1.1 BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY
In today's world, there isn't a day that goes by without the news media informing us of the country's corruption (Lipset & Lenz, 2012). Nigeria's corruption is so widespread that many Nigerians believe that even the most trusted institutions, such as the Church, are corrupt. In our current epoch, the Church cannot afford to be reactive, but must instead be proactive in its financial management. In other words, there should be no indication that the Church's finances are being mismanaged. This is because the Church is ostensibly supposed to play a major role in our society's current quest for transparency and accountability. Furthermore, congregations want assurance from the leadership that funds given sacrificially to the Church as offerings are used wisely. However, while some stakeholders in the Church's finance section are proactive in managing their churches' funds above reproach, others are doing the exact opposite by pilfering their churches' funds.
“Financial management is an integrated decision-making process concerned with acquiring function and management, and managing assets to accomplish some overall goal within a business entity,” according to Baker and Powell (2013, p. 4). Decision-making is critical in financial management, which is why it should not be done by a single person, such as a pastor or church leader; each and every member of the administration should be involved in decision-making, and their opinions should be respected and implemented if they are agreed upon. A financial decision should be made with the institution's best interests in mind, not with personal gain in mind. We ask the following questions when making financial decisions: 1. What financial and asset resources do we have? 2. Do we have sufficient funds to invest in the long or short term? 3. How do we maintain our investment and raise additional funds to keep the institution afloat? Financial management will not be successful unless these questions are answered correctly. When we recognize what we have, it will be much easier to determine which areas to wisely invest in, whether on a long or short-term basis, in order to reap a profit in due time. If you don't have a well-thought-out sustainability plan, it's better not to invest in anything. Also, in Christian institutions, the aspect of mobilization is very important; there is a need to develop skills in mobilizing more funds for the institution's sustenance by raising awareness for mission organizations and individual donors to continue to support the vision. In mobilization, maintaining interpersonal skills is critical.
A local assembly of believers and the redeemed of all ages who follow Jesus Christ as Saviour and Lord is known as a church (Kanuku, 2017). Because the church is both an organization and a spiritual entity (Andrews and Roller, 2011), church leaders must understand both aspects of this identity and master a set of tools for leading and managing both of these elements in order to be effective. The Church is viewed as a social organization with good moral values in this regard (Kombo and Gogo, 2017). Despite the Church's reputation for high morals, corruption in the state and society at large, including churches, has remained a global threat because abuse of power, bribery, and secret dealings continue to wreak havoc on societies all over the world (Transparency International, 2013). Corruption has spread its roots to the point where it is now considered a global problem in both developed and developing countries (Furphy, 2010). Churches have a lot on their plates. Accounting and its charts can become an afterthought as they strive to keep a good handle on bookkeeping, future plans, and the needs of their members. Unless there is a crisis or a notice of an upcoming audit, churches often pay little or no attention to their financial records and charts of accounts.
Funds management entails the proper planning, operation, control, and accounting of an organization's financial resources. The organization's goals are clearly stated and implemented in financial terms, and proper policies aid in goal attainment. Funds management, investment management, internal controls, and accountability are the main financial components of the church that have piqued researchers' interest (Leach, 2016; Laughlin, 2018; Harris 2011; Booth, 2013; Gruber, 2014; Agyei & Kusi, 2016; Shaibu, 2013). These components cover everything from how to manage finances before they're received to how to report usage to stakeholders. The identification of each component provides a comprehensive view of the organization's entire financial management system, allowing for a more reliable expression of the quality of financial resource management.
The quality and quantity of services provided by a church organization is determined by its financial performance (Siciliano, 2017; Sulaiman et al., 2018; Nordiawan & Hertianti, 2010). As a result, it is critical for a church organization to maintain a healthy financial position in order to fulfil its strategic mission. One of the responsibilities of church board members is to keep track of their organization's revenue and expenses. Siciliano (2017) discovered that a church organization's financial performance is difficult to understand and improve when board members, staff, and directors have limited financial management experience. As a result, it's critical to look into the procedures these churches have in place for managing their offerings. This will allow one to determine the challenges, if any, that these churches are facing as a result of their inability to manage their offerings in an ethical manner.
CONCEPT OF FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT
Financial management refers to the acquiring of resources and their management; included are matters involving tax administration, collection of user fees, management of cash, methods of financing capital projects including the issuance of bonds, and accounting. (James C. & et al, 2012) Christian Regobeth, (2009), defines Financial Management in broader way that it covers the administration and maintenance of financial assets, identification and management of risks, and building up (diversification) of financial assets portfolio to ensure regular flow of financial resources in the future. Financial management, according to Paramasivan and Subramanian (2012) is defined as the acquisition and effective use of funds. It is further elaborated as the efficient and effective management of financial resources by planning, controlling, leading and directing a firm’s resources to maximize value (MSG, 2018). The plans, controls, leadership and directing are usually derived from the constitutions, policies or guidelines of the organizations or regulators to promote efficiency, eliminate fraud or misdemeanour and overall to promote public confidence in the activities of the organization whilst staying true to mandate as stewards. Financial management planning refers to the determination of how goals and objectives will be met (Wikipedia, 2019). Each objective comes with associated activities, tools and equipment and human resources with relevant skills to facilitate their implementation, hence the need to project the funding that would be required at each stage to ensure goal attainment. In effect, it helps identify how much to spend or invest at each point in time as well as preparing beforehand so these goals are met in a timely manner. Budgeting and cash management are a core part of financial planning. Financial control is an essential part of ensuring sound financial management practices are implemented as expected. Internal control measures ensure the plan is followed efficiently and effectively whilst protecting the organization’s assets. In other words, controls ensure that management acts in the best interest of the organization through coordinating and supporting activities whilst monitoring the processes. Financial controls promote reliability and ensure that all financial activities are adequately represented and free from material misstatements. Leading and directing is when management uses the plans and controls outlined to implement set strategies towards the attainment of the set goals. The process hence involves, but is not limited to dissemination of information on the policies, plans and strategies whilst coordinating the activities and motivating the team. Finances are regarded as a backbone of any organization regardless the nature or size. This is because most of the activities require financial input for them to be successful. In the Church for example, finances are needed to run the projects or various activities organised. According to Jamieson and Jamieson (2009), almost all the Churches depend on the voluntary giving in order to fulfil their mission. This giving is mainly from the offerings, tithes, projects and donation. This calls for the need to ensure that funds, a scarce resource are well managed. Financial management is one of the three broad categories in finance (Fabozzi and Peterson, 2013). Brigham and Houston (2011) states that financial management suits both profit and not for-profit organizations. In their definition, financial management refers to decisions relating to how much and types of assets to acquire, how to raise the capital needed to purchase assets and how to run the firm so as to maximise its value. McMenamn (2012) postulates that lack of effective and strong financial management leads to collapse of an organizations. This is because it entails determination, acquisition, allocation and utilization of financial resources. The Church being a not-for-profit organization too has the requirements to be fulfilled by finances for example assets, projects and other activities. Financial management is a unique skill which is essential thus needs to be part of the trainings in all institutions. However, in a study by Jordan et al (2017) to determine the number of graduate theological schools offering financial management courses, it was found out that only 24% offered even as electives. This skill therefore makes the Church leaders not to be comfortable in handling financial matters of the Church. For instance, only 15% of the protestant clergy surveyed were very or extremely satisfied with the administrative and financial training (Chaves and Miller, 2017). The study thus shows that 85% of the clergy are not well equipped with financial skills yet they are the leaders expected to manage the resources of the Church effectively. During financial difficulty, the pastors need to understand ways to allocate the few finances available. Without any financial management skill therefore, the pastors will commit moral hazard; behaving opportunistically by placing priority on goals other than those emphasised by the congregation (Zech, 2017). Agency theory states that there should exist harmony between the agents and principals in the organization. In this regard, pastor’s role in Church financial management is paramount because they are the agents appointed by the congregation (principals). According to Miller (2011), pastors play roles in Church finances which include encouraging and distributing treasure’s report to every governing board committee as well as congregation; encouraging appointment of finance stewardship committee; encouraging tradition of an annual audit in the Church. Ingram (2015) in his article concludes that both parties’ goals (principals and agents) must be addressed within a climate of compromise, but with the understanding that meeting the principal's goals is the primary function of the relationship. The Church leaders need to involve the followers or congregation about the financial plans they have to get the input before implementing them. By doing so, the agency conflicts will be minimized and the principal (Church leaders) will not be seen as mismanaging the finances of the Church.
THE CONCEPT OF CHURCH
In one sense, the Church is used as an institution while in another sense it is used as an organism. The Church as an institution is defined by Van Reken as the “formal organization that sets out to accomplish a specific purpose” (Van Reken 2019). According to him, It is an agent which can do things; and can say things because it has its own voice. The Church as an institution has its own purposes and plans, its own structure and officers, and its own mission. It has its own proper sphere. In many ways it parallels other institutions, like governments or schools. It is from this perspective that Iwe (2019) understands the term ‘Church’ to mean an organized people of God, a spiritual and moral force to be reckoned with. The Church as an organism refers to “the church as the body of believers, the communion of believers” (Van Reken 2019). The distinction between the two concepts of the Church is that while the institutional church refers to a unified organization, the Church as an organism refers to an aggregate of individual believers in which each Christian acts as a personal agent with a purpose and a call in God’s plan. Based on this distinction, Van Reken goes further to distinguish between ‘Church work’ and ‘kingdom work’. Church work, according to him, is the work that a Christian does as an agent of the institutional church, while kingdom work is the work that a Christian does in service of his Lord not as an agent of the institutional church but in his/her secular vocation or calling, whether as a plumber, a teacher, or a politician (Van Reken 2019). This twofold meaning of Church reverberates in Jim Harris’ view when he says: “By "church" I mean both the individual believer and the institutional entity” (Harris http://thebigpicture.homestead.com/ ChurchinPolitics.html). It therefore means that in discussing the role of the Church in the pursuit of justice in the political system of a given country, we are invariably dealing with the part that both individuals and the corporate body have to play in the society. The Church has had a dynamic image. In Latin, the early Fathers of the Church referred to it as the Ecclesia ‘the called out ones’. From this perspective it is understood why the Church is spoken of as ‘the elect’, ‘the saints ‘and that is why Jesus asked Peter to ‘build my Church’ (Mt 16:18). In the early Church, they were referred to as ‘the people of God’ or ‘the Church of God’. St Paul speaks of the Church as the fullness of Christ and of fellowship (Ephesians 3:19). He also speaks of the Church as a mystery and sacrament of salvation (Eph 3:4). The Church therefore is understood here as the whole body of Christian believers or any division of this body in professing the same creed and acknowledging the same ecclesiastical authority.
CONTEMPORARY CHURCH ORGANIZATION IN NIGERIA
Contemporary Church means church that is appropriate and meaningful for people who are living now, rather than people who lived 100 years ago or who will live 100 years in the future. That means that every generation in every culture faces the question of contemporary church. Thus, contemporary churches focus on addressing the issues of people face today and addressing them through music, videos, drama etc.
THE ORIGIN OF THE REDEEMED CHRISTIAN CHURCH OF GOD
The RCCG was founded by one Josiah Olufemi Akindolie. He was born on July 5, 1909 to the family of Eleyinmi and Olaokuobi Akindolie of 12, Odo-Alafia Street, Ondo in south western Nigeria. Olufemi’s parents were worshippers of Ogun, the Yoruba god of iron and warfare. They did not send him to school but apprenticed him to a master blacksmith in Ondo. He later qualified as a professional blacksmith and sometimes augmented this trade with farming, which was then the mainstay of the local economy. In 1927, at the age of eighteen, Olufemi was baptized at the Anglican Church, and it was probably at that time that he adopted Josiah as a mark of his Christian identity and also became literate in Yoruba. Four years later, he left the Anglican Church to join the Cherubim and Seraphim (hereafter C&S) Church at Ondo. The C&S had been introduced to Ondo in 1927 and most of its initial congregation comprised former members of the mainline Churches in Ondo. In fact, J.D.Y. Peel records that the Iya Egbe (matron) and Baba Egbe (patron) of the first Ondo C&S were Christiana Olatunrinde and G. O. Fajiye respectively. Both of them had been lay leaders in the St. Stephen’s Anglican Church Ondo. Josiah joined the C&S because of the truth of the word of God, which was expounded and the healing powers demonstrated there. According to him:
At that time, the Cherubim and Seraphim church was very good since they stood on the truth to the extent that they did not add to, or subtract anything from the word of God. The Cherubim and Seraphim Society did not take any medications. If somebody was ill, he or she would be prayed for, and the Lord would hear and the person would be healed.He thus immersed himself wholly in this Aladura Church. It was not surprising therefore that after some years in the C&S, Josiah was reported to have ‘heard’ the ‘Call. Ready to fulfil the Call, he left for Ile-Ife in July 1940. At Ile-Ife, he joined another C&S Church at IgboItapa. The C&S movement had earlier been established in Ife in 1928 by one J. O. Famole, who had joined it at Ibadan. It was at Ife that Josiah married his heartthrob, Esther Egbedire. The two of them again left for Lagos in 1941 and joined yet another C&S Church at Ebute-Metta, where their marriage was solemnized by one Prophet Onanuga in charge of the branch. It was in the above church that Josiah actually attempted to actualize his ‘Call’. His first step was to ‘seek directions from God’. This took the form of daily prayers and periodic fasting in the church. The implication of this was that Josiah had no time to work and provide for his family. Serving God to him meant relinquishing his secular vocation. His wife thus had to bear the brunt of providing for the family. To make ends meet, Esther worked as a porter in the local market, sold firewood and did other menial jobs. This personal conviction of poverty as a form of consecration was later reflected in the early days of the RCCG. It was also at Ebute-Metta that Josiah began to flex his spiritual muscles as a man of prayer and as a prophet. From 1947 to 1951, tension began to build up between Josiah and the authorities of his local C&S Church. The first issue had to do with his growing popularity and increasing follower-ship, much to the envy of the older prophets within the fold. Secondly, Josiah too began to disagree with the C&S leaders on some of their practices. One issue on which Josiah did not see eye-to-eye with them was the idea of visiting the grave of late Prophet Moses Orimolade (founder of the C & S movement) at Ojokoro area of Lagos to settle pastoral disputes and to determine church appointments. This ancestor veneration was a traditional Yoruba practice, which implied the continued influence and interaction of departed ancestors with the world of the living. As Josiah’s group of followers grew bigger than what could be accommodated in his house, he got another venue for their activities at 9, Willoughby Street, Ebute-Metta. By this time the leaders of the C&S could easily see that he had his own plans. This was the prelude to his exit from the C&S in 1951. He consequently concentrated his attention on the new group, which became known as the OgoOluwa (Glory of God) Society. The General overseer (most senior pastor) is Enoch Adeboye, ordained in 1981. In 2018, it had 14,000 churches and 5 million members in Nigeria.
BRIEF BACKGROUND OF LIVING FAITH CHURCH WORLDWIDE (WINNERS CHAPEL)
Living Faith Church Worldwide (also known as Winners Chapel) is an Evangelical charismatic Christian denomination and a mega church. The headquarters is located in Ota, Nigeria. The organization has since become a global network of churches with congregations in 65 countries. The beginnings of the church manifested on May 2, 1981, when Oyedepo (aged 26) had a spiritual encounter while lodging in one of the rooms within 'International Hotel' located in the Omi- Asoro Quarters of Ilesa city, in the present day Osun State of Nigeria. He claims to have an eighteen-hour supernatural encounter which was a vision from God. God spoke to him saying, "Now the hour has come to liberate the world from all oppressions of the devil, through the preaching of the Word of faith; and I am sending you to undertake this task". In 1983, the church began operating with four members on December 11. Canaanland was procured in 2018 and was initially 560 acres (2.3 km2), it is in Ota, Ogun, Nigeria. The church's international headquarters, Faith Tabernacle, was built in Cannanland between 2018 and 2017, taking twelve months to complete. The foundation laying took place on August 29, 2018. In 2017, the Faith Tabernacle was inaugurated with 50,400 seats. On Dec 11 2013, Oyedepo's first son, David Oyedepo Jnr, ministered for the first time at the church's annual Shiloh gathering. In December 2015, Oyedepo Jnr became the resident pastor of the Faith Tabernacle. Oyedepo announced the commencement of the construction of a 100,000 capacity Faith Theatre. The Theatre will be centralised within a 15,000 housing estate to be known as 'Canaan City'.
BACKGROUND OF FOURSQUARE GOSPEL CHURCH
The Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria, sometimes referred to as Foursquare Gospel Church, Yaba, is an evangelical Pentecostal Christian denomination founded in November 4, 1954by Rev. H.J. Curtis & Mrs. Faye Curtis and their two sons. The organization is one of the largest churches in Nigeria, and claims 2064 branches in Nigeria.The church is affiliated with the International Church of the Foursquare Gospel, headquartered in Los Angeles, California, United States.
The founding fathers of the Foursquare Gospel Church in Nigeria were Rev Odunaike Samuel Olusegun, Rev Boyejo James Abayomi and Rev Friday Chinyere Osuwa.The church's national headquarters are located at 62/66 Akinwunmi Street, Yaba, Lagos. The church is headed by the General Overseer and Senior Pastor who is Rev. Sam Aboyeji.
1.2 STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM
It came to light that these churches have a lay down routine procedures that have been put in place to help their accounts clerks to prudently manage their funds. In spite of these routine procedures, the accounts clerks are not leaving above reproach and this is due to some challenges confronting these selected churches with respect to the management of their offerings. However, this issue can be minimized or perhaps over-come when the churches appoint qualified accounts clerks as full-time employees. The churches also need to go further by providing adequate office spaces equipped with the necessary machinery that would enable their accounts clerks to operate efficiently and effectively.
Several religious organizations in Nigeria are now being faced with the problem of developing of accounts which helps the churches and ministries to prepare their financial statements. Churches are not an exception as most of them are incapacitated in terms of developing good charts of accounts. For good financial records keeping, there must be a well-developed charts accounts and financial reporting procedures which will lead to proper accountability and transparency in such organizations Based on this, this study is undertaken in order to assess the applicability of charts of accounts in religious organizations taken into consideration, some churches in Nigeria so as to know how the churches develop and use their charts of accounts and to proffers solutions that can improve the preparations of their financial Statements for better result.
1.3 OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY
The objective of this study is to examine financial management in contemporary church organization using RCCG, Winners and Foursquare Gospel church, Nigeria as a case study. However, the specific objectives are:
1.4 SIGNIFICANCE OF THE STUDY
It my hoped that this study would be of immense help to future researchers, practitioners as well as to policy makers in crafting necessary policies for financial management in churches in the country. The output of this study if adopted, will aid church financial managers, accountants, treasuries, among others to gain a better understanding of the necessity in and need for improving their financial management systems by instituting measures aimed at ensuring accountability and fidelity in the church’s financial management system. It would also be of help to the leadership and members of churches by enabling them to understand how their church is performing financially, detect issues that need attention quickly, make informed decisions on their finances and how they are managed and reduce the incidence of financial scandals in the church.
This research will help future researchers to identify untapped and under researched areas with regards to the financial management of churches. It will serve as a blueprint for explanatory studies on the financial management of churches. It is hoped that this study and derived recommendations, would serve as a model to guide churches seeking to institute financial management systems to adopt these practices.
The findings of this study will help policymakers make decisions on how to handle church finances. This would allow the church's leadership to instill more confidence and trust in the congregation; it would also encourage members and the general public to donate more money to the church's programs since they would know what their money was being utilized for. Furthermore, the study will assist in dispelling the impression that church officials misuse church funds in any case. In addition, the study's findings and recommendations will go a long way toward resolving this issue. In essence, the study will benefit finance and accounting students by providing them with more information about the financial and accounting systems of religious organizations. It will also serve as a starting point for future research.
Observation:The empirical research method was adopted in this study on Financial Management in contemporary church organization in Nigeria. This study was designed to investigate the effectiveness of development and application of financial management techniques and policies among Nigerian church and ministry organizations with particular to Lagos state. Two periods of field work with observation were conducted in Nigeria. Moreover, the author on several occasions visited the churches headquarters in Lagos where he observed the type of financial management and policy the financed department used in managing the church funds. He also participated in the normal Sunday services at some of the parishes of the church in Ibadan and Ikeja, Lagos.
Discussion: In-depth discussions were held with about sixty-five (65) people. With the exception of two male pastors who were also formally interviewed, those with whom in-depth discussions were held were completely different individuals from the group interviewed. These included pastors of the church and members of the finance committee many of whom demanded anonymity. In addition to this group are non-members of the church who frequent religious activities of the church. Those who demanded anonymity often insisted that the discussion be not recorded.
1.6 SCOPE OF THE STUDY
The research will be carried out at Redeemed Christian Church, Winners Chapel and Foursquare Gospel church in Lagos, Nigeria. However, the scope of financial management is limited to cash management, investment management and internal controls and accountability. This is because they are the main functions or areas of finance most churches engage in hence the subject of majority of church related research. They are the significant factors that affect the financial stance of a church.
1.7 LITERATURE REVIEW
Previous studies provided a strong support on the positive effects of financial management practices and firm financial performance (Douglas & Judge, 2001; Easton & Jarrell, 2018; Hendricks & Singhal, 1996). Quality management practices can improve business performance by improving operational performance thus reducing costs (Sousa & Voss, 2012). Bakar and Ismail (2011) found that majority of the agencies have a ‘good’ financial management system, with Federal agencies performing better than their counterparts at the state level. Lack of proper disclosure has reduced their worthiness and need to be addressed to enhance the value of the overall audit rating system. Baharin et al. (2011) discovered that there is positive impact of employees’ involvement and management practices on organization financial performance. Victoria, (2014) also has found a significant positive relationship between management practices and financial performance, measured in terms of revenues.
Bright (2016) who has conducted research on Church related organizations in Kenya for their financial sustainability, revealed that of the 17 Church Related Organizations interviewed, 18% claimed to be fairly sustainable while82% claimed to be in moving towards a crisis. The study findings show that financial management affects the financial sustainability of the Church Related Organizations through, budgeting systems, funds flow control system, asset management systems, financial planning, reporting and monitoring systems, accounting policies and procedures, internal and external auditing systems, financial analysis and information systems. Bright recommends that Church Related Organizations should consider strengthening monitoring and evaluation processes of all financial management practices. Further, he recommended that the organizations should be able to develop and implement an action plan to ensure regular supervision of financial management processes. Lisa & et al (2012), argued that financial sustainability in non-profit-organizations has the following key challenges; risk of reliance on external funding sources, demonstrating value and accountability to funders and supporters, promoting community engagement and leadership. They also searched that an organization sustainable in the long term but unsustainable in the short term will be chronically short of cash. Conversely, an organization sustainable in the short term but not in the long term may have adequate cash but inflation will cause the value of its assets to erode over time. This, in turn, will cause the quantity and quality of services to diminish unless capital campaigns periodically bring infusions of new assets. Jamaliah (2013) contended on financial management practice in religious organizations of Mosque in Malaysia on how financial record keeping improves financial performance. Jamaliah‘s finding showed that proper keeping of records on disbursement of funds, recording of receipt of income will affect the financial management practice in mosque. He recommends that accounting records enhance donors‘ confidence to channel their money to the mosque. Enumeration of John & et al (2012) on accounting records for NGOs and not-for-profit organizations (NPOs) of Sub-Saharan countries, identified that the strongest reason to devote scarce resources to the accounting record and preparation of sound financial statements derives from two grounds: 1) the legal and regulatory obligations to government, 2) recent years have seen increased media attention to non-profit organizations that maintain disgusting overhead costs or cannot account for funds received. As donors come to understanding of non-profits have begun to provide more information to donors in an effort to increase levels of accountability and transparency. Mark Vincent (2017), who has studied on the congregational financial management, argued that accounting records and substantiate financial documents provide information on a church‘s income and expenditures, and support the information on prepared financial statements. These documents can be used to reflect the financial health of a church as of a specified date. According to David (2012), who assessed financial management practice of Assemblies of Church in Ghana, one of the best practices in the church finance is updating records regularly as financial events are occurred and these records are to be reviewed regularly by internal auditors that are independent of finance units and or by controllers. Proper filing and documentation system prevents fraud connecting with the double payment in single source document. Keith (2017) assessed the need of having sound financial policy in the Baptist churches in Georgia. He find out that church financial policy can help churches to avoid church conflicts by providing well-written and understandable church policies on financial matters. Church financial polices also help establish a clear Biblical basis in handling the financial resources God has provided a congregation. For Peter & et al (2018), who conducted a study on financial principles and policy of the Orthodox church in America, recommended that the church should adopt financial policy that they said best practice and include or taking into consideration the following key elements: establish clear and decisive financial governance, adopt ethics and conflict of interest policies, design and implement appropriate financial controls, conduct annual independent audits of financial statements, ensure transparency of financial data and performance, develop and maintain knowledge of emerging non-profit issues. Resources are properly kept and utilized with the set procedures if the leadership of the church is strong and control the lower level structures with control mechanisms. (David 2009). Irvin Helen (2013) assessed the sacred agenda of the church and the secularity of financial planning and budget. Irvin studied that there are two views: the first said that all activities of a church is sacred, so, the church should not worry on the brining in the secular thought of financial planning and budget management. The others argued that financial planning and budget is crucial for the church. The reason they lined with is that accounting and budgeting were not inconsistent with the church‘s core theological teachings. The ministry in the church needs to be funded, so someone fund it by putting it in the budget. Irvin concluded that by encapsulating the goals within the church budget, financial targets were established which served a spiritual purpose, and the church‘s progress in achieving those financial goals month by month was measured against set financial targets. Obviously there are dimensions of a church apart from financial ones, but in this case the financial dimension was a necessary part of the achievement of spiritual goals which required monetary resources. Ozotamgo(2009) contended on financial record keeping in religious organizations in the case of Catholic Church of Nigeria, in Enugu; researching on the financial record keeping of the church unit and the practice of financial procedures. According to him, adopting financial planning and budgetary practice is vital and helps to prevent personal interests tend to over-ride the management of the church. He further finds out that budgetary system also helps to control different source of funds and to restrict its expenditures. Suge (2013) studied on the effect of financial management practice on church funds stewardship of Kenya, with objective of how financial planning practices enhance balance between outflow and inflow of church funds and to explore appropriate budgeting with the effect of financial analysis practices on sound investment decisions of church funds. The study findings revealed that financial planning enhanced the balance between income and expenditure of the church fund through proper budgeting, participatory and planned budget. The study recommended that churches to adopt financial planning as a strategy to manage their funds. According to Debbie & et al (2011), who contended on NPO of the USA and their findings revealed that for many non-profit organizations, planning and financial management, are activities that divide rather than unite the organization. Program planning is often viewed as the domain of the executive director, program directors and the board. Fiscal management is assigned to the bookkeeper, accounting and finance director and perhaps the board treasurer. Program planners and fiscal managers speak different languages and often have different priorities, and may or may not be aware of the importance of the other‘s approach to the budget process. Program planning decisions often are viewed as failing to reflect economic realities, while fiscal management decisions are often viewed as insensitive to the programmatic mission of the organization. These conflicts are often fought out during the budgeting process, the very process that should unite these viewpoints. According to Bright (2016), a constant challenge facing financial planning is the partiality of elected officials in the church, to be preoccupied with short-term issues. Raymond & et al (2015), contended the compliance of financial reporting of religious organizations in the USA. He elaborated by referring the study of Blackwood that Americans contributed approximately $335 billion to charitable organizations (public charities) in 2014, and religious organizations received 31% of the funds (i.e. $104 billion), by far the largest benefactor. However, unlike other public charities, they are automatically exempt from the annual IRS compliance reporting. This is based on the protection of religious freedom which exempted such organizations from government scrutiny. Religious organizations are becoming more complex, and are growing exponentially especially in the mega church’ sector. Thus, they argue that Perhaps it is time to re-examine the compliance reporting exemption. Raymond & et al (2015), further argued that institutions working as watch dog, such as The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) helping churches and religious organizations (herein categorized as churches) improve transparency and accountability in their activities. Churches can become accredited through the organization by complying with its seven standards on responsible stewardship. These standards include governance; financial oversight such as the preparation and publication of audited (or reviewed) financial statements; and compliance with applicable laws. Another institution that is working as watch dog on religious organization is the Trinity Foundation; it is a religious, charitable and educational non-profit, which monitors and investigates religious fraud. Raymond & et al (2015) contended the compliance of financial reporting of religious organizations in the USA. He elaborated by referring the study of Blackwood that Americans contributed approximately $335 billion to charitable organizations (public charities) in 2014, and religious organizations received 31% of the funds (i.e. $104 billion), by far the largest benefactor. However, unlike other public charities, they are automatically exempt from the annual IRS compliance reporting. This is based on the protection of religious freedom which exempted such organizations from government scrutiny. Religious organizations are becoming more complex, and are growing exponentially especially in the mega church sector. Thus, they argue that Perhaps it is time to re-examine the compliance reporting exemption. Raymond & et al (2015), further argued that institutions working as watch dog, such as The Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) helping churches and religious organizations (herein categorized as churches) improve transparency and accountability in their activities. Churches can become accredited through the organization by complying with its seven standards on responsible stewardship. These standards include governance; financial oversight such as the preparation and publication of audited (or reviewed) financial statements; and compliance with applicable laws. Another institution that is working as watch dog on religious organization is the Trinity Foundation; it is a religious, charitable and educational non-profit, which monitors and investigates religious fraud. be tempted to engage in questionable activities and accounting practices, or could subject individuals to unwarranted accusations of such activities. Thomas & et al (2013) identified that Non-profit Organizations (NPOs) have different goals and missions than do for-profit organizations. NPOs are driven by social responsibility and service rather than a profit motive, so they are less likely to devote attention to financial control. Thomas & et al (2013) studied that several recent high profile cases of financial mismanagement in religious organizations have highlighted the need for all religious non-profit organizations (NPOs) to have strong internal accounting controls. These organizations are often small, rely on a great deal of volunteer support, and as a result may not have the professional oversight to adequately monitor the resources of the organization or the behaviour of its leaders. Thomas & et al (2013) further recommended that Religious Non-for-profit Organizations (NPOs) must provide safeguards for all property, whether cash or other assets, and assure that it is used solely for authorized purposes. Control will be enhanced if the duties of the members of the organization are divided so that no one person handles all aspects of a transaction from beginning to end. Although a complete separation of functions may not be feasible for the small organization, some measure of effective control may be obtained by planning the assignment of duties carefully. The most effective techniques for providing internal control are: cash receipts should be recorded immediately and deposited daily, bank accounts should be reconciled monthly by someone other than the person who signs the checks, a petty cash fund should be entrusted to a single custodian and used for all payments other than those made by check, checks to vendors should be issued only in payment of approved invoices, and the supporting documents should then be cancelled, the person who is responsible for the physical custody of an asset should not also have responsibility for keeping the records related to that asset, the person who has authority for placing employees on the payroll and establishing wage rates should not be the same person who signs the checks. Duncan & et al (2017) on their study of religious financial control, they identified internal control goals appropriate for a religious NPO. They classified internal control concepts as involving general cash receipts, cash disbursements, and reconciliation.
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OTHER SIMILAR THEOLOGY PROJECTS AND MATERIALS