“Church Auditing Department Report,” Liahona, July 2001, 23–24
To the First Presidency of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints
Dear Brethren: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints maintains a functioning, standards-driven auditing department. The Church Auditing Department is independent of all other Church departments and operations. The managing director of the Church Auditing Department reports directly and regularly to the First Presidency. Church Auditing Department staff consists of certified public accountants, certified internal auditors, certified information systems auditors, and other qualified and credentialed professionals.
Risk is the primary factor governing scheduling, performance, and reporting of audits. As mandated by the First Presidency, the Church Auditing Department has authority to audit all Church departments, functions, and operations worldwide and has access to all records, financial statements and reports, personnel, facilities, and physical properties relevant to the performance of audits. The frequency and nature of audits are determined by Church Auditing Department executives.
Professional auditing standards promulgated by the Institute of Internal Auditors and the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants guide audit work. The Church Auditing Department audits the various financial statements and operations of the Church in accordance with these recognized professional auditing standards. This includes overseeing the auditing of contributions and expenditures from local ecclesiastical units.
Expenditures of Church funds for the year ended 31 December 2000 were authorized by the Council on the Disposition of Tithes in accordance with written policy. The Council is composed of the First Presidency, the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, and the Presiding Bishopric, as prescribed under revelation. Administration of approved budgets is controlled through the Budget Department under direction of the Appropriation and Budget Committees. In the year 2000 the Church Auditing Department audited the financial policies and procedures that provide controls over these contributions and expenditures of Church funds and that safeguard Church assets. Budgeting, controllership, accounting and reporting systems, and management’s corrective action plan progress for audit comments raised were audited and reported.
Based on our performance of risk-based audits of financial, operational, budgeting, and other controls and our evaluation of management’s responsiveness to implementing corrective action plans, the Church Auditing Department is of the opinion that, in all material respects, contributions received and expended during the year ended 31 December 2000 have been managed in accordance with approved budgetary guidelines and established Church policies and procedures.
Church-affiliated businesses, including Deseret Management Corporation and its subsidiaries, are operated separately from The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The managers of these Church-affiliated businesses report to independent boards of directors and their respective audit committees. The financial and operational activities of these affiliated organizations were not audited by the Church Auditing Department in 2000. However, we have verified that these organizations, as well as Brigham Young University and other institutions of higher education, are being subjected to a financial statement audit annually by independent public accounting firms.
Wesley L. Jones
31 March 2001