How to Avoid Church Fraud

By MAGsays

Fraud TriangleYou should see the look on a Lead Pastor’s face when they realize that the same person who is doing their “books” is the same person who is depositing the offering. It’s a look of fear, embarrassment, and oh, CRAP!

Fact is, most church fraud happens around deposit. Meaning, money just doesn’t find its way into the checking account. It’s really that simple.

Concerned about church fraud at your church? Want to be more proactive? Consider these tips:

  1. Have 2 people deposit your money on a consistent day of the week … AND make sure they are not your bookkeeper. Create a “sign off” sheet that is handed in each week.
  2. Track your donor/giving in a separate Church Management Software (ChMS) solution … not in your accounting package. We recommend CCB. This way, you can track individual deposits against your aggregate deposit.
  3. Do “spot checks” in the counting room.
  4. Look for areas of “opportunity” where your system/process could be compromised. Document your gaps and create deadlines to fix. Then, report your findings to leadership.
  5. Review your financials every single month. Seriously, we can’t believe we are even saying this … BUT there are church leaders who really don’t review their financials each month. Talk about exposure to risk!
  6. Don’t assume a “precious person” would not steal from you.

The reality is … if someone wants to steal from you … they are gonna try it. The key is to create enough security where this can be mitigated. Being a good steward of God’s money … is creating appropriate systems & processes to protect against fraud and theft in your church.


The Miles Advisory Group, Inc. (MAG) is a leader in church outsourcing. Through flexible and creative outsourcing solutions, MAG enables churches to focus on their ministry with greater clarity, further excelling their effectiveness and purpose, for the real reason of why they exist.

Bryan Miles is CEO & Co-founder of Miles Advisory Group and is blessed to run this company with his wife, Shannon. Prior to starting MAG, he worked for companies in the tech and construction industries including Cogun, Inc., a national church construction company as the VP of Consulting. Bryan obtained his B.A. in Business from Mount Vernon Nazarene University in Mount Vernon, OH. Bryan, Shannon and their daughter Rainey and son Harper attend church at the Browns Bridge Campus of North Point Community Church. Bryan also enjoys backpacking and mountain climbing. Learn more about Bryan.