Can anyone ask to see the congregation or assembly accounts report?

by ThomasCovenant 18 Replies latest jw experiences

  • ThomasCovenant

    From memory once a month someone would read out the accounts report from the platform. This usually said how much went in, how much went out and what the balance was. Details were given as to utility bills etc.

    At Circuit and District Assemblies no details were given, apart from the fact that we were always in a deficit by the Sunday lunchtime.

    Has anyone asked or can anyone ask to see the details? I believe at a local congregation level this wouldn't be too difficult although it probably wouldn't be viewed kindly.

    However, if you asked at the end of an assembly I doubt if the answer would be positive.

    If you are a member of a local congregation then maybe you are entitled to have access but what about being a member of an assembly who contributes to that assembly? Are you still entitled to see the accounts report for that particular assembly?

  • St George of England
    St George of England

    There is no problem at congregation level. Also the accounts are audited every three months, the end of March, June, September and December. This audit report is also available to view if you ask.

    You can also check your congregation accounts, and any other, on the Charity Commission website along with all the accounts for all the Assembly Halls in the UK.

    For example:


    PS Since the reduced meeting time on Thursday the Accounts Report is no longer read to the congregation.

  • WTWizard

    One thing that remains certain: No matter how big the deficits they run, I am never going to give them even a penny. If they go belly up, so what.

  • DaCheech

    I'm starting to forget the last time they got a penny from me!

  • Band on the Run
    Band on the Run

    May I ask a question about auditing of the KH accounts? The poster describes frequent audits. Who does the auditing? Auditors charge fees. Is it a bookkeeper or a true audit?

    What is the justification for trasnparency at the KH level but not at the conventions/assemblies?

  • DaCheech

    Band.... the accounts report is a one pager, with receipt stapled on to it.

    the congregation secretary and CO audit them.

    it's not rocket science.

    I used to do the paperwork in 1 hour, write the appropriate checks, and do the telephone ACH transfer in that time....... just had to bug 2 elders to countersign the checks.

  • NewYork44M

    The audit of the congregation books is not a true "audit." it is a reconcilliation performed by some one other than the account servant - usually the Secretary. The steps are outlined by the society, and they are legitimate reconciliation steps.

  • blondie

    The WTS does this to protect its own part in the process, such as monies for the "worldwide work" that should go to the WTS. There was a time that some congregations were applying it to local congregation expenses. There have been dishonest or inept accounts servants as well. There was a time that the WTS would send a Bethelite down to "help" some congregations get their funds straightened out; that was in the days that the congregation paid the WTS for publications and other items. It was hardest to find a "spiritually qualified" brother that also wanted to handle the accounts. In some congregations, sisters actually do the accounts (but brother signs off on report and announces it) and do the audits. While in theory accounts is not hard, if you are in a congregation that does not collect enough monies to cover their monthly expenses, you do a lot of juggling. Also, one of the last people to leave after a meeting is the accounts servant (and his family).

    *** km 12/03 p. 7 Announcements ***As a reminder to the brothers handling the congregation accounts, donations placed in the boxes for the Worldwide Work and for the Kingdom Hall Fund are to be remitted monthly and should not be used for payment on a Kingdom Hall property loan or for any other congregation expense.


    You can request and theoretically they must show you the accounts report and/or audit. In some congregations, the report was posted on the information others, the elders would drag their feet on letting others see it. The assemblies/conventions have never let a rank and file jw see the accounts report or audit that I know of in the last 50 years.

  • Mad Sweeney
    Mad Sweeney

    I love that England has a Charity Commission. In the USA we have nothing of the sort. Religions have no transparency when it comes to their finances. The American Borg could be doing anything with the donated funds and nobody would know (or even have a right to find out). There is a voluntary Internal Revenue report they can make, and I assume many churches do, but I don't think the WT does, at least not regularly.

  • tresdecu

    At my congregation the report is posted on the bullit...oops I mean information board. Easy for anyone to scrutinize. I used to be accounts servant for about 2 years (worst job ever) and a few times I borrowed from the till for gas/groceries oops....I always paid it back within a day or so, but It was still secretly funny to have done so...and of course I left that little transaction off the report ;-)

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