“4 Tips to Prevent Fraud at Faith-Based Organizations”…

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Photo courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

… is the title of a great article by James B. Jordan to help churches and other faith-based charities protect their contributions from theft and protect volunteers from temptation.

Setting up internal controls is difficult in small organizations, even more so for local churches. The place churches routinely have the most difficulty is keeping control over contributions between the time gifts go into the collection plate until a deposit is ready for the bank.

Mr. Jordan’s tips:

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Looking for ways to beef up internal controls in a small organization?

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Image courtesy of DollarPhotoClub.com

Small charities usually cannot afford enough staff to put in place great internal controls. If you want a few ideas on how to make modest improvements at low cost, Charles Hall suggests How to Lessen Segregation of Duties Problems in Two Easy Steps.

(Cross post from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Second set of eyes on bank statements

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“Top 10 questions that Ministers, Missionaries, and Church Treasurers Ask Tax Preparers”

Following discussion is cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update. This may be helpful for CPAs serving the NPO community. You can point your clients to the linked article as a way to address common basic questions.

Corey Pfaffe, CPA, provides answers to those top questions at MinistryCPA.

The questions, with links to each answer, can be found here.

You can download a superb 12 page PDF of the full set of answers here.

If you are a pastor, missionary, church treasurer, or on the finance staff of a charity, I recommend you check out Prof. Pfaffe’s superb explanations. Get professional advice to apply the information to your situation or if you need to go beyond the very straightforward answers.

There is a bonus question: Continue reading →

Tragedy of Fraud series now available in print as well as e-book formats

tragedy-cover   tragedy-cover

 

Both books in my Tragedy of Fraud series are now available in print format from Amazon.

The newest book:

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Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition describes – Scott London’s long fall from Big 4 audit partner to prison inmate.

Click the link for your reading preference:

First book in the series:

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Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned – Consequences of fraud spread far. There is a long list of well-earned wages from fraud that will be paid in full.

Available in your preferred format:

Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition available at Amazon

Now available at Amazon:

tragedy-cover

Tragedy of Fraud – Insider Trading Edition: The fall from Big 4 audit partner to prison inmate.

Until April 2013, former KPMG audit partner Scott London was in charge of the audit practice for the southwest region. He was responsible for the audit work of 500 accountants and had the paycheck to go with those duties.

Today he is a prison inmate residing at the federal penitentiary in Lompoc, California serving a 14 month sentence.

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Newest book on differences between audits, reviews, and compilations now available in print and for Nook

Print copy and Nook e-book are in addition to availability for the Kindle and another half-dozen formats.

audit review compilation cover for wordpress croped

The book is an intentionally short read at about 30 pages. The print copy has 20 pages of text.  Focus is to quickly describe the differences between those levels of services using three illustrations:

  • A football game – How does advancing to the 10-yard line compare to an audit?
  • What would a review look like in a football game?
  • Buying a used car – How does taking the car for a test drive compare to a review?
  • Filling a bucket – How filling it up with water to different levels illustrates the differences between the levels of service.

It also explains the differences in plain language. Well, at least using less accountantese than you would usually get from an accountant.

This is a compilation of posts previously appearing on my blogs, with slight editing.

Where can you find the book?

Print book at Amazon here.

Nook e-book at Barnes and Noble here.

Kindle e-book at Amazon here.

Also available here in other formats:

  • ePub format for your iDevices
  • PDF
  • text
  • Mobi for your Kindle device

“Audit. Review. Compilation. What’s the difference” – New book now available.

Audit. Review. Compilation. What’s the difference? – Illustrations using a football game, buying a used car, and filling a bucket.

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What’s the difference between getting an audit, review, or compilation from your CPA firm? This short, 29 page book will help you understand.

Three illustrations help explain the differences:

  • A football game – How does advancing to the 10-yard line compare to an audit? What would a review look like in a football game?
  • Buying a used car – How does taking the car for a test drive compare to a review?
  • Filling a bucket – How filling it up with water to three different levels illustrates the differences between three levels of service.

This is a compilation of articles at my blog, Nonprofit Update.

The book is now available at Amazon.

Now available here in other formats:

  • ePub format for your iDevices
  • PDF or text
  • Mobi for your Kindle device

Soon to be available at Barnes and Noble.

eBook ‘Tragedy of Fraud’ now available in multiple formats

Fraud has tragic effects on innocent people who didn’t commit the fraud. The person who did the deed will pay a severe price far beyond what the judge imposes. Just like a stone thrown into a pond causes ripples all across the water, so a fraud ripples out to cause all sorts of harm.

tragedy-cover

Only 99 cents.

Available in Epub for iPad, iBooks, Nook, and Sony Reader.

Also in mobi for Kindle, PDF for desktop reading, and 5 other formats.

Newest versions can be found here.

Has been available at Amazon since February.

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“Once Upon Internal Control” fable now available in multiple formats

I just published my short book, “Once Upon Internal Control” at Smashwords, which means it is now available in several formats:

  • Epub – readable on your iPad, Nook, Sony Reader and lots of other e-reading devices
  • Kindle
  • PDF
  • RTF

You can preview 30% of the book for free.

What’s this book about? Continue reading →

Live example of a fraud fiasco

“Going to meet your Maker with the fresh scent of theft on your hands is not a good way to go…”

is how Charles Hall starts his story of a long ago fraud – Stealing While Dying.

We’ve all seen the situation where the bookkeeper does the main bookkeeping, receives the bank statements, reconciles the accounts, and is an authorized check signer.

In this situation, the most-honest-and-nicest-person-you’ll-ever-meet bookkeeper starting stealing lots of money when she became gravely ill.

His story took place in a for-profit business, but it could easily happen in any church.

Continue reading →

Price cut on my newest e-book, “Tragedy of Fraud”

Price reduced to only $0.99, now available here.

“Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned” describes the tragic consequences from fraud.

There are ripple effects that spread out to harm innocent bystanders. The perpetrator draws a wide range of well-deserved wages that will be paid in full.

The book looks at two fraud incidents to learn what happens after a fraud is discovered. One took place in a local megachurch and the other in the mayor’s office of a small city.

This book is a compilation of blogs posts that have been previously published at Nonprofit Update and Attestation Update. The posts have been edited slightly and reorganized for easier reading.

Major sections of the book:

  • Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from the Embezzlement Fraud in a Local Church.
  • Wages of Fraud – Consequences from the Corruption Fraud in a Mayor’s Office.
  • Why is it Difficult to Find Fraud? – The lack of documentation inside an organization makes it even more difficult to identify a fraud scheme.
  • The Fraud Triangle – A discussion of the three sides of a fraud triangle. That’s the idea that three components need to be present for a fraud to take place – opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. Great danger is in play when all three factors are present.

The other book I have available at Amazon is Once Upon Internal Control.

Evaluating a used car as an illustration of the differences between compilation, review, and audit

(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

You could figure out how good a car is by looking at it from across the street.

Or you could look inside & drive it around the block.

Or you could take the car to your mechanic for a couple of hours to get it really checked out .

We can use that as an analogy of the differences between a compilation, a review, and an audit.

Stand across the street

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“Tragedy of Fraud” e-book now available at Amazon

(Cross-posted from my other blog, Attestation Update.)

“Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned” describes the tragic consequences from fraud.

There are ripple effects that spread out to harm innocent bystanders.  The perpetrator draws a wide range of well-deserved wages that will be paid in full.

The book looks at two fraud incidents to learn what happens after a fraud is discovered. One took place in a local megachurch and the other in the mayor’s office of a small city.

The book closes with a discussion of the fraud triangle. That’s the idea that three components need to be present for a fraud to take place – opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. There are steps an organization can take to reduce those factors.

You can find the book at Amazon here.

This book is a compilation of blogs posts that have been previously published at Nonprofit Update and Attestation Update. The posts have been edited slightly and reorganized for easier reading.

Major sections of the book: Continue reading →

Level of Services Provided by a CPA – The Differences Between Compilations, Reviews, and Audits

(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

There are three different levels of services you could obtain from a certified public accountant.  These are referred to as compilation, review, and audit.

Financial statements are presented on the basis of some set of accounting rules. This is referred to as the financial reporting framework.

The vast majority of the time, this would be a large body of knowledge that is called generally accepted accounting principles, or GAAP. Imperfect in implementation though it may be, the concept is that similar transactions will be recorded by all organizations in the same way. In addition, financial statements of similar organizations will actually look similar.

If there is some unique reason to do so, the financial statements could be presented on another basis of accounting

Compilation

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‘Tragedy of Fraud’ in e-book format – soon to be released

(Cross posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)

Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned will be released soon in Kindle format. This is a compilation of blog posts about the damage caused by fraud. It will also discuss the fraud triangle.

The sections of the book are: Continue reading →