Auditor finds satisfaction in new role

by Jill Ragar Esfeld
jill.esfeld@theleaven.org

KANSAS CITY, Kan. — In his new role as financial and controls auditor for the archdiocese, Holy Trinity parishioner Mike Horn believes he may have found a perfect fit at last.

“Work-wise, I’ve done so many different things,” he said. “Yet I’d never really had a passion for anything. I’ve always done it because I needed to make money to provide for my family.”

That family includes his wife Susan and their two teenage sons — Andrew and Zachary.

Horn is not kidding when he describes his work experience as diverse. Armed with a degree in accounting and an outgoing personality, he has been in auditing and sales management, has traveled internationally, has owned five Mr. Goodcents restaurants and has bought, refurbished and managed 17 rental properties.

Jerry Mayne, chief financial officer for the archdiocese, said that that blend of experience made Horn the perfect candidate for his job.

“Mike brings not only audit experience but a wide range of entrepreneurial business experiences that will serve us well as he expands the internal audit department in the years to come,” he said.

It was during his venture into real estate that Horn began to long for a sense of purpose in his work. At about that same time, he met Teresa McCain, program director of Community LINC, a transitional housing program for homeless families.

McCain suggested that Horn, who is a Knight of Columbus, organize a group to adopt an apartment for a family entering the LINC program. She was amazed at the results.

“Mike and his [fellow Knights] did a top-notch job: painting, decorating and making the apartment a home with many personal touches,” said McCain. “When I asked him why he paid attention to so many details, his answer was, ‘Because they deserve it.’”

With the Knights, Horn has adopted, refurbished and outfitted four apartments in the last five years. He also started volunteering on his own at LINC, working with teenagers.

“I’d go down on Tuesday evenings and basically teach them life lessons: how to fill out an application, how to get a job, how to dress,” he explained.

While volunteering with LINC, Horn was also selling his real estate property and looking for another business opportunity. But this time, he wanted it to be more than just work.

“I did a little soul searching,” he said. “I’d coached Andrew’s baseball team, and I enjoyed that. Interfacing with the kids at LINC and [rehabbing] the apartments — those things felt good. And fortunately, I felt I was at a point in my life where I could look for a feel good job.”

When Horn saw the auditor position advertised in The Leaven, he thought he might have found what he was looking for — a job that would draw on his experience and talents, as well as his faith and desire to help others.

When he met the people he’d be working with at the church offices, he knew he belonged there.

“It’s just incredible,” he said. “Never have I been in an environment where I was comfortable so quickly. And I think that faith was probably the reason behind it. They’re great people, but it’s the faith we share that makes them great people.”

As the internal auditor for the archdiocese, it will be Horn’s task to help ensure that parishes’ accounting policies and procedures are in accord not only with canon law, but also with not-for-profit accounting principles and guidelines. He looks at it as more of a ministry than a job, and Mayne is pleased with that approach.

“Mike’s vision for the work has a real sense of mission that should bring sharp focus to his efforts,” he said. “The audit committee of the archdiocesan finance council is very excited about having Mike in this important position.”

About the prospect of interfacing with the parishes, Horn said, “I can’t wait. That’s going to be the best part — to sit down and offer some support.”

“Internal auditors are typically taboo,” he added. “But I think people for the most part are going to be very open and understanding and happy to see me.”

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