Monthly Archives: September 2018

Gmail – Google lets app developers access personal emails

This appeared in the Christchurch Press on Saturday 22 September 2018 and highlighted that extreme care needs to be taken when using Gmail for official Church business.  If you have any concerns, it is strongly suggested that you talk to the Connexional Office about creating a “@methodist.org.nz” email address for official Church business.  There is no cost for this service and takes 5 minutes to setup and get underway.

“Google is allowing hundreds of companies to scan people’s Gmail accounts, read their emails and even share their data with other firms, the company has confirmed.

In a letter to US senators Susan Molinari, Google’s vice president for public policy in the Americas admitted that it lets app developers access the inboxes of millions of users – even though Google itself stopped looking in 2017.

In some cases human employees have manually read thousands of emails in order to help train AI systems which perform the same task.

The disclosure has uncomfortable echoes of last year’s Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which political consultants covertly harvested data from 87 million Facebook users through…” CLICK HERE for the full article.

Performance Reports (end of Year Financial Statements) – 30 June 2018

Just a reminder that all Methodist Church entities that report either directly or indirectly to the Conference of the Methodist Church need to supply the General Secretary with a final signed copy of their Performance Report (financial statements) for the 12 months ending 30 June 2018 by 12 October 2018. PLEASE put a reminder in your diary or let the person doing the work know of the deadline.

These Performance Reports need to comply with generally accepted accounting practice, which for most Church entities means that they comply with the Tier 3 or Tier 4 reporting standards as issued by the External Reporting Board.

The Annual Return for those Church entities whose financial year end is 30 June 2018 (as set out in the Law Book) needs to include the Performance Report.  This needs to be filed with Charities Services by 31 December 2018.

Also a reminder that you need to also look at  your constitution and the Independent Assurance Policy of the Church to see if you also require an audit or review. For Parishes and Synods, the general rule is that if your operating expenditure is under $500,000 then you do not need either a review or an audit.  If your operating expenditure is between $500,000 and $1,000,000 then you will need to have a independent review undertaken.  If your operating expenditure is over $1,000,000 then you will need an audit.  For some entities it is mandatory that an audit or review to be undertaken.  This work needs to be undertaken by a qualified person. A qualified person is defined within the Financial Reporting Act as a person who is professional qualified to undertake the work.

If an independent audit or review IS undertaken, then any management report/letter received from auditor  or reviewer will also need to be sent to the General Secretary.

The Independent Assurance Policy can be found HERE .