protecting the organization’s resources as well as its reputation,” said Paul
Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Services (GCAS), as he
gave one of four presentations during the Atlantic Caribbean Union's first
treasury conference. The event was held on February 3 and 4, 2014, in Nassau,
The Atlantic Caribbean Union Mission, one of
the newest unions of the Inter-American Division, is only three years old
(organized November 29, 2010), and consists of Adventist membership in three
countries: The Bahamas, The Cayman Islands, and the Turks & Caicos Islands.
About 30 treasury workers from schools,
conferences, missions; along with union administrators and staff, gathered for the
two-day event. The group sought ways to
improve transparency and accountability, and to prevent fraud in local churches
and other institutions.
Douglas reminded the church leaders that today’s
generation of lay members is much different from those of previous generations.
"In the past, members returned tithes and asked no questions. Now in this
generation, yes members are still giving but are requiring accountability, and
it is the workers’ responsibility to always be transparent and accountable.
Administrators are to always protect the church by preventing abuses.” He added
that "It is always important to remember that God is our CEO."
The other presenters included: Elizabeth
Christian, associate treasurer of the Inter-American Division (IAD); Sandra
Thomas, IAD assistant treasurer; and Ivelisse Herrera, IAD deputy treasurer.
Thomas gave accountants training and a hands-on demonstration on the standard
accounting software of the Adventist Church, Sunplus. She also gave
administrators tips on accessing reports to assess the financial status of
Kimberley Byran, an accountant with the South
Bahamas Conference, observed that the sessions were informative, interactive,
and enlightening. "I understand more clearly and I am better able to carry
out my responsibility in such a key area in the church,” she remarked.
Another participant, Tatiana Bush, an
accountant with the Cayman Islands Conference, also shared that the conference
was very beneficial. "We all look forward to implementing the practical
tips gained from the various presentations as we return to our responsibilities
at the conference,” she added. “We also look forward to the next