UPDATE: Offer will expire on December 31, 2011.
I stopped the free book offer at the end of 2011. This short fable is the basis for the cartoons you see on this blog. The book is now available at Amazon in Kindle format for $0.99. Click here.
Update: This book is now available on Amazon for $USD 0.99. Free offer will expire on December 31, 2011.
The exit interview with the reporter in cartoon 4 is based on this text from the book Once Upon Internal Control:
After some pleasantries, the pastor let the reporter look through any of the documentation she wished. For his air travel, the billing detail on the credit card statements showed the departure and destination locations. It was very easy to determine how far in advance the tickets were purchased. From that information, it was obvious to the reporter that all of the travel was at coach rates. From the hotel receipts and expense reports, the reporter could tell that the rooms were economical and the meals were modestly priced. The expense reports—always such a nuisance to fill out, but required by church policy—listed the purpose of each trip, travel arrangements, hotel accommodations, and with whom the pastor ate. With all these details, each trip was easily put into context.
The pastor and bookkeeper were in the room but only had to answer a few questions. After looking through the documentation, it became clear to the reporter that her source was not believable. With the accusations thoroughly disproved, the reporter left satisfied. The next article in the paper about the church described a new mission outreach to the community.
The following text from Once Upon Internal Control is the background for Cartoon #3:
The reporter calls
About a year after the bookkeeper started, a newspaper reporter called to talk to the office manager. The reporter said she had credible information that the pastor was flying first class to his occasional speaking engagements. The reporter had indications from the same source that the pastor was really living it up during those trips. She wanted the church’s reaction to this rumor.
The cartoon on the count procedures is based on the following part of the book Once Upon Internal Control:
Monday mornings were a chatty time in the office. That is when the count teams prepared the deposit. Usually there were a few people sitting around waiting for the full team to arrive. On each team, there was one person who had the combination to the drop safe. Another person on the team had a key that opened up all of the bank deposit bags—those thick canvas bags with a heavy-duty zipper and substantial lock. When either the combination person or the key person was late, the count team would sit around and visit.
The bookkeeper had been around some less-than-ethical parts of the business community. She had seen others play games with the books. She did not think about it very hard, but she did have a vague awareness that the church was serious about all those policies they discussed. She knew it would not be possible to play those games here because the windows of opportunity were closed and locked.
Copyright © 2008 James L. Ulvog
The cartoon on bank reconciliations is based on these comments in the book:
Southside Community Church
Both churches were looking for a bookkeeper at the same time. The leadership at Southside Community Church was pleased to get an experienced bookkeeper on board quickly.
Her life journey had been rough—lots of emotional scars. She was relieved during the interview when the church did not dwell on the details about her life B.C.—you know, before Christ. She was a relatively young Christian. She did not know a lot about the Bible, but she knew she had been forgiven much and she was grateful much. She was absorbing everything she could.