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Critical thinking refers to the process of determining possible explanations for findings in a given problem or situation (Moon 6).
Scenario: Church Accountant Allegedly Accused of Misappropriating Church Money
In this scenario, I learned that a church accountant at our local church has been purportedly accused of misappropriating church funds. The accountant was taking advantage of the trust that the church members have laid on him. When he was asked about the same issue, he refuted.
In my view, it is biblically wrong to steal. At the same time, there were no solid evidence that the accountant embezzled the church funds. I had to evaluate the allegation and their basis before I could take any action. An interview with close colleagues to the accountant proved that there was mismanagement of funds at the church. However, as a critical thinker, I had to investigate further to verify these allegations and findings before any action could be taken.
First and foremost, I decided to discuss the issue with the church’s management committee to verify the truth of the matter. In my opinion, it would be advisable for the church to seek services of an external auditor who has high expertise and experience in auditing to determine whether or not any of the funds have been misappropriated.
I also recommended that the accountant should be temporarily demoted to enable further investigations. This would prevent him from influencing the work of the investigators or external auditors. Similarly, it was advisable that no two related persons should be allowed to hold positions in the church at the same time, especially in the more sensitive finance department (McPhail & Walters 61). I had to evaluate and weigh the burden the accountant would bear incase he was dismissed. If he was rendered jobless, what economic and financial impacts would this have in his life and that of his family? Will he be able to continue meeting the basic needs of his family such as food? I and the church’s management had to decide on whether to take the matter to the police or deal with it internally, and what are the impacts of such action, for instance, would it unnecessarily defame the accountant?
In my view, he should have been warned against his misconduct. As a professional accountant, he should not have taken advantage over lack of accounting knowledge amongst church members by misappropriating their funds. As Smith puts across, we should act according to our religious values, virtues and beliefs (Smith 156).