Fast Offering Tracker

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leocrawf-p40
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Fast Offering Tracker

Postby leocrawf-p40 » Sat Mar 28, 2009 12:09 am

Does anyone know if there presently is an application that tracks the usage of a members use of fast offering or general church aid. As a branch president i can already see how very useful this would be to me, been able to easily have access to information relative to a member's usage of church welfare. Many cool reports could be created. If there is not and there is no church policy against developing one i want to do so.
"...men are that they might have joy!"
Lehi

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:40 am

leocrawf wrote:Does anyone know if there presently is an application that tracks the usage of a members use of fast offering or general church aid. As a branch president i can already see how very useful this would be to me, been able to easily have access to information relative to a member's usage of church welfare. Many cool reports could be created. If there is not and there is no church policy against developing one i want to do so.


As long as you strictly follow the policies about data security, there would be no policy against creating such an application. I have not heard of such an application.

However, one challenge you would have in creating such an application would be feeding data to it. Unlike the Membership side of MLS, where there are a variety of exports, as well as custom reports that can be a source of information, the Finance side of MLS has no way to export data. You can't even copy and paste information from the few MLS reports that exist in this area.

So you could print out a Fast Offering Recipient Report, but then you would have to manually enter the data into an application. This report already tracks payment of fast offering funds for any given time period for recipients, with detail and summary options. I would recommend that you first become familiar with what is built into MLS. If you are already familiar with that and still decide that additional reporting is worth the effort of creating an application, then you would certainly be welcome to do so.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:42 pm

Pardon my ignorance, but do they use MLS in Jamaica?
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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Postby lajackson » Sat Mar 28, 2009 3:34 pm

RussellHltn wrote:. . . do they use MLS in Jamaica?


I think so, but even if they don't, the old FIS program had many of the same reports that would be helpful for the purpose requested.

leocrawf-p40
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Postby leocrawf-p40 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:17 am

lajackson wrote:I think so, but even if they don't, the old FIS program had many of the same reports that would be helpful for the purpose requested.



Yes we do use mls in jamaica, but what i wanted was something that had some kind of permanent storage in an organized manner without the bulk of paper records. MLS does not tell you what was the members plans in relation to getting self reliant and so on, it only recods finantial help unbehalf of that member.
"...men are that they might have joy!"

Lehi

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Postby rmrichesjr » Sun Apr 05, 2009 10:31 am

Alan_Brown wrote:As long as you strictly follow the policies about data security, there would be no policy against creating such an application. I have not heard of such an application.

However, one challenge you would have in creating such an application would be feeding data to it. Unlike the Membership side of MLS, where there are a variety of exports, as well as custom reports that can be a source of information, the Finance side of MLS has no way to export data. You can't even copy and paste information from the few MLS reports that exist in this area.

So you could print out a Fast Offering Recipient Report, but then you would have to manually enter the data into an application. This report already tracks payment of fast offering funds for any given time period for recipients, with detail and summary options. I would recommend that you first become familiar with what is built into MLS. If you are already familiar with that and still decide that additional reporting is worth the effort of creating an application, then you would certainly be welcome to do so.


Provided all policies are followed appropriately, there is a way to avoid having to manually key in the data. From MLS, print a report that contains some or all of the information needed. For printer, select something other than the real physical printer. Options would include CutePDF Writer (which for me actually produced postscript, not PDF) or plain-text or something else as close to plain text as possible. Make sure it "prints" to a file. Then, write a parser for that file type.

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Postby jbh001 » Sun Apr 05, 2009 4:49 pm

leocrawf wrote:Does anyone know if there presently is an application that tracks the usage of a members use of fast offering or general church aid.
I thought that on the stake side of MLS there was some sort of tracking and/or reports for this sort of thing built in. Having never looked at the stake side of MLS, I don't really know.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Apr 05, 2009 5:57 pm

jbh001 wrote:I thought that on the stake side of MLS there was some sort of tracking and/or reports for this sort of thing built in. Having never looked at the stake side of MLS, I don't really know.


No, there's nothing in stake MLS for this. The stake does receive a detailed monthly Stake Financial Summary that lists all fast offering expenditures, but there is nothing in stake MLS regarding ward fast offering expenditures.

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Postby jbh001 » Mon Apr 06, 2009 7:50 pm

My understanding what that these details stake reports also included the name of the fast offering recipient. Thus the stake could contact the bishop as say "We've noticed that Brother John Doe has been getting a lot of fast offering assistance. Is everything okay."

Are you saying that the name of the fast offering recipient is omitted from the stake reports?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Apr 06, 2009 8:00 pm

jbh001 wrote:Are you saying that the name of the fast offering recipient is omitted from the stake reports?


If you're asking me, then the answer is No, I never said anything like that. I said, "The stake does receive a detailed monthly Stake Financial Summary that lists all fast offering expenditures."

Those details include date paid, check number, payee, purpose (which should include the payee), amount, and code (H/U/M/F/O) for each expenditure. A good reference for this section of the SFS can be found in the wiki at https://tech.lds.org/wiki/index.php/Stake/District_Financial_Summary#Fast_Offering_Disbursements

However, the SFS is only on paper, so any electronic tracking would involve a lot of manual data entry, or scanning and OCR, both of which would be a pain. But just from reviewing the SFS, a stake president could certainly note repeated names over the course of time and counsel with the bishop on the matter.


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