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Question for the Money Doctors

Question submitted on Feb 15, 2011.

Question

Our small church has a fund for emergencies and annual giving from income. It amounts to about $400,000. What is the difference between a full audit and an annual review? For 15 years we have been paying a CPA for a review of our investment and savings records. Is it important to have a higher level of CPA inspection than this review? We are paying $1,000 per year.

Answer

A review is a "scaled back" version of an audit.  There is less testing that goes on in a review and therefore costs less.  The question I would look at first is where is the money custodied?  If it is at a bank or brokerage firm and the CPA firm is reviewing the disbursements, you are probably o.k.  You will want to make sure that the person who is writing the checks is a different person than the person doing the boookeeping.  I would suggest you ask your current CPA firm what they suggest.


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