Naming rules for payees in MLS

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Naming rules for payees in MLS

Postby CottonRLS » Wed Feb 22, 2012 9:13 am

Got a surprise the other day, writing a check to myself. I was now Not A Member/Miscellaneous. Called HQ only to find the programmers have decided, evidently, to limit MLS to printing all payees with membership links Last Name, First Name Middle Name with no alterations allowed - or else the link is dropped.

Maybe someone in this forum can help explain the necessity for the Last, First Middle imperative since I've never received a check from anyone, including Uncle Sam, with my last name printed first, even from foreign organizations/companies.

What's most perplexing is why, once a link is established, and the operator alters the name to print First Name first, that link to Membership is severed and that payee goes back to Not a Member/Miscellaneous status. This means payees who are not members AND members who want their checks printed normally (sans full legal name or using a Preferred name) ALL must be entered without creating a link to the membership records. Am I understanding correctly what the programmer's have wrought here?

Somewhat perplexed,


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Postby aebrown » Wed Feb 22, 2012 10:10 am

I'll have to take a look tonight, but that doesn't match my experience. Whenever I create a new payee, and that payee was designated as a member of the unit (meaning they are linked by MRN), the payee name that is created is "FirstName LastName". That's a change from the way MLS used to work (I don't recall when it changed, but it was probably a couple of years ago), so I have a whole bunch of existing payees that are "LastName, FirstName MiddleName" and an increasing number of new payees that are "FirstName LastName". As far as I know, both kinds of donor records are still linked to their membership record numbers, but I'll check that tonight when I'm on MLS.

[Moderator's note: I moved this thread from General Discussions to the more appropriate MLS section.]
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

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Postby CottonRLS » Fri Feb 24, 2012 8:51 am

That happened with me for a while, too. New payees, after linking to membership, appeared FN LN and no problem. For those that were listed LN,FN MN, however, you couldn't delete them and add them as new in order to get the name to display correctly. All you could do was alter the name field manually. Every revision, however, I find my payees altered in some way, and now according to the kind folks at customer support, I am informed that the system will not maintain a link to a membership record if the name field is altered in any way.

Before the last revision, my name ( I have a dozen examples, but I'll just use my name as the representative) was listed FN LN and had a link to the database. After the last revision, I write a check to myself only to find two listings for me, one FN LN (Not a Member/Misc), and one LN,FN MN (with link to database) and my only option to use my name the way I would like is to Merge the "Not a Member" Payee record (since one can never delete a payee) with the linked payee, then alter the payee name afterward. This will be altered, or corrected they said, at the next update.

I simply don't understand the inflexibility and the continual "correction" of existing payee records.

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