Internal control, 1860s edition

April 2, 2013, 8:10 am

Two posts at my other blog illustrate how Wells Fargo stagecoaches used internal controls in the 1860s.

You will see the concepts discussed by your auditor today have been around for over 150 years.

Posts have some fun photos from the Wells Fargo Museum in San Diego. Well, okay, they are fun if you are an accountant or banker or like history of the Old West.


“Tragedy of Fraud” e-book now available at Amazon

February 7, 2013, 9:43 am

“Tragedy of Fraud – The Ripple Effects from Fraud and the Wages Earned” describes the tragic consequences from fraud.

There are ripple effects that spread out to harm innocent bystanders.  The perpetrator draws a wide range of well-deserved wages that will be paid in full.

The book looks at two fraud incidents to learn what happens after a fraud is discovered. One took place in a local megachurch and the other in the mayor’s office of a small city.

The book closes with a discussion of the fraud triangle. That’s the idea that three components need to be present for a fraud to take place – opportunity, motivation, and rationalization. There are steps an organization can take to reduce those factors.

You can find the book at Amazon here

This book is a compilation of blogs posts that have been previously published at Nonprofit Update and Attestation Update. The posts have been edited slightly and reorganized for easier reading.

Major sections of the book: Read the rest of this entry »


8 more tips on avoiding traps for local churches.

June 5, 2012, 6:36 am

Verne Hargrave, CPA, of the accounting firm PSK, is continuing his great series on traps that business administrators can fall into. He is offering tips on avoiding the traps.

Previously mentioned this in my post here.

New discussions include:

Trap #2 Operating without a compensation plan (part 1)

Read the rest of this entry »


Some traps church business administrators need to avoid

March 23, 2012, 7:51 am

The urgency of things that must be addressed now can take focus away from bigger issues that have long-term payoff.  Verne Hargrave, CPA, of PSK has started a good series on traps that business administrators can fall into because of tyranny of the urgent.

Looks to be a very helpful series. Would be worth your time to visit his blog regularly. Maybe even set it up on your RSS feed.  I’ll highlight it occasionally.

Ten Things to Avoid  in Church Administration starts the discussion. Mr. Hargrave points out a few problems that can arise if tyranny-of-the-urgent takes over your life: Read the rest of this entry »


“Once Upon Internal Control” is available on Kindle platform

November 23, 2011, 9:44 am

My tale on internal control done well and poor at two churches is now available in Kindle format at Amazon.

Price is $0.99.

You can read the book on your Kindle device, on any smart phone with a Kindle app, or on your computer using the Kindle-for-PC application.

At Amazon, search for my name, Ulvog, or the book title, Once Upon Internal Control.

Or click here to go directly to the book.


Ethical atmosphere of an organization is set by the ‘tone at the top’

October 1, 2011, 6:45 am

The ethical attitudes and values of senior leadership will set the ethical atmosphere for an entire organization.  This is called “tone at the top.”

This is something an auditor considers on every audit.

If you would like a short explanation of this idea, along with suggestions on what senior leadership can do to create a good environment, check out Tone at the Top, a post by Sharlynn Garza at the Nonprofit/Government GPS blog.

In my years of auditing, it has long been obvious that organizations have a corporate personality.  Read the rest of this entry »


Free book offer for pastors of local churches

June 10, 2011, 11:06 am

I would like to provide a complementary copy of my book Once Upon Internal Control to pastors of local churches. This short fable is the basis for the cartoons you see on my other blog.

Update:  This book is now available on Amazon for $0.99USD. 

Offer good for delivery in U.S. only, effective December 5, 2011.  Free offer expired on December 31, 2011.

Read the rest of this entry »