For the purpose of evaluating the adequacy of controls over receipts and expenditures of the general funds of the Church and its controlled organizations, we have reviewed the system of budgeting, accounting, and auditing, and the related financial statements of the Church for the year ended December 31, 1988, and the manner in which funds are received and expenditures are controlled.
The expenditures of general Church funds for the year were authorized by the Council on the Disposition of Tithes, composed of the First Presidency, the Council of the Twelve, and the Presiding Bishopric, as prescribed under revelation of the Lord. The Appropriations Committee, in weekly meetings, administers major expenditures under the budget.
The general fund accounts of the Church are maintained by its Finance and Records Department, which uses modern accounting technology and equipment to keep abreast of the rapidly expanding and varied activities of the Church.
The Auditing Department, which consists of a staff of certified public accountants and similarly qualified auditors, is independent of all other departments and performs financial audits, operational audits, and audits of the computer systems employed by the Church. These auditing services are performed on a continuing basis for Church departments and other Church-controlled organizations engaged in worldwide operations, including missions, schools, administrative offices, and departmental activities.
The audits of local funds of wards and stakes are performed by stake auditors. The audit procedures are established and the audit reports are reviewed by the Church Auditing Department. Incorporated businesses owned or controlled by the Church for which accounts are not maintained in the Finance and Records Department are audited by the Church’s internal auditors, independent professional auditing firms, or government regulatory agencies.
Based on our review of the system of financial controls within the Church, together with continuing discussions with personnel of the Finance and Records and the Auditing departments, we are of the opinion that budgeting, accounting, and auditing controls are adequate for Church needs and purposes, and that in all material respects the general funds of the Church received and expended during the year ended December 31, 1988, have been controlled and accounted for in accordance with established Church policy and procedures.