An Exploration of Financial Control Practices in the Selected Church of Uganda Dioceses of Central Uganda

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Date
2023-09-21
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Uganda Christian University
Abstract
This study explores financial control practices within the Church of Uganda dioceses of central Uganda, employing an Interpretivist paradigm approach and semi-structured interviews with diocesan secretaries and diocesan treasurers. It explores strategies employed to mitigate financial fraud, evaluates the effectiveness of these strategies, and identifies factors contributing to financial malpractice within the church context. The exploration of strategies to mitigate financial fraud revealed several control measures, including vigilant supervision, auditing, segregation of duties, ethical training, transparency, clear policies, promotion of honesty, structured authorization processes, and physical control measures. The evaluation of the effectiveness of these control strategies highlighted their positive impact on transparency, minimized financial risks, and responsible financial management. Challenges in implementation included resource limitations, stakeholder resistance, data privacy concerns, and the complexity of monitoring a large number of volunteers. Additionally, the study unveiled various factors contributing to financial misconduct, such as financial pressures, low remunerations, greed, family expectations, compensation issues, technological proficiency, and organizational culture. It also identified trusting church environments, deficient segregation of financial responsibilities, and limited financial resources as opportunities exploited by church personnel in perpetrating fraud. In conclusion, this research significantly contributes to our understanding of financial control practices within the Church of Uganda dioceses in central Uganda. It not only sheds light on both effective strategies and persistent challenges in mitigating fraud but also highlights the critical need for improved financial governance within the church community. Recommendations stemming from this study include the implementation of enhanced training programs for church personnel, particularly in the areas of ethics and financial management. Additionally, it suggests the allocation of more resources to support robust financial control measures and the establishment of independent oversight bodies to monitor financial practices within the church. These measures, if adopted, can help safeguard the financial integrity of religious organizations and promote responsible stewardship of resources. Furthermore, future research can explore similar themes in different denominations or religious traditions to build upon the foundation laid by this study.
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