These materials are then banded with empty offering envelopes.
- Deposit bag is to be dropped in overnight slot of bank.
- Counter sheet and accompanying documents are placed in Treasurer or Financial Secretary’s mailbox.