Financial Records Keeping and Internal Controls in Churches: A Case Study of Apostolic Church in Ghana
Objective of the study
The objectives of the study are;
- To ascertain whether there is effective financial record in Apostolic church in Ghana
- To know the financial decision making procedure and who takes the responsibility in Apostolic church in Ghana
- To find the financial reporting and accounting records being used by the Apostolic church in Ghana
REVIEW OF RELATED LITERATURE
THE CONCEPT OF FINANCIAL RECORDKEEPING/EVOLUTION OF RECORD KEEPING
The origin of recording according to Okafor et al (1996:1) can be traced back to ancient civilization in Babylon, Egypt, Rome and Greece. Early Babylonians had begun by 4500BC, to levy and collect taxes and records the receipts and disbursements. The development of “papyrus” and “calamus” as paper and pen respectively by early Egyptians is a great impetus to record keeping. Before the advent of writing, man could talk and could express himself in drawing but he could not write. Therefore, record keeping could be dated back to about 300BC with the discovery of “hieroglyphics and cuneiform” writing by early Egyptians and Babylonians respectively. The introduction of the decimal system by the Arabs as early as 850AD greatly enhanced the development of recording keeping. The emergency of money as a medium of exchange has provided impetus for development of accounting and record keeping (Okafor, 1996:1). It becomes necessary to record business events on monetary aspect rather than on physical quantities. Moreover, the industrial revolution of 18th century which brought about ample growth in the world trades and industry provided an important stimulus to accounting and record keeping. The businesses have been on continuous growth and expansion, resulting in increased need for information through proper recording. Before this era, businesses were on small scale and individual proprietors were so personally involved in the business tat the need for information was less required. The industrial revolution was in effect the basis of the modern business enterprises ranging from partnership to joint stock companies. In view of Okpe (1998:1), described business organization as the vehicle for mobilization of funds and human resources”. He further stressed that it involves the principle of stewardship or accountability which marks a step further in the development of accounting and record-keeping. There is great need for effective and efficient communication network between the enterprises and the interested parties especially for showing how the resources are utilized. In the opinion of Okpe, (1998:1), he stressed that of the man or an entity just going into business, experience has clearly indicated that an adequate record keeping system helps to increase the chances of survival and reduces probability of early failure. Similarly, for established industrialist, it has been clearly demonstrated that a good record keeping system increases his chances of staying in business and or earning desirable profits. Record-keeping can help owner managers of small enterprises keeping their business on a sound basis.
The researcher used descriptive research survey design in building up this project work the choice of this research design was considered appropriate because of its advantages of identifying attributes of a large population from a group of individuals. The design was suitable for the study as the study sought Financial records keeping and internal controls in churches: a case study of Apostolic church in Ghana
Sources of data collection
Data were collected from two main sources namely:
(i)Primary source and
These are materials of statistical investigation which were collected by the research for a particular purpose. They can be obtained through a survey, observation questionnaire or as experiment; the researcher has adopted the questionnaire method for this study.
These are data from textbook Journal handset etc. they arise as byproducts of the same other purposes. Example administration, various other unpublished works and write ups were also used.
Population of the study
Population of a study is a group of persons or aggregate items, things the researcher is interested in getting information on Financial records keeping and internal controls in churches: a case study of Apostolic church in Ghana. 200 members of Apostolic church in Ghana was selected randomly by the researcher as the population of the study.
PRESENTATION ANALYSIS INTERPRETATION OF DATA
Efforts will be made at this stage to present, analyze and interpret the data collected during the field survey. This presentation will be based on the responses from the completed questionnaires. The result of this exercise will be summarized in tabular forms for easy references and analysis. It will also show answers to questions relating to the research questions for this research study. The researcher employed simple percentage in the analysis.
SUMMARY, CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION
It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain Financial records keeping and internal controls in churches: a case study of Apostolic church in Ghana. In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the challenges of Financial records keeping and internal controls in churches
This study was on Financial records keeping and internal controls in churches: a case study of Apostolic church in Ghana. Three objectives were raised which included: To ascertain whether there is effective financial record in Apostolic church in Ghana, to know the financial decision making procedure and who takes the responsibility in Apostolic church in Ghana and to find the financial reporting and accounting records being used by the Apostolic church in Ghana. In line with these objectives, two research hypotheses were formulated and two null hypotheses were posited. The total population for the study is 200 members of Apostolic church in Ghana. The researcher used questionnaires as the instrument for the data collection. Descriptive Survey research design was adopted for this study. A total of 133 respondents made elders, deacons, men and women were used for the study. The data collected were presented in tables and analyzed using simple percentages and frequencies
The inefficient financial management hampers the performance and threatens the existence of any organization be it business or religious organizations, that is why the study of this is very important and constitutes one of the major reasons the researcher wants to know if such exists in religious organization. A lot of muddling up is seen in some churches (and of course in every non-business organization). Personal interests tend to over-ride the parish management of the church. Indeed, the church just as any other non-business organization is regarded to be very poor; everything associated with it is equally poor. But when you take a critical look at the make up of the church funds, you will believer that it has various sources of funds, the problem being the cost it incurs and control of such funds.
- There should be an in-built and automatic feedback network embedded in the system-both financial and administration. This will make for quick responses to current issues requiring management attention.
- The church should consider computerizing its affairs and documents since it is large in size and controls many parishes.
- The line of authority for expenditure should be explicitly defined and strictly adhered to. Funds should as much as possible be applied to what they are meant for, to ensure the growth of the church.
- The issue of internal control system should be properly addressed.
- There should also be a management supervision and review of expenses. 6. Also chartered accountants and accountants who are experts in the areas of accounting and management of finance should help to the system the more.
- Anyafo, A.M.O (1997), God’s People’s Finance, UNEC Enugu, B&F Publications.
- Babalola, E.O (1976) Christianity in West Africa (A Historical Analysis), Ondo, Bamigboye and Co Press (Nig.) Ltd.
- Baridam Don M. (1995), Research Method in Administrative Science, Second Edition, Choba, Port Harcourt: University of Port Harcourt Publishing House.
- Cannon Law Society of Great Britain and Ireland (1976), The Code of Cannon Law, India: Collins Theological Publications.
- Catholic University of America (1967) The New Catholic Encyclopedia, Washington: Printed in USA.
- Emekekwue, P.E (1993), Principles of Public Finance, Kinshasa Zaire, African Bureau of Educational Sciences Special Agency of the Organization of African Unity.
- Eneasato, M.O. (1985) Advent and Growth of Catholic Church in Enugu Diocese, Enugu, Jet Publishers Nigeria Ltd.