The Church Audit Committee consists of three members who are independent of all Church officers, employees, departments, and Church-owned businesses and affiliates. We report directly to the First Presidency and have access to all records and personnel necessary to perform our responsibilities.
The Church also has an auditing department that is independent of all other Church operations and departments. The Church Auditing Department is separate and independent from the Church Audit Committee. The Church Auditing Department’s staff consists of certified public accountants and other professionally qualified auditors. It has established procedures for audits of Church operations in accordance with recognized professional auditing standards. This includes monitoring of contributions and expenditures of local ecclesiastical units.
The Church Audit Committee has reviewed the financial policies and procedures that provide controls over contributions and expenditures of Church funds and that safeguard assets of the Church. We have also reviewed budgeting, accounting and reporting, and auditing systems and reports of the Church for the year ended 31 December 1996.
Expenditures of Church funds for 1996 were authorized by the Council on the Disposition of the Tithes according to written policies. 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 the direction of the Appropriation and Budget Committees.
Church-owned businesses are managed by professionals who report to independent boards of directors that do not include General Authorities as members. These companies maintain their own accounting and reporting systems in compliance with accepted business practices and are audited by the Church Auditing Department and/or independent public accounting firms. The board of directors of Deseret Management Corporation consists of General Authorities, who monitor most Church-owned businesses. Brigham Young University and other institutions of higher education are audited by independent public accounting firms.
Based on our review of financial, budgeting, and other control policies and procedures, and our review of all audit reports issued in 1996 and responses thereto, the Church Audit Committee is of the opinion that, in all material respects, Church contributions received and expended during the year ended 31 December 1996 have been managed in accordance with established Church policies and procedures.