June 15, 2010

General Conference Auditing Service

General Conference
Auditing Service

Paul H. Douglas, Director reports douglas

capF 4or more than 30 years the General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS) has been delivering excellent audit services to the Adventist Church. From its modest beginnings, GCAS has grown into a global organization of approximately 200 professionals, operating from 45 country office locations, and performing more than 2,700 audit engagements (see Figure 1). Our work is based on the highest international standards of the profession and is equivalent to the quality expected from a reputable international accounting firm.
GCAS plays a vital role in ensuring that the cycle of credibility (see Figure 2) continues without interruption. Our role enables the worldwide church membership to give with confidence, knowing that the financial resources provided have been spent or safeguarded for their intended use.
There are six phases to our audit engagements (see Figure 3). Each phase is based on what international auditing standards require, and GCAS has been structured by denominational policy to perform these audit engagements of church entities with independence. To enhance this structural independence, the church instituted an 18-member GCAS board, which includes five church officers and 13 laypersons (one from each division) with expertise in auditing and financial management. This board, chaired by a layperson, provides administrative oversight for GCAS and promotes responsible financial reporting to church leadership.
In response to the latest professional standards, GCAS revised its quality control framework to verify that on every audit engagement, excellence is delivered. By holding ourselves to the highest of standards, we express our respect for the worldwide church membership and respond to their highest expectations.
Delivering excellence is our signature! We remain mindful, however, that excellence is not an accident and, thus, we continue in our commitment to:
  • recruit and retain the right people;
  •  reengineer the audit process to ensure that it is efficient and leverages the best available technologies;
  •  provide a product of audit reports that is timely, so as to support effective financial oversight;
  •  create partnerships to assist the church in developing its accounting professionals; and
  •  manage our client relationships so that their perceptions will match the reality of excellence being delivered.
We invite you to visit our Web site at www.gcasconnect.org where the Annual Report for each year provides an insight into our professional activities and summarizes results of audit engagements completed.

This article was published June 24, 2010.