I want to pose a question but I'm not sure in my own mind what the question should be! Twice now in the last three weeks I have had to deal with monthly reconcilliations that won't balance. The cause in both cases is Fast Offering checks that were written on or about the last day of the month.
Three weeks ago I sat down with the finance clerk of one of our wards and tried to work through why his November reconciliation kept coming up with an unreconciled balance. After lots of research it came down to a fast offering check that had been written on the 30th of November. It showed for some strange reason in the expense and transfer pages of the reconcilliation process as if it were cleared when in fact it had not. To clear the unbalanced difference we had to place a check in the transfer column indicating that the check was cleared. Why one would do that I don't know (and it makes no sense that we did do it) but it was the only way to make the statement balance. Probably should not have done it, but we could find no other way to make the statement balance when the whole unreconciled report hung on one non-cleared check.
Last night, I received a call from my home ward's clerk that he was unable to balance the December report. Over the phone I listened to him and low and behold - the same strange problem cropped up. A fast offering check that was written on the 31st of December was causing the unreconciled difference. Over the phone I asked him if the check number showed up in both the Expense and Transfer pages. Indeed it did with one difference that I did not notice when I worked the previous problem. This time the check number was listed in the expense column (in the CUFS it shows as an outstanding check) but when looking at the Transfer page the check number showed twice, once as a negative amount and again as a positive amount. I asked him to put a check mark on the transfer page next to the positive check and look if that balanced the reconcilliation. Indeed it did.
So, either I am losing my mind, or there is something going on that I don't understand, or there is some "glitch" in the reconcilliation program that is causing some problems. I will call Salt Lake but as I mentioned in the beginning sentence of this post - I'm not sure what the question is that I should ask. Being the stake clerk I should have an answer for this but clearly I do not.
Can anyone of you explain this problem with late month checks (for some reason it seems in both cases to be a fast offering disbursement) and why it is causing an unreconciled report?
Signed - PuzzledinMontrose
Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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Pilotfly wrote:This time the check number was listed in the expense column (in the CUFS it shows as an outstanding check) but when looking at the Transfer page the check number showed twice, once as a negative amount and again as a positive amount. I asked him to put a check mark on the transfer page next to the positive check and look if that balanced the reconcilliation. Indeed it did.
I'll take a stab. I'm sure there will be plenty of replies. First, when the last day of a month falls on a Sunday, any transactions that occurred on that day are included in the next month's statement. For example, I remember that the November 30 donation batches did not show up on the November CUFS. They instead showed up on December's. It has to do with business days and when the reports are prepared, etc. Obviously I'm not an expert, but that's at least how I've put it to rest in my mind.
As for the expense showing up twice, here's my understanding. First, you have two sections to the CUFS. There is a summary section (first 2 pages or so) followed by a detailed section. The two are copies of each other, with the detailed section showing obviously more details. Now for the part where I venture into parts I'm not positive on. My understanding is that a ward account has just other and missionary. All other money is added as needed. So, when you cut a check and transmit it to HQ, they send money to cover the check. If the check is not cashed that month, they pull the money out at the end of the month and put it back in at the beginning of the next month. In the detailed section, if you read the print next to the positive and negative amounts, it'll say something like expense & purpose for one and Trnsfr from HQ to cover expense for the other. So you have the expense and HQ has transferred money to your account to cover it.
So, if the check is indeed outstanding still, you should not be checking it off in either the expense or transfer section. Why it is already showing up checked off I don't know. When that happens here it's usually because the clerk just started clicking.
The reason the reconcile difference goes away when you check the boxes in both expenses and transfers is because the net result of clearing the expense and transfer is $0. Because your FO account is kept at $0 anyway (swept each week), by saying both cleared you have a net transaction of $0. When only the expense is checked and not the transfer, the net difference is the amount of the check.
Rather than have your clerk check the transfer box, if the check is indeed outstanding, have him uncheck it on the expense tab instead.
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