The CapinCrouse Story: Building On Our Legacy
The life lessons of our firm’s founder, Dick Capin, provide an inspiring story of God’s faithfulness and provision in the life of one faithful steward — and how a life surrendered to God can be used for greater good. From humble beginnings to working with national business and industry leaders, Dick found success but sought for more lasting treasure. Here are some of the stories of his journey, including the inspiration for founding CapinCrouse.
“God can use anyone with a willing heart.” – Dick Capin, founder of CapinCrouse
It all started with a desire to follow God’s calling.
Dick Capin, a successful businessman and CPA from a small town in southern Illinois, promised God that he would spend his life any way He directed.
After a journey around the world, Dick was haunted by the needs of the people he’d seen with broken hearts and lives. He also had observed seminary-trained missionaries burdened with administrative and financial responsibilities that interfered with their primary purpose of proclaiming the Gospel.
“Dick was really one of the early leaders in using one’s business skills to serve the Lord.”
– Jim Canning, co-founder, Christian Management Association
Dick began to wonder if there was a way God could use him as a businessman. The answer came when OMS International, a Los Angeles-based missionary organization, asked if Dick and his family would serve in Korea.
Dick helped design and implement systems and procedures that would free the missionaries from the day-to-day operations of the organization and give them more time to minister. He also made sure he had time to witness.
“God had shown a need for an accounting firm, one especially equipped to assist Christian ministries.”
– Dick Capin
In 1972, Dick felt God lead him to form a small accounting firm so he could serve international Kingdom ministries with his accounting and business expertise. It was not about doing accounting, but about doing ministry through accounting. The new firm, which became CapinCrouse, soon began receiving many questions and requests from organizations that needed guidance on responsibilities to donors, financial accounting, internal controls, and compliance with governmental requirements.
“Integrity is God’s idea, His character and His identity.”
– Dick Capin
Until the late 1970s there was little in the way of guidelines or best practices to help the leaders of Christian ministries in being good and faithful stewards. The lack of accounting standards and practices left ministry leaders without guidance and donors without standards and disclosures. In addition to not-for-profit guidance developed by the American Institute of Certified Public Accountants (AICPA), Dick was involved in helping international mission organizations forge guidance to promote disclosure and transparency in the complex arena of international operations and finance.
In 1979, the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability (ECFA) was formed with membership of 150 organizations in response to concerns raised from congressional leaders. Ted Engstrom of World Vision was named board chair and followed by George Wilson of the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association. Dick was the only non-ministry leader at that time named to serve on the board. He also served as Treasurer and would later serve as board chair.
ECFA is committed to helping Christ-centered organizations earn the public’s trust by developing and maintaining standards of accountability that convey God-honoring ethical practices.
“We’re here to leave a legacy, to make ministries more valuable, by providing them with the tools they need to take them from where they are now to where God wants them to be.”
– Dick Capin
Dick Capin’s vision of an accounting firm dedicated to serving and empowering mission-focused not-for-profit organizations has been at the core of the firm’s mission for nearly 50 years. Today, CapinCrouse serves more than 1,500 not-for-profit clients across the nation.
Dick retired from the firm in 1987 but remained active in ministry service. God continued to lead him to use his business and leadership skills in serving OMS International, Samaritan’s Purse, and the Billy Graham Evangelistic Association.
Dick Capin went to be with the Lord on November 25, 2020. He led a life of faithful stewardship and grace. While we miss him, we rejoice knowing that he has reached his reward in Heaven.