MLS Suggestions

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
Rick.Winterton
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MLS Suggestions

Postby Rick.Winterton » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:13 pm

I have several suggestions that you might consider for future versions of MLS.

1) The Tithing Status Report is due by January 31. All the clerk has to do, after filling out the report ,is to click the "Submit" button and the report gets sent. Right? My stake has 12 units. I, or the stake president, received hard-copy reports from all 12 of the units before January 31. However, I got a letter from Salt Lake indicating that four of them had not sent their report yet.

There is no MLS feedback to the clerk indicating that he has or has not submitted the report. I suggest an "urgent task" that will appear either on January 1 or January 15 advising that the report needs to be transmitted. As soon as the clerk clicks the "Submit" button, it goes away. As of February, it changes to some higher class of message.

A prompt on the stake's MLS program might also be appropriate.

2) I have seen in other posts that the suggestion of letting the stake clerk record the Melchizedek Priesthood Advancements. I have to second or third that suggestion.

3) Broadband support is not available in six of the twelve units in my stake. They can sometimes spend in excess of an hour trying to do a "Send/Receive Changes" on Sunday. I suggest that some way be found to get more advanced connections available to these units.

4) It is possible for clerks to fail to enter Budget charges that are charged directly to the unit. These appear on the Unit Financial Statement, but if the clerk does not enter them, it is not apparent to the auditors. Thus, when they try to figure out how much of their budget is left, they can (and do) over-estimate the amount that is remaining. There has to be some way to force this data to be entered and tracked via MLS. This may be complicated, but if it appears on the unit financial statement, it should be able to be downloaded to the Unit Administrative Computer (in principle).

Rick Winterton
Stake Clerk
Midland Michigan Stake

moroni12
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I agree on all points

Postby moroni12 » Tue Mar 11, 2008 3:36 pm

These have been my issues as well. We have 11 units in our stake and it is a struggle at year end for budget remianing (even though I send a monthly report to each Bishop showing what they have spent and what is remaining) they tend to disregard my reports and rely on their units' budget expense report.

Most notably the annual cirriculum ordered and filled through the distribution center is not entered on MLS and at year end units spend more than they have allocated. I wonder if ward budget funds could be added to the monthly reconciliation with missionary and other funds? It would force the accounting of budget funds spent.

I also share your frustrations with tithing declaration reports. What you are proposing would address this issue nicely.

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:15 pm

Here in Italy married women continue to use maid last name. Some of them are so used that sound them very strange to be called with husband last name.
With MLS we have chance to set which last name she prefer but this work only with printing reports. During offering insert I have to translate maid last name, written by member, into husband last name accepted by MLS.
Am I not well skilled on MLS or is a lack of software?
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Mar 11, 2008 4:47 pm

rwinterton wrote:3) Broadband support is not available in six of the twelve units in my stake. They can sometimes spend in excess of an hour trying to do a "Send/Receive Changes" on Sunday. I suggest that some way be found to get more advanced connections available to these units.


The directions included with Desktop 5.5 indicated that the virus definitions were to be updated once a quarter. Failure to do so can result in Symantec attempting to update itself over the MLS connection and can result in problems.

It's also possible that the phone lines in the building are substandard and contributing to the problem.

There is something that is being rolled out to allow broadband to the ward, but it will be done and maintained on the stake's dime.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:36 am

It appears Item 1 in my list of 'observations' from the thread below was corrected in MLS 2.8 (THANK YOU!), but as far as I can tell, the other issues are still outstanding.

http://tech.lds.org/forum/showthread.php?t=947

In addition, I have a dumb question. Non-charitable donations (such as for youth camp) are placed into our unit's OTHER account until needed. Selecting the Income and Expense Report and viewing such a fund using Details by Category, it has the donations sorted by a mysterious "Donation Number". This number is always in REVERSE chronological order of the donations made. So #1 is always re-assigned to the most recent donation making the rest of the numbers shift.

This just doesn't make any sense to me. Why wouldn't the FIRST donation be #1 and the rest get assigned incremented numbers as they are recorded? It would also make the reports default to ascending chronological order, matching the way the Budget reports are produced. I know I can re-sort the fields by clicking on a column header, but printing a report sorted by an ascending date with this descending donation number looks odd every time I do it.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

dwterry-p40
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Postby dwterry-p40 » Wed Mar 12, 2008 1:03 pm

marianomarini_vi wrote:Here in Italy married women continue to use maid last name. Some of them are so used that sound them very strange to be called with husband last name.
With MLS we have chance to set which last name she prefer but this work only with printing reports. During offering insert I have to translate maid last name, written by member, into husband last name accepted by MLS.
Am I not well skilled on MLS or is a lack of software?



I think you are asking about the process of entering tithing donations, correct? If so, you can change the donor name to whatever you want. Go into the Add/Update Donors section. You'll see that the Donar Name is "tied to" but not necessarily the "same as" the member name.

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marianomarini
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Postby marianomarini » Thu Mar 13, 2008 4:25 am

Thanks. I'll surely check it.
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).

mtolman-p40
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Help needed in RS stats reports

Postby mtolman-p40 » Wed Mar 19, 2008 10:48 am

The RS president brought the following to my attention:

The statistics report that shows the % by month across the top has an apparent issue.

While it shows the previous 12 months, those percentages change from month to month. Obviously the last month should change but at least the first 9 months of the previous 12 should be fixed and not changing at all. As is stands now, she has no reliable way to compare how they are doing historically.
When I sent this through the messaging system, i got a response back that stated that the system was correct and that this was caused by us deleting the "Name Unknown" place markers that the system puts in there when people move out. I have no idea what they are talking about and cannot find any "name unknown" entries to delete, even if I wanted to.
It seems to me that the previous months should be frozen with the exception of perhaps the past 3 months ? Am I missing something here ?

margiestroble
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Postby margiestroble » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:03 pm

mtolman wrote:The RS president brought the following to my attention:

The statistics report that shows the % by month across the top has an apparent issue.

While it shows the previous 12 months, those percentages change from month to month. Obviously the last month should change but at least the first 9 months of the previous 12 should be fixed and not changing at all. As is stands now, she has no reliable way to compare how they are doing historically.
When I sent this through the messaging system, i got a response back that stated that the system was correct and that this was caused by us deleting the "Name Unknown" place markers that the system puts in there when people move out. I have no idea what they are talking about and cannot find any "name unknown" entries to delete, even if I wanted to.
It seems to me that the previous months should be frozen with the exception of perhaps the past 3 months ? Am I missing something here ?




That happens to me too and it is most frustrating. When you go into the RS Stats section where you can see the % for the last 12 months, it does change from month to month. For a number of months, I would manually change the total back to what it should be, only to find next month it was changed AGAIN.

I know that we have sisters move out and sisters move in and was wondering if that was a problem somewhere that conflicts with the stats. But, how could it change a previous month's report?

When I go back in and try to change the number of sisters contacted, on some months, the total amount of sisters in the ward had changed because of them moving in or out, etc and it would not let me enter the CORRECT total of sisters that had been contacted.

I finally gave up with trying to keep it accurate. I do still check it but it just makes me upset whenever I see it.

I'm sure this is happening to other people, but they may not care or they may not even look at it.

I guess that's what I get for wanting things to be accurate. After all, doesn't the leaders need/want to know this information?

Thanks for listening to me gripe.
Margie

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Mar 19, 2008 4:35 pm

While this sure sounds like a bug, I suppose I could try to put another spin on it.

Are we concerned about the stats as a way to measure how well the Visiting Teachers are doing, or how well we are doing by the current ward membership?

Or to put in another way, if a sister who has been VT 100% moves out, it would lower your historical stats, right? Which means you'd have to actually increase the number of visits with the current membership just to hold the same percentages. But the revised historical stats provide a more accurate baseline for the current Visit Teaching. Because if the remaining members are visited the same way as they have been in the past, the percentages for this month will match the revised historical percentages.

Frankly I think this should be looked at as a feature as it helps you better evaluate where you stand now.


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