Mls 2.9.1

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Mikerowaved
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Mls 2.9.1

Postby Mikerowaved » Sat Oct 25, 2008 9:52 pm

MLS 2.9.1 will download during your next Send/Receive. (Sure wish we had a better name for it than "Send/Receive", :( but that's for another thread.)

The reported changes in 2.9.1 are...


  • New messages in the temple recommend entry section of MLS help prevent users from entering the same recommend number for more than one member.
  • The line spacing of the Individual Ordinance Summary (IOS) now reduces the number of reports that are longer than one page.
  • For payee information, completing the address fields is now required.

It's the last item I would like to address. I have some financial institutions with the same name, but different mailing addresses that I occasionally send checks to from the FO fund, so I leave the address fields blank. The same applies to LDS Family Services. It depends on which facility a member attends as to where a check would be sent. Since they can't have identical names in the payee database, do I call them "LDS Family Services 1", "LDS Family Services 2", and so on? That would look pretty funny printed on the check. The only solution I see would be to change the address on-the-fly each time a check needs to be printed.

I guess I should play with the test database and see which of the four payee categories this applies to before I go sounding off too loudly. Perhaps it's only meant for "Member of unit" payees. It just doesn't appear that way in the change description.

EDIT: OK, I see what's going on. You can continue to save what you want in the payee database. I was mistaken. However, MLS now requires an address (or allows you to change an existing address) during the confirmation screen prior to printing each check.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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ffrsqpilot
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Postby ffrsqpilot » Sun Oct 26, 2008 6:03 am

Dooooohh..... the line spacing on the Individual Ordinance Summary should have been an obvious fix long ago. I have often wondered why I always ended up with an extra sheet with extraneous info on it and thought - what a waste of paper. I'm sure I'm not the only one who wondered about this and now I wonder why it took so long for someone to bring it up or for it to be fixed. Glad to see it is finally fixed!

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:40 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:MLS 2.9.1 will download during your next Send/Receive


That didn't happen for my stake MLS today. We're still on 2.9, even though I did multiple transmissions today. On what information did you base your confident statement that it would download on the next S/R?

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ffrsqpilot
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Postby ffrsqpilot » Sun Oct 26, 2008 3:49 pm

I was at the stake center Friday doing some transmissions and got the message that the next send/receive on or after Sunday would have the update. Did the send/receive this morning at 11:00 and the update came across.

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opee
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Postby opee » Sun Oct 26, 2008 4:53 pm

It downloaded on our Stake in Iowa.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:08 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:For payee information, completing the address fields is now required.


If you know you are going to hand the check to the payee, completing the address fields should not be necessary. This just adds another step to slow down the already tedious process of printing checks.

Besides, the address check is in the wrong place. I know that it is possible for a payee to move, and so the stored address is incorrect, but the vast majority of payees never move. Why should we have to have an extra step for all the payees whose addresses are correct, just because on rare occasions an address is incorrect? Besides, any prompt that is superfluous the vast majority of the time will tend to get ignored by habit, and so it loses its ability to catch the exceptional cases.

If a payee address is truly required, it should be required when the payee is added (a one-time validation) rather than when the check is printed (a repeated validation).

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aebrown
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Expense Report

Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 26, 2008 7:34 pm

Another (undocumented) change to MLS 2.9.1 is that the Expense Batch Report is now required to be printed. As I have said in another post, it really isn't necessary anyway. But now it must be printed, and the implementation of this requirement is odd indeed.

If you create a batch of expenses, and print the batch of checks, if you then try to close the Expenses screen, you will then be prompted to print the expense batch report. You can answer Yes (it prints the batch report), No (it closes the Expenses screen), or Cancel (it returns to the Expenses screen).

If you answer No, it seems reasonable that you really didn't want to print the report. But that's not allowed. The next time you create a batch of expenses, and then you start to print the checks, you will be told that you didn't print the batch report for the most recent batch of expenses. You are prompted to print the batch; you can answer Yes, No, or Cancel.

Cancel works as you would expect, but Yes and No are both strange. If you answer No, you are returned to the Print checks page. You cannot proceed to print checks until you print the report. It is likely that you have already loaded check stock into your printer, but because MLS insists that you print the useless expense batch report, you have to unload your check stock, and print the report for the previous batch, and then you can load the check stock again, and finally print your checks. Apparently No is not an acceptable answer -- you must answer Yes if you ever want to print your checks.

If you answer Yes, what prints is the expense batch report for the previous batch, which is not too surprising. But then you are moved on to the Report screen, where you will see the checks of the previous batch listed (the ones that were just printed). This is strange indeed. You are in the midst of the process of printing the new checks; indeed your last request was to print those new checks, but now you are on a screen that looks like the end of the process of printing the previous batch, where your options are to print that expense batch report -- but you just finished printing it! You are left wondering what has happened to the new batch of expenses you just entered and had hoped to print.

It turns out that those expenses are still there. You can back up to the Print Checks screen and you will see the unprinted expenses. If you then print them, you will again proceed to the Report screen, and this time you will see the new batch of checks. But it is quite confusing in the scenario I describe above to be moved forward to the Report screen for the previous batch. That really should be fixed.

I still have not heard a good explanation for the purpose of the Expense Batch Report. It could only be useful if you use it as your sole signature authorization for the batch of checks. But this requires you to attach that form to the whole batch of expense reports. Such a procedure requires us to ignore what we are taught in the Handling Expenses training session about attaching a form to each invoice/bill that includes the bishop's authorizing signature. If we include an expense form for each expense, then the Expense Batch Report is redundant and a waste of time. MLS's insistence on printing the Expense Batch Report is inconsistent with both the audit instructions and the training lessons.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Sun Oct 26, 2008 8:05 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Another (undocumented) change to MLS 2.9.1 . . . and the implementation of this requirement is odd indeed.

Yes, No, or Cancel.
If you answer No, . . . that's not allowed.
you didn't print the batch report

Apparently No is not an acceptable answer -- you must answer Yes if you ever want to print your checks.

If you answer Yes, . . .

the previous batch,
the previous batch
the new checks;
those new checks,
the previous batch,
the new batch of expenses you just entered and had hoped to print.

It turns out that
You can back up
you will again proceed
and this time you will see
it is quite confusing
to be moved forward
for the previous batch.

That really should be fixed.


And just how many batch reports have you printed on check stock so far? [grin]

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childsdj
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Postby childsdj » Mon Oct 27, 2008 7:48 am

MLS 2.9.1 would not have come down automatically to units that tansmitted between the hours of 11:00 and 2:00 P.M. MST, to make sure that the load would not cause any problems with normal transmissions. Any attempts to connect outside this time should pull the patch down.

greggo
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Postby greggo » Mon Oct 27, 2008 8:30 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Another (undocumented) change to MLS 2.9.1 is that the Expense Batch Report is now required to be printed. As I have said in another post, it really isn't necessary anyway. But now it must be printed, and the implementation of this requirement is odd indeed.


Digressing somewhat from the topic...
I agree that a bishop's sign on the expence batch report is redundant. I asked about this during my first audit after using MLS, and the auditor didn't disagree but explained that the report allows the bishop to see in an organized way what the expenses were.

I must agree that I like having the report to make it easy to find a given expense request (I staple them to the requests and the check stubs), but the bishop's sign is really not necessary in my opinion.

What annoys me most is that one must print the report everytime the checks are printed. I often get a late request for a check that can't wait for the next Sunday's batch and therefure must print a separate report. Now I have at least two separate reports for the bishop to sign.

In my opinion, it would be better to consider the whole MLS session as one batch and have the expense batch report print for all checks cut since the last send/receive.


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