Author(s): Lexis Alexander Tetteh, Paul Muda, Isaac Kwafo Yawson, Prince Sunu, Timothy Azaa Ayamga
The paper explores accountability and internal control practices within religious organisations in Ghana. The study used a qualitative interpretive approach as the methodological stance and purposive sampling was used to select thirty-two (32) key officials with in-depth understanding of the accountability and internal control practices of the congregations for interview. The findings suggest that many contingencies for successful implementation of internal control mechanisms were present in the Church, such as the answerability to congregation, approval of expenditures, segregation of duties, instant cash deposit, supporting of expenditure with receipt, and monitoring of finance system. The study further revealed that, even if many conditions for a successful implementation of the controls are in place, the practices of accountability may ultimately fail due to shortcomings in the application of the church’s control systems. The findings offer practical implication to the importance of separating accountability and internal controls mechanisms of religious organisations from spiritual belief. The study suggests that religious organisations need physical security to their assets and not only spiritual beings. This is the first qualitative study that offers rich insight into the study of accountability and internal controls practices within religious organisations through the lens of Resource-based View and Resource Dependence theory.