Why the Governing Body caught a frightful fright
I have only a couple of grad classes in accounting, but I whole fully cede to your accounting knowledge. Granted that fudging income and tax figures is very very wrong and a federal crime - would that stop them?
I think there are a lot of numbers out there. Many that will never be tracked. Would it benefit the WT, in propaganda, to fudge the numbers? Can they? Do they?
Would it help the image of the WT to falsely leak and post false profit gains even though they are not taxed. As an accountant, do you have the knowledge and the ability to scew numbers the way marketing wants you to? Be honest.
This is a company that does not make anything. People just give them money. It is 110% about brand name and public image. IF they were to drop sharply in money, and image, it's over. As a purely brand/image wouldn't they lie about their status to the public/congregations? Wouldn't fudge the numbers and shift a lot around? Wouldn't a millions a year company have teams of accountants (free volunteers) finding ways to move money an numbers beyond what you and I casually look at?
Just on this point.
So how could we know that the measurement is at least consistent?
Are asset values assessed annually, or is it done on an as needed basis? If it's annually, then there will be variability as JeffT suggests, but it can be tied to the wider economic background to some degree. If it's more irregularly done then it would obviously need more info to help interpret anything radically off trend. My suspicion would be that assessment would be fairly irregular just from the costs associated in doing it.
eg 2016 could see a major bump to assets if they've not had the Brooklyn properties currently being sold assessed for several years. And then a drop down the year after as they're sold and the money spent.
Saintbertholdt2 days ago
Hi there all,
It has been extensively reported on the forum that there has been a marked increase in effort over the past two years by the Governing Body of Jehovah's Witnesses to encourage an increase in monetary donations. This has also been accompanied by the stripping of financial capital from the local congregations. As has also been reported on this forum, this has in all probability been done to facilitate the financing of the vast new HQ building project as well as the financing of the shift from a publishing company to becoming an internet based charismatic multimedia company which produces lame Pixar/Disney animation knock offs while simultaneously parading the governing body's ever expanding waistlines, blingy accoutrements and stupid grins.
Very Good points!
The IRS document: 'Instructions for form 990T' only refer to assets as treated as if sold at fair market value
If the figures are indeed current market value, not cost value, then the fall of some 12% in asset values from 2013 to 2014 (two years for which the graph says actual reported values are used) is interesting. I assume that most of WT's wealth is in property, with some other investments, but S&P indices indicate that commercial property prices were slightly up over the period, while equities showed strong gains. Why WT should see its assets fall by more than $100m is therefore mystifying but one possibility is that a major financial problem hit the WT between September 2013 and August 2014.