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Author Topic: Ongoing Independent External Financial Audit Needed of AOCANA (Antiochian)  (Read 1184 times) Average Rating: 0
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Sirach
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« on: February 09, 2012, 05:00:58 PM »

In July 2009 a “Report on the Necessity for an Ongoing Independent External Financial Audit of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America” (attached) was brought to the attention of The General Assembly of the 49th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

The report noted five "Basic Actions that Need to be Taken":

A. Complete Annual Financial Statements
B. Annual Independent External Audits
C. Initial Audit of Three Prior Years
D. Establish Audit Committee
E. Processes and Controls

Does anyone know the current status of these actions?
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« Reply #1 on: February 09, 2012, 05:33:32 PM »

In July 2009 a “Report on the Necessity for an Ongoing Independent External Financial Audit of the Self-Ruled Antiochian Orthodox Christian Archdiocese of North America” (attached) was brought to the attention of The General Assembly of the 49th Convention of the Antiochian Archdiocese.

The report noted five "Basic Actions that Need to be Taken":

A. Complete Annual Financial Statements
B. Annual Independent External Audits
C. Initial Audit of Three Prior Years
D. Establish Audit Committee
E. Processes and Controls

Does anyone know the current status of these actions?


Gosh, it's sure tough to get good gossip these days with OCA News offline.....
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Sirach
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« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2012, 05:41:04 PM »

Is it an unfair question?
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Basil 320
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« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2012, 06:22:14 PM »

Despite years of appropriate auditing, I fear the GOAA has the same need.  His opponents were so aggressive in their demands for the 1997 audit of former Archbishop Spyridon's archiepiscopal tenure, but now we see nothing of audits.   A respected poster on another forum advised that the GOAA has shifted to "Compilation Reports," the same process that facilitated the "malfeasance" perpetrated by the former OCA chancellor (See the Special Investigative Committee's SIC Report, 2008) upon the stewardship contributions of the faithful of the OCA, prior to 2007.  It took 19 years of such "malfeasance" for the OCA to achieve the unqualified opinion, the clean audit they finally secured of their 2010 financial activity.

Full transparency, we owe it to our faithful stewards.
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« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2012, 06:39:08 PM »

To respond to the poster specifically, the best I can recall is that Metropolitan Phillip advised that audits are too costly and unnecessary, and no one has officially taken issue with his opinion.  When Bishop Mark (was he the hierarch of Toledo?) imposed similar audit procedures upon the parishes of his diocese, His Eminence issued a letter essentially overriding His Grace's directive.  I think this was the straw that broke the camel's back so to speak, Bishop Mark was to be transferred to a vacant diocese in the Northwest, but instead, His Eminence agreed to transfer him to the OCA, in a act of pan-Orthodox cooperation, according to the Most Reverend Metropolitan, the ruling hierarch of the AOCANA.
« Last Edit: February 09, 2012, 06:40:14 PM by Basil 320 » Logged

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Sirach
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« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2012, 06:57:01 PM »

Despite years of appropriate auditing, I fear the GOAA has the same need.  His opponents were so aggressive in their demands for the 1997 audit of former Archbishop Spyridon's archiepiscopal tenure, but now we see nothing of audits.   A respected poster on another forum advised that the GOAA has shifted to "Compilation Reports," the same process that facilitated the "malfeasance" perpetrated by the former OCA chancellor (See the Special Investigative Committee's SIC Report, 2008) upon the stewardship contributions of the faithful of the OCA, prior to 2007.  It took 19 years of such "malfeasance" for the OCA to achieve the unqualified opinion, the clean audit they finally secured of their 2010 financial activity.

Full transparency, we owe it to our faithful stewards.

Interesting.  According to the report in my OP, "To avoid this risk (of unaudited financial statements), both the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese of America (the “GOA”) and the Orthodox Church in America (the “OCA”) require their own financial statements to be independently audited. In addition, the GOA requires separate independent audits of its pension program and institutions with affiliated endowments."

Apparently that statement, at least as it applies to the GOAA, is incorrect.
 
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« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2012, 08:08:45 PM »

I should have stressed, Sirach, I don't now for sure.  The GOAA used to announce the audit results publically, in the "Orthodox Observer."  I can't recall when I've seen such an announcement in years.   On "Orthodox-Forum" @yahoogroups,  a gentlemen who is well connected, wrote that they've switched to the "compilation reports." I am hoping someone in the know in this forum will comment.  I think they have switched to the "compilation reports," but I don't know for sure.  I wouldn't doubt if the endowments and the pension fund are audited, I think the by laws of the endowments require an audit, perhaps so does federal law (Sarbanes-Oxley?) and there was enough controversy about whether they tapped the clergy pension fund when they purchased the controversial property in New York State in the '80's, that I'll bet they feel compelled to audit the pension fund to demonstrate its integrity.
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« Reply #7 on: February 10, 2012, 05:11:19 PM »

... Bishop Mark was to be transferred to a vacant diocese in the Northwest, but instead, His Eminence agreed to transfer him to the OCA, in a act of pan-Orthodox cooperation, according to the Most Reverend Metropolitan, the ruling hierarch of the AOCANA.

Apparently - at least for clergy - being transferred to a vacant diocese, or to the OCA is the practical application of "They can go and jump."   

****************

Kevin Allen:  Do you think that (having an internal audit) will satisfy those who think an external audit, your Eminence, is appropriate for any large church or charitable institution?  Doing an internal audit… Do you think that will settle the issue?  Us having an internal audit.
Met. Philip:  I hope it will settle the issue.  If it doesn’t settle the issue I will tell these people something which I will not mention on the air.
Kevin Allen:  Your Eminence… 
Met. Philip:  They can go and jump.   
Kevin Allen:  (Nervous laughter.)

Source:  Metropolitan PHILIP on the Financial Audit of the Archdiocese
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« Reply #8 on: March 12, 2012, 01:53:20 PM »

It will be interesting to see what happens when the ACOB Committee for Financial Affairs meets with the AOCA to catalog the Antiochian jurisdiction’s financial practices, and then develops standards for all the jurisdictions.
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Carl Kraeff (Second Chance)
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« Reply #9 on: March 12, 2012, 03:05:46 PM »

It will be interesting to see what happens when the ACOB Committee for Financial Affairs meets with the AOCA to catalog the Antiochian jurisdiction’s financial practices, and then develops standards for all the jurisdictions.

I do not see an obviously Greek person on the committee. Here is the list:

Abp. Antony (UOC) – Chairman
Bp. Matthias (OCA)

Committee Liaison--Protodeacon Peter Danilchick - Facilitator

Consultants
1. Fr. George Konyev
2. Fr. JohnTroy Mashburn
3. Fr. Anthony Scott
4. Fr. Aaron Warwick
5. George Matthew
6. Bert Moyar
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« Reply #10 on: March 12, 2012, 03:20:16 PM »

Bert is in the GOA, and I'm not sure if George Matthew is really George Matthews with a typo (if so, then he may be GOA, but the name is too common for me to be certain).  Bert is in the hospitality management (i.e. hotels) business, and is an upstanding Christian man, good businessman, and is active in the life of his parish.
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« Reply #11 on: March 12, 2012, 03:45:07 PM »

we had an external audit at our parish this year, which is the cathedral parish for DWMA.
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Sirach
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« Reply #12 on: March 12, 2012, 05:45:37 PM »

DWMA?
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« Reply #13 on: March 12, 2012, 06:07:57 PM »

Father Warwick has a BS in Business (Accounting major) and he has worked as an auditor.  He seems a good choice for this committee.

Source:  http://stmarywichita.org/clergy.html
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« Reply #14 on: March 12, 2012, 07:04:50 PM »

DWMA?

AOCA-diocese of Wichita and Mid America
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Sirach
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« Reply #15 on: March 12, 2012, 08:17:37 PM »

Do you know if His Grace Bishop Basil is encouraging/requesting/requiring the DWMA parishes to do likewise?
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Basil 320
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« Reply #16 on: March 12, 2012, 08:57:54 PM »

I can't think of his name right now, but the priest who was the previous Treasurer of the OCA should be approached to serve on this committee.
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« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2012, 09:16:52 PM »

I can't think of his name right now, but the priest who was the previous Treasurer of the OCA should be approached to serve on this committee.

That priest who was the previous Treasurer of the OCA is now back with the Antiochians.
He is an excellent priest who was assisting a parish in Southern California whose pastor recently died of pancreatic cancer.
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« Reply #18 on: March 13, 2012, 01:21:22 AM »

Do you know if His Grace Bishop Basil is encouraging/requesting/requiring the DWMA parishes to do likewise?

i'm not sure, sorry.
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« Reply #19 on: March 14, 2012, 02:16:32 PM »

Do you know if His Grace Bishop Basil is encouraging/requesting/requiring the DWMA parishes to do likewise?

i'm not sure, sorry.

If you have a parish of one hundred souls, this is really burdensome, and in reality to require an annual independent outside audit is not really necessary. This is one of those things which sounds great in theory but really  - it is like the Federal Government making a 'one size fits all' regulation for all businesses whether you have 10 employees or 10,000. This is an example of a non-governmental rule - made in private by CPA's and attorneys - more for their benefit as professions than for the public good.

There are other, less intrusive checks and balances. Uniform accounting systems, the possibility of random, spot audits and perhaps decade by decade real outside audits might work more efficiently.

« Last Edit: March 14, 2012, 02:21:06 PM by podkarpatska » Logged
Sirach
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« Reply #20 on: March 14, 2012, 06:43:32 PM »

I agree that, at the parish level, it is too much; not, however, at the Archdiocese.
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