Church Auditors Meet, Learn in Thailand
Keeping the finances of the Seventh-day Adventist Church in order worldwide is a top priority for the employees of the General Conference Auditing Service. More than 400 persons, including auditors, their families, and invited guests, attended a recent educational seminar and conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand—a location that, organizers said, prides itself in providing first-class accommodations and event facilities at an extraordinarily reasonable cost.
The meeting was notable, world church general vice president Lowell Cooper said, as being the “first time” several of the GCAS board members had the chance to meet with a substantial group of church auditors. Because of the global presence of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, GCAS auditors are stationed in each of the church’s 13 regions worldwide.
“The seminar provided a unique opportunity for global fellowship and professional growth for the worldwide auditing team,” Cooper said. “It emphasized that GCAS provides a ministry to the church.”
CONFERENCE HOST: Paul Douglas, director of the General Conference Auditing Service, speaks during the second international GCAS conference in Chiang Mai, Thailand.In his keynote address, Paul Douglas, recently elected GCAS director, expressed his appreciation to the spouses and children who make significant sacrifices each day in support of the ministry to which each auditor has been called. He also acknowledged the contributions of Eric Korff, who just retired from the GCAS director’s post, and challenged each auditor to embrace the seminar theme of “Delivering Excellence!” Douglas stated each auditor must embrace the global commitment of GCAS to deliver excellence by complementing their aptitude with the right attitude.
The weeklong seminar was designed to provide the opportunity for spiritual nourishment, professional development, as well as social interaction with colleagues from around the world. For spiritual nourishment, Robert J. Kloosterhuis, a retired vice president of the world church, shared spiritual messages tailored to the attendees’ business background. For professional development, 32 hours of continuing education were presented that addressed the understanding and application of ethics, updates to auditing standards, revisions to the GCAS Standard Audit Methodology, issues relating to fraud, tips and tools for public speaking, essential skills for leadership, and the mission-critical matter of service excellence.
In recognition of the auditors’ dedicated service, an honors banquet highlighted the tenures of service of individual auditors ranging from 5 to 25 years. Lowell Cooper; Robert Lemon, world church treasurer; as well as Jack Krogstad, GCAS board chair, paid special tribute to the honorees and thanked them for the excellent service and sacrifice they have made to both God and the Seventh-day Adventist Church.
“I very much appreciated the possibility that has been offered to grow professionally and personally in order to serve our clients,” said Norbert Zens, associate GCAS director for the Euro-Africa region, after the meeting.
Added Kim Tae-Sung, a GCAS associate director based in Korea, “It was wonderful to meet, talk, and share time with colleagues and their families from all over the world, realizing that we are one in Christ and all God’s children.”
Organized by the Seventh-day Adventist Church in 1977, GCAS performs structurally independent financial audits, reviews of trust operations, and tests of policy compliance for more than 2,500 denominational organizations worldwide that have an estimated asset base of US$20 billion. With a team of approximately 200 highly qualified professionals operating from offices in 40 countries, GCAS is positioned to deliver audits of the highest quality at the best economical value.
—reported by GCAS, with AW Staff