IROP Review and Approval

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
thadlevar
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IROP Review and Approval

Postby thadlevar » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:25 pm

I have a June 30, 2011 MLS message from church headquarters about how the finance clerk should review each IROP and check for accuracy. That message states at the end: "Although printing a hardcopy IROP can be done from MLS, we encourage the use of electronic formats to conserve resources."

Within MLS I can review the IROP, but there is no way for me (the finance clerk) or for the stake president to electronically indicate the IROP has been reviewed and approved.

In our stake financial audit last month, I was informed by the auditor that we must keep some audit-able record that each IROP has been reviewed and approved.

Since MLS does not appear to have the functionality to do this electronically, I presume the only way to do this is to print each IROP and fashion my own cover page for review/approval signatures and dates.

Is anyone aware of a different solution?

jdlessley
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby jdlessley » Tue Mar 04, 2014 7:56 pm

There is more recent guidance found at the RKATS site in the Reviewing Internal Records of Purchase (IROP) article.

One commentor to the article does what I recommend. That recommendation is to fill out a disbursement authorization and attach a copy of the IROP for the the bishop's review and signature. Then file the paperwork as with any other disbursement requests.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

lajackson
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby lajackson » Tue Mar 04, 2014 8:49 pm

thadlevar wrote:In our stake financial audit last month, I was informed by the auditor that we must keep some audit-able record that each IROP has been reviewed and approved.

Since MLS does not appear to have the functionality to do this electronically, I presume the only way to do this is to print each IROP and fashion my own cover page for review/approval signatures and dates.

Although the bishop may approve automatic charges by signing a printed copy of the IROP, there is another way. We use it successfully.

The bishop's signature on the Unit Financial Statement, along with his verbal confirmation to the auditor that he authorized the automatic charge, is also acceptable proof of his approval.

So if the each of the Unit Financial Statements is signed by the bishop, and the auditor asks the bishop if he approved the charges, and the bishop verbally confirms that he has, then the charges are approved.

If the auditor has a concern with this procedure, he should read the instructions associated with Item 16. If he still has a concern, he should speak with his audit committee chairman.

thadlevar
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby thadlevar » Thu Mar 06, 2014 8:50 am

lajackson wrote:Although the bishop may approve automatic charges by signing a printed copy of the IROP, there is another way. We use it successfully.

The bishop's signature on the Unit Financial Statement, along with his verbal confirmation to the auditor that he authorized the automatic charge, is also acceptable proof of his approval.

So if the each of the Unit Financial Statements is signed by the bishop, and the auditor asks the bishop if he approved the charges, and the bishop verbally confirms that he has, then the charges are approved.

If the auditor has a concern with this procedure, he should read the instructions associated with Item 16. If he still has a concern, he should speak with his audit committee chairman.


Thank you, this seems like the perfect solution. This is exactly what we've been doing - now I just have to remember this at my next audit.

drepouille
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby drepouille » Thu Mar 06, 2014 9:49 am

My compromise solution is to print all the IROPs for each month, and slap a signature page on the top, which has the same approval statement as the unit financial statement. The stake president and I sign the sig page. I agree it is redundant, since we already sign the monthly financial statement.

My big issue is that MLS likes to abort and vanish from the screen if I open too many IROPs in a row. I opened a case for this with Local Unit Support, but they only cautioned me not to open too many IROPs at the same time, which I never do.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

lajackson
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby lajackson » Fri Mar 07, 2014 8:41 am

thadlevar wrote:
lajackson wrote:The bishop's signature on the Unit Financial Statement, along with his verbal confirmation to the auditor that he authorized the automatic charge, is also acceptable proof of his approval.

I just have to remember this at my next audit.

It is also wise to remind the bishop of this process. If the bishop has a quizzical look on his face when the auditor asks him how he approves the IROPs, the auditor will probably think that they are not really being reviewed.

If the bishop says he reviews all of the charges before he signs the Unit Financial Statement each month (and he has actually signed the statements), the auditor is much more likely to determine that everything is okay.

Gary_Miller
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby Gary_Miller » Fri Mar 07, 2014 9:13 am

As a finance clerk I ordered everything for all the organizations. That way I knew what was being purchased and I was the one executing all IROPs. When I received and IROP I would but it in the folder with the reimbursement request forms and the Bishop would sign them with the reimbursement requests.

charlesbruderer
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby charlesbruderer » Mon Aug 28, 2017 1:23 pm

I'm going to be blunt. I am a Stake Auditor, and my experience has shown that Bishops and even Stake Presidents may not really carefully review their financial statements. Therefore the question of approval of IROPs does not leave me with a real sense of confidence, for example if the Bishop has "Signed" the Financial Statement and verbally says "Sure, I approved the Expenditure. I have had Clerks (Ward and Stake Level) who seem a bit confused over IROPS. I had three IROPS that were the result of High Councilors making reservations at the local 'recreation camp" I believe those IROPS should be printed, and initialed by the Bishop and Clerk and filed with the other Expense Documentation. One ward I reviewed does Print IROPS and attaches a 'reimbursement / authorization request. Other Wards look surprised if I ask what support they have for the IROPs. Like I said, some Clerks had conflicting ideas about some of the IROPS i.e. (Didn't know what the IROP was for?

I am going to recommend our Stake direct wards to generate a hard copy of the IROPs, obtain the Bishop's approval initials, and file the copy with their Monthly Expense Documentation

drepouille
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby drepouille » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:06 pm

The more important question (in my opinion) is, "Where did the money come from?" If a clerk allows all Distribution Center Charges to remain in that budget category, then there is no accountability for such expenditures. I print each IROP. I also print the financial transaction report that shows my transfer of funds from another budget category to cover the expense. I also print the email that shows which items were ordered. I attach those items to the packing list that comes in the box. Therefore, anyone can examine those documents and trace the transaction from beginning to end.
Again, in my opinion, the Distribution Center Charges budget category should remain at a zero balance. Your mileage and opinion may vary.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

drepouille
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Re: IROP Review and Approval

Postby drepouille » Mon Aug 28, 2017 3:10 pm

I have been a stake clerk and a ward clerk, and I agree with you that most stake presidents and bishops do not review the unit financial statements, mainly because they trust their clerks to review the statements and tell them if there is anything out of line. In many cases, that trust is misplaced, when the clerk simply signs the statement without reviewing or understanding or doing anything to correct problems that are clearly indicated by the statement.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska


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