Export financial information?

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Chadbert
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Export financial information?

Postby Chadbert » Sun Dec 30, 2012 8:38 pm

Is there an easy way to export financial information from MLS? Specifically, I'd like to download the list of our ytd expenses from MLS to Excel.

jdlessley
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby jdlessley » Sun Dec 30, 2012 9:37 pm

There is no capability to export financial data from MLS. Even Windows shortcut keys to copy data result in the replacement of copied data with the standard hidden data replacement "*****". But you can print financial data reports such as the Detail Budget Report.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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sbradshaw
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby sbradshaw » Sat Jan 12, 2013 7:30 pm

You can also print to PDF. Church financial data is sensitive, so be careful about who can access anything you export.

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gregwanderson
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby gregwanderson » Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:33 pm

The fact that you want to put the data into a spreadsheet suggests that you want to do something that you haven't been able to do with the built-in reports. If you can describe what you're trying to accomplish perhaps we can help you find a way to do it within MLS.

jdlessley
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby jdlessley » Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:28 pm

mrrad wrote:If you can describe what you're trying to accomplish perhaps we can help you find a way to do it within MLS
He did say "I'd like to download the list of our ytd expenses". There are at least nine reports that I can think of that may fit that need.

There is the "View/Update Expenses" screen that has six reports that can be printed. They are "Details", "Payment Requests Only", "Details by Category", "Details by Payee", "Summary by Category", and "Summary by Payee". There are options for a date range for these reports to include a custom date range. Once the type of report is determined then you can sort the data by columns. Then there is the "Income and Expense Report". The "Income and Expense Report" has three report types "Summary by Category", "Summary by Subcategory" and "Details by Subcategory". These reports also have the same date range options as the "View/Update Expenses" reports.

From all these expense reports I am sure the needed information is available in one or more of these reports.

There are also budget reports that include expenses.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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gregwanderson
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby gregwanderson » Sun Jan 13, 2013 1:24 pm

Perhaps someone who is new to MLS may conclude that it would be better to organize the data in some additional way, requiring some kind of custom spreadsheet. Since MLS won't export financial data anyway, the only way to put MLS finance data into a spreadsheet would be to manually enter it. That would be a lot of busywork and, in my opinion, it would be a waste of time since MLS already organizes the finance data and can create plenty of useful reports. Perhaps a report already exists in MLS which would adequately do the job that someone wants to do with a custom spreadsheet but that person just hasn't dug into MLS enough yet to find it. So... we could probably help if we understood the objective of the person asking the question.

The only time I felt I needed a custom spreadsheet for finances was when I wanted to compare the annual budgets of each auxiliary with the actual spending and then analyze the averages of multiple years on a single page. I couldn't find a way to do this inside MLS. So I had to print the summary reports from each year and then manually enter those numbers into a spreadsheet.

Because MLS does allow exporting membership data there are plenty of clerks using custom spreadsheets to organize that data. I've been outspoken on these forums about how that plays out when extra busywork happens and/or when clerks "need" Microsoft Excel (instead of a free alternative like LibreOffice) to handle the complexities of their custom spreadsheets. Again, I worry about whether such busywork is really worth it. I wonder whether MLS is truly so inadequate that lots of custom spreadsheets are really needed.

In summary, if MLS can't do something I would like to think it's something that isn't needed anyway.

peon
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby peon » Tue Jan 15, 2013 5:03 pm

I was actually looking into this myself. I keep track of the budget for scout camps. We use the other account. I track on a separate spreadsheet because of the need to know who has/ hasn't paid. The only way I can think of to track at the level of detail I need (want) would be to create a category for each scout. I'd rather do this within a secure website so I could let the families or leaders see where the boys are at any time.

I was also trying to find ways to help my bishop have easy access to fast offering information when he meets with people. The easiest way would be for him to be able to view a live report somehow from his office. A secure webpage with some basic reports comes to mind but I would need to get the information out of MLS first.

There are two examples where it would be nice (not required) if we could export some financial information.

jdlessley
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby jdlessley » Tue Jan 15, 2013 10:45 pm

Both of those examples can be handled by printing reports, either hard copy or to PDF.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

Gary_Miller
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Jan 16, 2013 7:25 am

I use a spread sheet to track my wards budget by organization. I have one workbook with a work sheet for each organization and an overall worksheet. I enter the information from the Budget Allowance Summary report into the overall worksheet and then the organization worksheets are linked to the overall worksheet. That way I can give a report to the bishop that has only an overview and can give a report to each organizations that have only their sub-categories. Now that I have the spreadsheet built it takes me less that 10 mins to enter the information and print out the reports.

All of what I have in my spreadsheet can be found in MLS reports. However my spreed sheets are easier to read and understand because it only has the information that the organization leader needs, allowance, expenses, and balance.

peon
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Re: Export financial information?

Postby peon » Wed Jan 16, 2013 8:05 am

I'm thinking the convenience of arranging and distributing the information will out way the time it will take me to do double data entry. It would also allow me to automate the distribution of budget details for those in my ward who want them and keep me from having to print/fold/stuff.

Again, it would be nice (not required) if we could export financial information.


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