Tracking and Analyzing Financial Trends, Strengths, and Weaknesses

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
tysonkearns
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Tracking and Analyzing Financial Trends, Strengths, and Weaknesses

Postby tysonkearns » Tue Jan 03, 2012 5:06 pm

I am a new Stake Financial Clerk. The wiki article on Stake Clerks says that it is part of my responsibilities to "Analyze trends, strengths, and weaknesses within the stake." I know a lot of this will be what the main Stake Clerk would be doing, but I would also like to do my part on the financial end. I thought analyzing the following could be helpful:

  • Budget
  • Fast Offerings
  • Ward Missionary
  • Other: AMFA
  • Any other suggestions to this list?

I realize also that the Unit Financial Statement and Consolidated Financial Statement do some of this already, but I feel more could be done. Are there any specific things you have tracked before? Any templates or anything that could get me started? I appreciate any assistance or expertise that you could share.

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aebrown
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Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 03, 2012 6:14 pm

I would note that the stake clerk's responsibility to identify trends, strengths, and weaknesses comes directly from Handbook 1, Section 13.3.2.

My stake president finds it helpful to see Fast Offering donations vs. expenses by ward, tracked over time. Although there is no requirement that fast offering expenses correspond to donations within a ward or even within a stake, seeing the trends helps him to know where financial concerns might be increasing, and how well a ward is taking care of its members temporally.

Now that we have the Key Indicators graphs as part of the Leader Tools on lds.org, we can see those indicators over time. But those don't include any financial metrics, which is your area of concern. The graphs on the statements only show one unit at a time. Seeing graphs that show all the wards at one time can be helpful to compare the trends.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Jan 03, 2012 8:27 pm

tysonkearns wrote:
  • Budget
  • Fast Offerings
  • Ward Missionary
  • Other: AMFA
  • Any other suggestions to this list?

I don't believe there is anything else!

Things I track specifically:
Fast offering checks - is the purpose descriptive enough to identify what was paid for? Does the category fit the description.
Budget - Is a ward keeping within its allotments? Are there any issues (outstanding checks) that need to be taken care of?
Ward missionary - are funds actually being deposited/transferred to specific missionary subcategories or are they all in the main category and each subcategory is becoming increasingly negative? Are wards meeting their obligations?
Other - Are funds collected for a specific purpose? Are funds being collected and used appropriately?

tysonkearns
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Postby tysonkearns » Wed Jan 04, 2012 10:46 am

aebrown wrote:Now that we have the Key Indicators graphs as part of the Leader Tools on lds.org, we can see those indicators over time. But those don't include any financial metrics, which is your area of concern.


Yeah, as the Stake Financial Clerk I don't have access to the Leaders Portal yet. Thanks for your input though. This is kinda what I was thinking...I just wanted to make sure I was on the right track.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Wed Jan 04, 2012 11:03 am

tysonkearns wrote:Yeah, as the Stake Financial Clerk I don't have access to the Leaders Portal yet.

Currently no financial information is displayed in Leader Tools, so having access wouldn't help you with what you want, at least not yet. You are on the right track, but the only way to create what you want is to do it by hand (or use the charts provided in the UFS and CFS).

tysonkearns
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Postby tysonkearns » Wed Jan 04, 2012 12:33 pm

crislapi wrote:You are on the right track, but the only way to create what you want is to do it by hand (or use the charts provided in the UFS and CFS).


Yeah, I think I will do it by hand. I figured I would extract all the relevant information into some excel spreadsheets. Then I will develop some additional tables, charts, and graphs from that info. Maybe I will get real ambitious and make some templates so others can do the same. Well see.

Thanks for all the help.


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