In the past few months, we have received questions from several journalists about the purported misuse of church funds by Hillsong Church employees. In many cases, inaccurate accounts from extremely unreliable sources have been reported as if they are true.
Hillsong Church has a record of excellence in fiscal accountability globally and an unwavering commitment to financial integrity, with numerous structures and auditing procedures in place to protect against misuse.
To be clear, Hillsong Church expends its resources in accordance with its charitable purposes and gives every attention to operate in compliance with all regulations governing charities in each country in which we operate. Moreover, it is common for us to hold to a higher standard than what is required by governing bodies in individual countries to ensure a consistent, high level of governance everywhere. For example: you
- Every Hillsong location is accountable to the Hillsong Global Board, operating with a budget approved by the Hillsong Global Board. Staff are required to spend within pre-approved budgets and unauthorized spending is not permitted. Financial reports are presented to the Hillsong Global Board monthly to increase oversight.
- Financial statements are audited annually by a reputable, independent firm. This thorough audit includes a review of internal controls relating to the handling of church funds.
- Financial results are released to the public voluntarily via an Annual report or similar in order to provide a transparent overview of church finances and their use.
- No Hillsong staff member has unrestricted access to church funds. Period.
- Credit card statements are reconciled and reviewed on a monthly basis as part of our internal controls.
- Personal expenditures are not permitted to be charged to church credit cards. If this occurs, it is addressed with the staff member, and the church is fully reimbursed for such expenditure in a timely manner.
- Team salaries are moderate and align with comparable roles in similarly situated charitable organizations. Our Global Remunerations Committee reviews all senior staff compensation on an annual basis and sets the parameters by which all other staff compensation may be determined.
These are just a sampling of the many safeguards we already have in place to ensure a commitment to high standards of stewardship so that we can continue to help and love people through the many ministries of our churches.
For more information on additional long-standing policies, please see here.