My current calling is Stake Financial Auditor. There are four of us in the stake, and twice a year we visit each ward (we each do two wards) and sit with the bishop and ward financial clerk and review the books. The church is very close hold on its financial dealings and it is also very careful on how the money is handled, and how it is spent.

While there is nothing secret or sacred about what I do as an auditor, unless you have been a financial clerk or in a bishopric, you probably have no idea what an audit involves, or even that they occurred.

Every ward/branch/mission in the church is audited twice a year, in January and July. During the audit, I ask questions of the clerk and Bishop to make sure that the donation envelops are always opened in the presents of two people, one of which has to be a member of the bishopric. Also I make sure two people always take the money to a 24 hr drop box on Sunday after it is counted.

More detailed is the selection of 18 expenditures from the previous six months, which I then verify that each check has two signatures on it, the Bishop signed the form approving the expense, and finally, that there is a receipt.

Each exception is noted, and a corrective action is taken. The most common exception is the lack of a receipt. The most common missing receipt is when a Bishop uses fast offerings to help somebody pay the rent/mortgage. The check is never written to the person receiving assistance (another item I check) but is written to the landlord. But once that check is delivered, the person must get a receipt and return it to the bishop. This was a perennial problem when I was bishop, and is the same today for every ward I audit.

Lastly, I check one deposit from each month, making sure the names from each donation slip match the printout, and that the amounts match also. This assures that everybody gets credit for their donation.

While I have no worldly training to be a financial auditor, being a Bishop for five years and being a detailed oriented engineer, along with training from the Stake seems to be all I need for this calling.

Does knowing the church does very detailed audits of each ward twice a year make you feel better about the churches fiances, or do you still want to know where the money came from that paid for the mall?