We finally received the audit report from the diocese; and we’re being asked to provide by the end of October an initial response to all the items raised. Many of the items–especially those regarding money handling–have already been dealt with.
For example, tamperproof, sealing bags are being used for all of our collections, instead of the zipper bags. Two ushers close, seal and initial the bags after the collection. Likewise, for any money whatsoever received at the parish office during the week, with two people present, a receipt-in-triplicate is filled out that records the amount and purpose of the money. The same is the case for the school.
Other items we have begun to address: staff members in charge of each area (e.g., the office, catechetics, school, maintenance) are signing off on expenses before the pastor signs the corresponding checks to cover those expenses. The invoices/bills for which the pastor is signing checks are clipped to the checks at the time of signing, so that he can review them. A new collections summary sheet has been created to allow us to see at-a-glance exactly what is collected in each Mass, and through other channels. A formal reimbursement and/or mileage request has been created for anybody needing reimbursement for a parish expense or mileage. The pastor is now opening all bank statements, before handing them on to the Finance Manager. We have begun a formal collections process, involving a collections lawyer, for two situations of outstanding school tuition.
Here are some audit items that have yet to be addressed or accomplished: The finance committee will soon be trained to carry out an internal audit each month, comparing tally sheets to deposit slips and bank statements, as well as reviewing specific income and expense items on the profit-and-loss statement each month. Job descriptions have to be created for each staff member. An employee handbook of policies has to be created. There are a number of bank accounts that have to be discussed by the finance committee, and probably some of them consolidated. We have to figure out our accounting for the cemeteries. For any organizations or fundraisers that use our tax identification number, we have to maintain clear records for expenses, income and reconciliations. We will have a meeting with the school endowment committee to answer questions about the endowmnent that the auditors had. An overall inventory of all parish assets (primarily for insurance purposes) has to be created. [I will be looking for somebody who is good at desktop publishing, is well-organized and loves detail to take on this project for us. It is a pretty tedious task, but I have a great template to follow from my former parish.] So there is a summary of major audit items from the formal Diocesan audit.
On another note, we have now met with four different contractors for ideas and quotes on upgrading the air conditioning situation in Paulding – to get rid of the noise and to free up space in the choir loft. I think that by the end of November we will know which contractor we want to use and how much it will cost. Then we will aim for demo of the old (perhaps using parishioners who are experts in demolition!) and installation of the new sometime in the spring. We still have to get approval from the Diocese and raise money for this project.
Finally, the large stained-glass windows of the Assumption and the Ascension at Payne have had all the glass cleaned and recaulked. And the storm panes on the outside have been totally replaced, adding tiny ventilation plugs. It all looks pretty nice. Money donated specifically for the project will cover the cost.
Have a blessed week!
In cordibus Iesu et Mariae,