The Diocesan Board and Diocesan Staff are excited to announce a new volunteer opportunity in the diocese that will support parishes and help streamline important annual parish administration tasks. In line with the recently updated and approved Diocesan Audit Policy, we are creating a new Audit Team and new Audit Program.
In the new policy, parishes are still required to complete an annual internal audit. In addition to annual internal audits, previously parishes were required to hire an external CPA to come in to work with them to generate an audit report every seven years or in the year in which a priest leaves a parish. With the updated policy, the frequency for those outside-generated reports has been increased to every three years or in the year in which a priest leaves a parish; however, the requirement to hire a CPA to generate those external reports has been dropped. Instead, parishes can enlist the help of diocesan-trained audit volunteers. The increase in frequency of outside report requirements is in line with Diocesan commitments to increased transparency and accountability. However, hiring professional services like that of a CPA can be a prohibitive burden for many congregations, thus the formation of a volunteer Audit Team. You can read the full Audit Policy here.
Diocesan staff will offer training for individuals on the new audit program. At least one person from each parish must attend a training prior to using the new audit checklist. There is no expectation that those individuals would be asked to assist other parishes with their audits.
In addition to being trained to understand the new audit program, we’re looking for people who would be willing to be trained and serve on a diocesan audit team. The first step in creating an Audit Team to support our parishes is to recruit volunteers and then schedule a team training with Cathy Hobart, our Diocesan Controller.
Joining the team is not limited to those with professional accounting or financial experience or expertise! Some knowledge of financial terms might be helpful, but it is certainly not a requirement. The most important qualities in volunteers are:
- a head for details,
- a heart for working with people, and
- a willingness to learn.
It is our hope that we’ll get volunteers from across the diocese to join this team so that no volunteer has to travel the entire length of our spread out region for this work.
Parish treasurers and other officers are able to join the Audit Team, however they will not be able to serve their own parishes as an outside audit team member.
Not only will our Audit Team receive comprehensive training, but they’ll have the added support of always being sent to parishes in teams of two or three, never alone, and a standby number to call during parish visits if any questions arise.
For each parish that a volunteer works with, they’ll receive materials in advance to review so that the on-the-ground time on the actual audit day will only last four to six hours.
Although Audit Team members will be volunteers, we will encourage parishes who host these volunteers to practice hospitality by offering a meal to them as they work with your congregation and, if possible, reimbursing them for mileage.
If you are interested in joining the Diocesan Audit Team (there will be punny t-shirts!), please contact Cathy Hobart today!