10 October 2022 | It was finance day, today, for the Annual Council delegates.
Treasurer’s Report: “Investigating Our Mission,” delivered by Paul Douglas, CFO for the General Conference (GC).
- The GC’s financial condition is stable in comparison to last year.
- Cash and investments make up the majority of the total assets of the church (about 85%).
- This year, the GC is ahead of expenses.
- There is a year and a half of liquid working capital, six months more than the amount voted to have on hand.
- The world missions budget is smaller than in previous years, due to mission offerings’ having not recovered to pre-COVID numbers.
- An increase of four million dollars (from 2020) was added to the office operating portion of the budget.
Use of Tithe
- In 2021, nearly 36% of tithe was used to fund the operation of the GC, and 44% went to other costs, such as auditing and discipleship programs.
- Thirty million dollars is left from an extraordinary tithe, nearly eight million dollars of which remains unallocated.
- Tithe contributions have also not bounced back from pre-COVID.
- The current financial reporting focuses heavily on appropriations, ISE (International Service Employee) funding, and GC Auditing Services funding. The new financial reporting will start with mission strategy and support, educational institutions, and media and publications.
Audit Report: Robyn Kajiura, Executive Director, General Conference Auditing Service (GCAS)
- 79% of policy compliance reports issued during this year’s audits show at least one violation of the core financial policies.
- The biggest offender of policy violations occurred in financial reports (38%). Violations of conflict of interest (obtaining signatures), audit committees, and insurance coverage made up the bulk of the rest of the violations, as well as some in the area of remuneration and benefits. Service records contained the fewest violations in policy, at just 14%.
- To prevent conflict of interest (30% of the audited policy violations), the delegates were instructed on its nature and the importance of preventing any hint of nepotism.
- One delegate noted the data suggested over 100 cases of church entities which were not audited.
In other news:
- The Lifetime Achievement Award from Adventist Chaplaincy Ministries was given to Mario E. Ceballos.
- During lunch the Compensation Review Committee met without any GC personnel present.
- The Inter-European Division made its report this afternoon. The “I Will Go” initiative is flourishing in Europe.
- The Bible Research Institute’s library was renamed for Gerhard Pfandl, retired associate director, who quintupled (yes, it’s a word!) the number of books in the library during his years of service, from 2,000 to 10,000.
- To that end, the changes in education yesterday’s Adventist Accreditation Association board vote, in particular, have sparked this year’s first Twitter debate. While milder than in years past, Adventist Twitter has risen to support Dr. Andrea Luxton’s comments. “Plenty of talk at #GCAC about keeping Adventist universities truly Adventist.” posted Anthony Bosman, Andrews University math professor, “We also need to keep them truly universities. These two identities are often in tension — Seek Knowledge and Affirm Faith — but it can be a productive tension that produces a World Changing education.”
The sessions are being livestreamed at: https://executivecommittee.adventist.org/live