ward audit question 16. is MLS Expense Report no longer acceptible proof of bishops

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esogs
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ward audit question 16. is MLS Expense Report no longer acceptible proof of bishops

Postby esogs » Sun Sep 09, 2012 1:47 pm

in MLS/Other Resources/Church Audits/Ward Financial Audit page 9, question 16.

16. Did the bishop approve all payments?

Look at the payment records. Make sure the bishop has approved the payments by signing at least one of the following: invoice, bill, receipt, or payment request. The bishop's signature on the MLS Expense Report is acceptable proof of his approval.

In our most recent audit, we were instructed that on the next audit the MLS Expense Report would not be considered as acceptable proof of his approval.

Has anyone else heard this? Our bishop had signed every MLS Expense Report, but I had our bishop go through sign every expense from July just in case (either the payment request, if he hadn't already, or the invoice/bill if it was a fast offering).

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:02 pm

esogs wrote:In our most recent audit, we were instructed that on the next audit the MLS Expense Report would not be considered as acceptable proof of his approval.


Who gave this instruction? That is indeed odd, given that the audit instructions specifically state that the signature on the expense report is sufficient.
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Sep 09, 2012 2:45 pm

esogs wrote:In our most recent audit, we were instructed that on the next audit the MLS Expense Report would not be considered as acceptable proof of his approval.
It would be strange indeed if this were to actually be a change in Church policy. Advance notice would normally be given to the entire Church through official channels. Normal in this case would have been during the first six months of 2012 for a change of this nature to be effectively implemented. Advance lead time would be prudent to ensure everyone involved knew of the change and had time to implement the change before auditing (inspecting) compliance.

Like aebrown, I would like to know who is responsible for this instruction. Since this is the first anyone has mentioned such a thing I would think it may be a local policy decision.
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Gary_Miller
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Postby Gary_Miller » Sun Sep 09, 2012 5:44 pm

I heard the samething when our assistant reginal auditor gave some training for our stake. Not sure is it was just his personnal opion or he recieved it from his training, due to there was a couple of other things he mentioned about processes that had nothing to do with the audit report, but was just his opion.

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Postby esogs » Mon Sep 10, 2012 9:43 am

I'm not sure where the instruction came from, I do have this same question out to our stake auditing committee, so I'll let you know if I hear back. Thanks for at least confirming that it doesn't seem to be wide spread instructions yet.

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jeromer7
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Postby jeromer7 » Tue Sep 11, 2012 3:01 pm

aebrown wrote:Who gave this instruction? That is indeed odd, given that the audit instructions specifically state that the signature on the expense report is sufficient.

Our Assistant Area Auditor provided the specific instructions noted in Post #1 during his training prior to our 2012 Mid-Year audits. This was not his opinion, but a passing on of information he'd received in training by the Auditing Department. He said this applies to the stake as well.
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Postby allenjpl » Tue Sep 11, 2012 4:13 pm

jeromer7 wrote:Our Assistant Area Auditor provided the specific instructions noted in Post #1 during his training prior to our 2012 Mid-Year audits. This was not his opinion, but a passing on of information he'd received in training by the Auditing Department. He said this applies to the stake as well.


Respectfully, but as a finance clerk, I don't get my training from the Auditing Department, and I prefer to avoid second-hand information when possible. Auditors check compliance to established policies and procedures, they are not the source of the policies themselves.

Having said that, the only basis I can find for this instruction is that in the online training for processing expenses, it suggests that each ward create a payment authorization form. But as the purpose for the payment authorization form is to have a place where the bishop can indicate his approval, and as the audit form clearly permits the MLS expense report to serve the same purpose, I don't see any reason why this should cause an audit exception.

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Postby wrigjef » Wed Sep 12, 2012 5:46 am

allenjpl wrote:Respectfully, but as a finance clerk, I don't get my training from the Auditing Department, and I prefer to avoid second-hand information when possible. Auditors check compliance to established policies and procedures, they are not the source of the policies themselves.


Understand the perspective, however, in our case the regional assistant auditor gave us this instruction during the audit committee meeting which kicked off this audit. The chair, who is a member of the stake presidency, heard the instruction and instructed auditors to take heed and consider this when performing audits. At that point the instruction became local stake instruction and not just auditing department instruction.

In our stake the president signs each request form BEFORE a check is cut, after I cut the check and print the report, he then signs it when he countersigns the checks. It is my understanding that this is how it is working in all our our units as well. Auditors are looking for both signatures.

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Postby lajackson » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:19 pm

jeromer7 wrote:Our Assistant Area Auditor provided the specific instructions . . .


Perhaps, then, our AAA will do the same at some point in the future. Our mid-year audits are complete, so it is a little late now for this audit cycle.

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Postby Gary_Miller » Wed Sep 12, 2012 4:50 pm

Maybe this instruction is all do to the what handbook states Under Funding For Activities, "[font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84]Expenditures must be approved by the stake presidency or bishopric before they are incurred." (Handbook 2, 13.2.8). [/SIZE][/font][font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84]The printout is done after the expense has incurred at the time the reimbursment check is being written. [/SIZE][/font]
[font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84][/SIZE][/font]
[font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84]The problem I see is the handbook does not state how this approval is to be done, and the approval can be done by any member of the bishopric. And I have yet to see any formal approval until the reimbursment form is turned in to the bishop. For our ward this approval happens when the bishop approve the Budget, at which time each organization president is responsible for thier budget.[/SIZE][/font]
[font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84][/SIZE][/font]
[font=PalatinoldsLat-Roman][size=84]One of the things our AAA stated in our training was that the reimbursment form must be handed to a member of the bishopric which cause quite a stir among the clerks as usually they are turned into us and then we send them to the bishop for approval before we cut the check. This was his personnal opion though.
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