Recociliation mess

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
sfraser-p40
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Recociliation mess

Postby sfraser-p40 » Mon Mar 03, 2008 8:40 pm

As a new ward clerk I have found that starting in July of 2007 the monthly statement was not reconciled. This means the current statement cannot be reconciled. I'll be contacting the Stake clerk for help but wanted to get a general idea of how one would tackle a problem like this. Do you start at the last good reconcile and work forward? What would you do?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:08 pm

sfraser wrote:What would you do?


Start from the last good one. Even if it wasn't required, if I was in that situation, it would be necessary just to have confidence in what's going on. What you don't know can come back and bite later.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Mar 03, 2008 9:18 pm

sfraser wrote:As a new ward clerk I have found that starting in July of 2007 the monthly statement was not reconciled. This means the current statement cannot be reconciled. I'll be contacting the Stake clerk for help but wanted to get a general idea of how one would tackle a problem like this. Do you start at the last good reconcile and work forward? What would you do?


I would definitely start with the first unreconciled month and move forward. I did a similar thing (but it was 13 months) when I became a financial clerk. For most months, it was pretty straightforward.

The one thing to be aware of is that any corrections that have been subsequently made to the checks or donations are dated with the date of the original check or donation, not the date of the correction. But they show up on the Church Unit Financial Statement with the date of the correction. So you may need to have some temporary adjustment items that you carry forward until the month they show up on the statement as you work through these reconciliations.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Mar 04, 2008 1:59 am

I'm curious... with finance audits every 6 months, how could a unit get so far behind?
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jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Thu Mar 13, 2008 5:34 pm

I had to deal with this when I was called as ward clerk. No reconciliations had been done since the conversion from FIS to MLS. Fortunately, all the statements were there. My first attempt at just taking the most recent statement and staring from there ended up showing discrepancies in the tens of thousands of dollars range. After getting over my initial shock, I undid that reconciliation and started over with the first statement that corresponded to the switch to MLS.

So short answer is: Yes, start from the last good reconcile and work forward from there.

Fortunately for you, you only have to go back to mid 2007. If you have already upgraded to MLS 2.8, all of your unit's 2007 financial statements are available to you electronically within MLS 2.8. That means that you can print out whatever statements you are missing, and proceed from there until you get caught up.

stott-p40
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Postby stott-p40 » Mon Mar 31, 2008 8:33 pm

I'll add my 2 cents (and that is about all my comments are worth.) I am no expert like the moderators here are. They know this stuff inside and out and I just try to feel my way throught and luckily the Holy Ghost helps me once in a while.

When a ward is way behind with reconciliations, I agree that it would be nice to go back to the last statement that reconciled and go forward from there. But I also agree with the comment by Bro. Brown that when corrections are made later this will throw off the previous reconciliations. As stake fin. clerk I had one ward that had an older brother as clerk and I don't know what he did. When I got in to look at mls in about Feb. of 2007, things were messed up by tens of thousands of $ back to 2005. Bless his heart, he was trying hard but sometimes with age those brain cells don't work for us as well as they used to. He probably tried to make corrections in the last part of 2006 but ended up picking the wrong year and making bad transfers. He also added a few zeros to some numbers. The bottom line is that there was no way I was going to be able to spend all my waking hours for a full month to try to sort out the mess. Calling Salt Lake was no help. Of course they said talk to the stake fin. clerk. But I was the stake fin. clerk and I was still real lost on this one. First I started out praying real hard. Since this is a church calling we are entitled to inspiration for the Lord's finances. Then I started with a statement closer to the end of the troubled year 2006, November. I correctioned several items in MLS, mostly using the "Other Items" section of reconcile. I used the transfer window for things that were wrong in ward miss. and ward other. I made sure cleared checks and deposits were checked off. My goal was to get my mls on Dec 31 to match the statement. After serveral hours I got there.

My point is if things are really messed up I think it can be extremely hard to go back several months and try to make all the corrections. In these situations if I can get my mls to match the bank statements for the last 2 months then I am real excited. Assuming the statement is correct (which I think it is 99% of the time) our goal is to get our mls to match it. In real bad situations, if we can get the mls to match the last 2 statements and then if the following months reconcile real nicely, I don't feel real bad that the statements 8-10 back are still all screwed up. Moderators, correct me if I am way out in left field.

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opee
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Postby opee » Mon Mar 31, 2008 9:33 pm

stott wrote:My point is if things are really messed up I think it can be extremely hard to go back several months and try to make all the corrections. In these situations if I can get my mls to match the bank statements for the last 2 months then I am real excited. Assuming the statement is correct (which I think it is 99% of the time) our goal is to get our mls to match it. In real bad situations, if we can get the mls to match the last 2 statements and then if the following months reconcile real nicely, I don't feel real bad that the statements 8-10 back are still all screwed up. Moderators, correct me if I am way out in left field.


It appears that you have been diligent in correcting the problem. I don't think that the Moderators can tell you if you need to go back to the beginning--that should be a decision from your Stake Audit Committee and the Stake President, in my opinion. If the problems are resolved without going back and the Auditor has ok'd it, I think that is what is supposed to happen.

sfraser-p40
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Postby sfraser-p40 » Wed Apr 16, 2008 7:09 am

I finally scheduled an appointment with the Salt Lake reconciliation specialist. He phoned me up at the appointed time and having prepared ahead of time quickly started at the root of the problem which was the beginning of 2005. Most of the problems were made in the "Temporary Adjustment" area. He took me to Jan 2006 and I was able, after following what he had been doing, to finish up to the present. Nice to have a perfect and correct reconciliation finally.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Apr 16, 2008 11:07 am

Congratulations! I'll bet it feels good to have order and harmony again. :)
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Postby lajackson » Thu Apr 17, 2008 5:51 pm

sfraser wrote:I finally scheduled an appointment with the Salt Lake reconciliation specialist.


Wow! I need to hook him up with our stake clerk. Our clerk also reports that most of the problems are in the Temporary area. Four years ago, I tried desperately to reconcile several units when we first moved them from FIS to MLS. We finally got it done, but only after I gave up trying to follow the directions and called the help desk to learn that the directions that came out with MLS were backwards.

I have to give them credit. The correct directions did make more sense. But I was not able to figure that out at the time since MLS was so new.


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