System Options

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Forrest-p40
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System Options

Postby Forrest-p40 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 4:51 pm

when i go into System Options and then "Users" and try to delete names, it won't allow me to (i'm the Clerk and have admin).. when i try to delete someone (after they have been released from a position to use the pc), it says: " The user Joe Smith is referrenced in one of the database records and cannot be deleted. for now, Joe Smith is flagged as inactive".

what am i doing wrong? how can i delete these names?

thanks for any help
forrest

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childsdj
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Postby childsdj » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:19 pm

Users that have been tied to financial records will not be able to be deleted for 3 years plus the current year for audit purposes.

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Forrest-p40
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Postby Forrest-p40 » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:29 pm

wow! now i see why, that makes sense.. thank you soooooooo much! .:)

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ericb
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Setup callings (rather than members) as users

Postby ericb » Sat Feb 23, 2008 1:35 pm

Forrest wrote:when I go into System Options and then "Users" and try to delete names, it won't allow me to (i'm the Clerk and have admin)


Another option going forward is to create users based on callings: Bishop, Ward Clerk, YM Secretary, etc. That way, you rarely have to add/delete users. You simply assign the appropriate member to that user and update their password.

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Postby mkmurray » Sat Feb 23, 2008 2:09 pm

ericb wrote:Another option going forward is to create users based on callings: Bishop, Ward Clerk, YM Secretary, etc. That way, you rarely have to add/delete users. You simply assign the appropriate member to that user and update their password.

I'm going to qualify that statement with the fact that anyone considering this option should go read the following thread first before making up their mind on if it is a correct application of "users" in MLS:

[thread=728]Deleting Users[/thread]

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ericb
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Postby ericb » Sat Feb 23, 2008 3:26 pm

mkmurray wrote:I'm going to qualify that statement with the fact that anyone considering this option should go read the following thread first before making up their mind on if it is a correct application of "users" in MLS:

[thread=728]Deleting Users[/thread]


I just read through the thread. It appears there is some concern with using generic users and how they would be tied back to financial transactions, where perhaps a specific member needed to be identified during the past 3 yrs. Maybe there are some wards that go through clerks and bishopric members frequently - in our case, those callings are pretty static.

I posed this issue to our ward financial clerk, who was a stake financial auditor for several years. He indicated that he was not aware of anything in the financial audit that would cause a red flag for using generic callings as users. It seems like the audit would include this if it was important for any audit trail.

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Postby aebrown » Sat Feb 23, 2008 4:14 pm

ericb wrote:I just read through the thread. It appears there is some concern with using generic users and how they would be tied back to financial transactions, where perhaps a specific member needed to be identified during the past 3 yrs. Maybe there are some wards that go through clerks and bishopric members frequently - in our case, those callings are pretty static.

I posed this issue to our ward financial clerk, who was a stake financial auditor for several years. He indicated that he was not aware of anything in the financial audit that would cause a red flag for using generic callings as users. It seems like the financial audit would be the authoritive benchmark.


By no means is it safe to assume that the financial audit is authoritative on all MLS-related issues. There are an abundance of policies related to the use of MLS and administrative computers in general that do not appear in the audit. There are also many financial procedures and policies that are not covered in the financial audit (one example would be the proper handling of donations mailed at the end of a year and received at the beginning of the next year) -- does the absence of such an issue in the audit mean we don't have to handle such matters properly? Of course not.

I know that there was some discussion in the aforementioned thread related to traceability of financial transactions. That is a good point, and I think it rules out using positions as usernames all by itself, but it is certainly not the only argument against using user names tied to positions rather than to individual people.

The "Using MLS: Ward and Branch Instructions" contains the statement: "Each member using MLS must sign on to the system using his or her own user ID and password." I don't see how using positions for user names fits the phrase "his or her own user ID and password." It also says: "User passwords should not be shared with others. Each user should change his or her password periodically." To my thinking, this doesn't make sense if you tie usernames to positions.

That said, I think it is a pity that the instructions are not clear on this. I've heard of a couple of people who have directly asked Clerk Support, and the answer always comes back that user names are connected to a person, not a position. Examples in training lessons, the MLS help file, and written instructions always use people's names as user names. But the absence of clear wording in the general policies seems like something that could easily be cleared up.

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ericb
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Postby ericb » Sat Feb 23, 2008 5:00 pm

Alan_Brown wrote: The "Using MLS: Ward and Branch Instructions" contains the statement: "Each member using MLS must sign on to the system using his or her own user ID and password." I don't see how using positions for user names fits the phrase "his or her own user ID and password."


Interesting. When I first read this, I interpreted the statement to mean that a user ID & password combination are not to be shared by various users. In MLS we have a user name of 'Ward Clerk' that is only used by that person, and they have designated their own password -- I saw this as meeting the qualification.

As you mention, if this is/becomes an important auditing issue (regardless of finances), perhaps the instructions will be clarified.

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Postby russellhltn » Sat Feb 23, 2008 6:59 pm

ericb wrote:It appears there is some concern with using generic users and how they would be tied back to financial transactions, where perhaps a specific member needed to be identified during the past 3 yrs. Maybe there are some wards that go through clerks and bishopric members frequently - in our case, those callings are pretty static.


I believe the usual term of a Bishop is 5 years. As you've noted, the finances (in the US) is kept for 3 years plus current. Seems like a fairly high likelihood that a change has occurred within the financial records retention period. And that's not counting smaller changes such as councilors and clerks changing due to normal normal changes that happen even in a fairly static ward.

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Postby glamiac-p40 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 12:52 pm

DJC wrote:Users that have been tied to financial records will not be able to be deleted for 3 years plus the current year for audit purposes.

I guess one option is to hide disabled users so a current list of anyone with active permissions would be easier to sort through. Obviously this would require a "Show Disabled" option as well.


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