Each year, the amount of money stolen from churches exceeds what churches give to missions. Let that sink in.
30% of churches are the victim of fraud/embezzlement each year. Most is never detected and when it is, 80% does not get reported to law enforcement. The loss was $39 billion in 2014 and expected to be $80 billion by 2025, with the average loss being $120,000.
Keep in mind – there is no such thing as a small fraud. They are just testing the system before going bigger.
Most church leaders find it hard to believe that someone they trusted would steal from the church. However, often it is the most trusted and “loyal” person in the church.
The biggest issue contributing to fraud is a lack of segregation of duties. During this season, when churches have mostly been shut down, it is important to make sure that internal controls are not relaxed. It’s not enough to have written policies, you need to enforce and audit them often.
If nearly 1/3 of churches are victims of fraud, what are the chances right now that you are one of them?
The best deterrence is to create the perception that they will get caught. If you need more ideas on setting up internal controls, please let us know. Your church insurance company may also be a good resource.