reports, reports, and more reports

Discuss where to obtain or how to fill out specific reports or forms.
Vince1981-p40
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reports, reports, and more reports

Postby Vince1981-p40 » Wed Nov 04, 2009 10:48 am

MLS really seems to like to print out reports. I'd only like to print the ones that are necessary for record retention policies and for helping ward leaders to find and fellowship members.

Is there a list somewhere of which reports need to be kept?

Here's some examples of what I'm talking about:

  • financial transaction report that prints following a send/receive when you've written reimbursement or fast offering checks
  • "necessary membership" reports that previous clerks and the bishopric say aren't really necessary
I want to fulfill my calling to the best of my ability, but as a new clerk I'm feeling a little buried with all of the paperwork.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Wed Nov 04, 2009 2:28 pm


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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:00 pm

Vince1981 wrote:financial transaction report that prints following a send/receive when you've written reimbursement or fast offering checks


These are rarely of any use, but they could be helpful if you for some reason have to restore an old backup and need to know what was transmitted. But I see no reason to retain them more than a few months; certainly not past the financial audit for the period in which they were received.

Vince1981 wrote:"necessary membership" reports that previous clerks and the bishopric say aren't really necessary


Be careful not to gloss over membership record changes that are received during a send/receive. It's your opportunity to make sure that changes that were made in MLS and transmitted were actually made correctly at CHQ. But once you've verified the changes, there is no reason to keep those printouts eternally.

Remember that for new membership records that are received, certain information (such as that related to disciplinary actions) will only show up on a printed membership record. These are very important for the bishop to review. Once they've been reviewed, if you don't keep a file of printed records, then you can shred them. After all, you can print the record again anytime you want, for as long as the member is in your ward.

All records should be kept only as long as they are necessary, or required by law or official policy. And it's always wise to review what reports are generated to see if they actually further the work of the ministry. If not, quit generating them.

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Postby RossEvans » Wed Nov 04, 2009 3:23 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:These [financial transaction report that prints following a send/receive ] are rarely of any use, but they could be helpful if you for some reason have to restore an old backup and need to know what was transmitted. But I see no reason to retain them more than a few months; certainly not past the financial audit for the period in which they were received.


If you're like me, once the paper reports are filed it would be more work to dig them out of the records than it is to retain them for routine periods.

We just file all the paper financial transaction reports from MLS (send/receive reports and the signed check batch forms) in a monthly folder. In fact, we keep them at the back of the same folder where we file the expense-transaction paperwork such as disbursement forms and check stubs. They will stay there until the whole folder is disposed of at the end of its required retention cycle.

For our paper files, we keep three folders per month: Donations, which contains the envelopes for weekly processing of tithes and offerings; Expenses, which contains the expense paperwork and MLS printouts described above; and Reconciliation, which contains the printed monthly financial statement and signed reconciliation report, stapled together.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Nov 04, 2009 8:20 pm

Vince1981 wrote:"necessary membership" reports that previous clerks and the bishopric say aren't really necessary


I'm not sure which ones you are referring to. Other than the quarterly reports which are filed electronically, I'm not sure of any that are "necessary" on a church-wide basis. Local units may have reporting requirements that could change that.

As for the MLS move send/receive transactions, one thing to keep in mind that MLS will only give you information about members currently in the ward. Once they move out, it's as if they never existed. Without printing reports to thumb though, you can't answer the questions like "When did Brother Brown move out and where did he move to?".
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Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 04, 2009 9:27 pm

RussellHltn wrote:
Vince1981 wrote:"necessary membership" reports that previous clerks and the bishopric say aren't really necessary


I'm not sure which ones you are referring to. Other than the quarterly reports which are filed electronically, I'm not sure of any that are "necessary" on a church-wide basis.


The phrase "necessary membership reports" appears at the end of the Send/Receive process when membership updates, including records for new move-ins, are received. The dialog boxes that follow encourage the clerk to print various lists of updates as well as updated membership records. Since Vince1981 put the term in quotation marks, I assumed that he was talking about those reports.

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Reports

Postby Eric Werny-p40 » Mon Mar 08, 2010 10:08 pm

Every single piece of paper that comes off that printer has a defined purpose.
It is a method of self auditing, it help prevent human error.

And when you say your overwhelmed, we all smile as clerks. Some of these guys like myself were Ward Clerk, Membership and Finance all at the same time because our ward didn't have the man power. So have faith and know how vital you are to the ward. The Lord will help you be successful.

When I became a clerk seven years ago, I asked the former ward clerk how long he had been in this calling. Now understand this guy is in his early 90's.
He come back with the comment. Oh I have been a clerk since I was 16 years old. I was speechless, and felt that this is the eternal calling of the ward.

Good luck and happy report reading.

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Hijt
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Printer Paper Reports

Postby Hijt » Tue Mar 16, 2010 10:14 pm

I would like to suggest that MLS could save a file to a clerks file instead of printing a sheet to be filed away. I do know that each report is important and has a purpose. I have faithfully filed these printouts as a ward clerk for several years. I do realize the importance for all the printouts for the financial transactions. These are all necessary for reporting donations that are sent to the bank in the pouch each week. All the other reports that MLS asks us to print out are paper wasters. At the end of the every transaction the program asks if you want to print one for the bishop or not. Most of the time the bishop doesn't have the time to read that you changed the phone number of a member or not. I think that if these records could be saved to the hard drive then retrieved by a menu selection like we do when we read messages, it would be more productive. This way all of the transactions would be saved in the computer and not in the clerks drawer. I think a system like this would save a lot paper in the ward, stake and church.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Mar 17, 2010 12:04 pm

Ground Rod wrote:I would like to suggest that MLS could save a file to a clerks file instead of printing a sheet to be filed away.
You can save it to a file. If you use the PDF print driver, CutePDF Writer, the file will be saved as a PDF file. From this file you can print a hard copy if desired or if it has no archival need then it can also be deleted.

Ground Rod wrote:I think that if these records could be saved to the hard drive then retrieved by a menu selection like we do when we read messages, it would be more productive. This way all of the transactions would be saved in the computer and not in the clerks drawer. I think a system like this would save a lot paper in the ward, stake and church.
Saving the records electronically has merit. Only they cannot be saved to the hard drive unless encoded in the MLS database. Church policy found in the Policies and Guidelines for Computers Used by Clerks for Church Record Keeping, August 18, 2009, does not permit storing confidential files on the hard drive. The MLS database is the only authorized location for confidential data. However, storing the PDF files on a removable media and then locking it in a filing cabinet is perfectly acceptable. I recommend this to all the clerks in our stake to reduce paper usage.

I agree that modifying MLS to permit storing these print files within the structure of the database should be looked into. Until it is available there is a suitable alternative.
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Hijt
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Log File

Postby Hijt » Sat Mar 20, 2010 10:04 pm

I just wanted to add that it would be much more efficient if all the transactions went to a "Log File" that could be accessed only through MLS, then printed out if it was needed as a reference. This way, no printing would be required each time you transmit a change of member information.


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