Financial Issues

For many years, financial reporting and cash management has been a mess at Grace Church. For example:

  • When the parish administrator retired in 2014, more than $2000 in loose cash and numerous stale checks were found in her office. How did this happen, and why was it not detected sooner?
  • Church financial reports have been facially inaccurate for many years.
  • Despite Malm's assertions to the contrary, the church is not audited every year as required by canon. Nor do verstry members see the letter from the auditors, nor the scope of the engagement. What is done is an Agreed-Upon Procedures, which offers no independent assurances whatsoever. In at least one instance, even that couldn't be completed in a timely manner.
  • Church financial resports do not include the school, a related entity, as required by church policy.
  • Vestry members do not see adequate detail in areas like payroll to protect against fraud or misuse of funds. As a result, one church employee was overpaid for many months.
  • There have been multiple instances of the deliberate misuse of donations by the church, done at the express direction of rector Bob Malm. This includes memorial donations given by family members. While these funds were later returned, there is a serious breakdown in internal controls when the rector can unilaterally direct staff to misuse funds. Our opinion: The deliberate misuse of memorial donations as part of Bob Malm's vendetta is shocking in the extreme. It does not get much lower than this. And rather than attempting to make the matter right, when confronted with this issue, Bob doubled down, asking the vestry to prohibit future donations from our family--a clear sign of his lack of ethics.
  • Repeated instances of the church's bank deposits being, "off." Meanwhile, bank reconciliations have not been done for months at a time, thereby heightening the risk that funds will be misused.
  • Under both church canons and civil law, Bob Malm is obligated to safeguard community resources. He repeatedly has failed to do so.