- Religion and Philosophy
Application of Faith in Accounting and Finance
It is often argued that the Bible covers everything that pertains to humanity. However, many are wondering whether the there is a place for finance and accounting in the scriptures and if there are, what are the discussions or guidelines about it? As expected, the Bible addresses the aspect of finance and accounting as part of man’s obligations. Excerpts on finance and accounting matters can be found on both the old and new restatements. This paper is centered on finding out how the Bible addresses the discipline of finance and accounting. The author tries to identify the relationship between these two concepts by using various verses and conducting analysis on them.
According to Chua et al (2011), the scripture is clear on the need to institute effective internal control measures as well as safekeeping of financial and accounting records. The general purpose of accounting is essentially to monitor how the performance of the management. Accounting is also focused at ensuring that an organization’s funds are used for the right purposes while also preventing defrauding of such funds. The book of 2nd Kings Verse 12 which presents a description on Temple constructions gives guidelines on how the funds used for such a project was to be managed. This therefore gives a glimpse that the Bible is as well concerned on appropriate management of funds for a specific goal or project. In this verse, the author states that if employees had been honest in their activities, there would be no need to keep records of accounting. In chapter 12 of the same book, the author goes on to emphasize that in the event that the workers were not honest in their undertakings, it is then important to store financial and accounting records. In this respect, it is apparent that the Bible emphasizes the need to take proper records of accounting so as to maintain honest and transparency in a given project. Practically, it is hard for humans to be all trustful and honest and hence they will always need something to keep them in check. In this light, accounting plays a big role in checking integrity and honesty.
Record keeping which is a direct commandment of God is also regarded as a sacred obligation and trust. As reiterated by Lott (2011) record keeping is among the most important duties which individuals, organizations and the church are required to undertake. For instance, God commanded the Prophets to keep record of the scripture. In his time, Moses was commanded by God to keep records of what he spoke. The record was later preserved as the book of Genesis. Furthermore, Prophet Jeremiah was as well instructed by God “You shall take again a roll whereby you are to rewrite all the former words which I had spoken in the first scroll” (Jer. 36:27-32). Jeremiah and his assistants adhered to this instruction and the records are now considered to be the book of Jeremiah. This clearly shows how God was so concerned on matters record keeping. It should also be noted that the development of scriptures both the old and new testament is as result of record keeping.
Despite the fact that many faith followers may not identify the need to keep good financial records, God wants each person to track what he or she has spent, what he/she has earned as well as what he/she is owed or owes. The book of Proverbs 27: 23-24 also makes it clear on the need to undertake proper financial and accounting records, it says: “understand the status of your flocks, and put into your heart your responsibility towards your hearts, because riches cannot stay forever” (NLT). According to the Bible, each person has to be keen on his or her financial interests and safeguard them accordingly. “Understand the status of your flocks” can rightly be taken in today’s context as “know the status of your stock”. Stated differently, each person or organization is expected to understand how their finance is spent and how it is managed. Therefore, both individuals and organizations are required to take good management of their finances while ensuring that whatever stock is at their possession is used wisely and for the right purpose. The Bible has reiterated that it is important to know what you earn, own or owe. In addition, we have to keep good records for riches can disappear unexpectedly.
Mills (n.d) emphasizes that failure to keep good accounting and financial records is a disaster in waiting. For instance, an individual or organization can easily get indebted because of not keeping records which indicate concerning the status of the finances. It is also easy for one to spend money which does not exist on unnecessary things. This will subsequently generate various problems for an individual or organization due to lack of knowing how the money is spent. Mills further expresses that those who keep good financial and accounting records receive God’s blessings.
The importance of accounts and finance disciplines for humanity cannot be overemphasized. Though many may not be aware of this, there is a divine call for man to keep good financial and accounting records of his possessions and resources. This has been clearly depicted in the scriptures where there are direct and indirect quotations on the requirement to undertake proper financial and accounting records. In light of this, Christianity should understand their duty and obligations towards maintaining good financial and accounting records in order to achieve success and as part of God’s expectations.