by Mark Jones
Once you set up your ministry’s bank accounts, it’s easy to forget about them except when checking your account balance, making deposits, or writing checks. However, you should do several other vital tasks to ensure that you’re managing your bank accounts well and wisely.
- Document bank account authority granted. Who actually has authority to open a new account or withdraw funds? With frequent changes on governing boards, leadership, and staff, it isn’t uncommon for bank agreements to become outdated. We recommend that you document everyone who has been granted authority for your ministry’s bank accounts and review that list at least annually.
- Audit authority granted with your bank. After documenting who has account authority, have your bank audit their records to be sure their list matches yours. This should include officers who have authority to open new accounts, signers who have access to withdraw funds, and those who have authority for online access, initiating wire transfers, or setting up new payment methods such as debit or credit cards.
- Reconcile your bank accounts in timely manner. I recently read that 87 percent of consumers don’t actually reconcile their bank accounts. I don’t know what percentage of ministries do reconcile their accounts, but I hope it’s high. Reconciling every month after the closing of your account statement is critical. If you don’t, you put your ministry at risk of losing money to internal and external fraud.
Here is a sample authority granted document you may want to use as a reference.