Is this the place?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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wrigjef
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Is this the place?

Postby wrigjef » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:32 pm

After calling Salt Lake about a specific financial issue, I took the opportunity to express yet again my desire to have interest put in the Missiorary account as opposed to placing the amounts in Other which accumulate over time and become unidentified Other funds which can trigger an audit exception. I was directed to this website to make the suggestion. Is this the best place to post it or is there another feedback link or email?

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johnshaw
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Postby johnshaw » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:47 pm

Again, here we are with totally conflicting information. I've heard that auditors are not to count interest as an audit exception.

One reason I can think of is that the Other, Budget and Ward Missionary accounts are unique per unit. CHQ doesn't have any authority to move funds from one account to another. What if a ward wants to use those funds for girls camp rather than Ward Missionary? In most cases I'd be all for automating something like this, but it seems that making a couple of transfers in a year solves this issue for auditing. It calls for clerks to be more curious and anxious to manage their accounts.

Here's a suggestion. MLS could be modified to ask the Unit what category to automatically deposit Interest Income into? I could put a check mark next to the Other:girls camp for other interest and the top-level Ward Missionary account for the missionary interest?

Anyone want to hazard a guess why a ward doesn't earn the interest for the budget category?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:47 pm

wrigjef wrote:After calling Salt Lake about a specific financial issue, I took the opportunity to express yet again my desire to have interest put in the Missiorary account as opposed to placing the amounts in Other which accumulate over time and become unidentified Other funds which can trigger an audit exception. I was directed to this website to make the suggestion. Is this the best place to post it or is there another feedback link or email?


[Moderator note: I moved this thread to Local Unit Finance from the MLS section. This really has very little to do with MLS, and everything to do with CUBS.]

I don't know if anyone in CUBS product management monitors LDSTech, so I wouldn't be confident that anyone will see the suggestion here.

One note: at least within the jurisdiction of our Assistant Area Auditor, this interest will never trigger an audit exception. He has trained our auditors (and he said that he was given direction from the Auditing Department on this matter) not to mark an exception for interest accrued in the Other:AMFA account.

Once or twice a year, the financial clerk can transfer any accrued funds to a more appropriate category. It's pretty simple to zero out those categories.

That said, I certainly agree that even this modest annoyance could (and should) be avoided by simply accruing the interest in the Ward Missionary account.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Sep 12, 2012 1:59 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Again, here we are with totally conflicting information. I've heard that auditors are not to count interest as an audit exception.


I wouldn't characterize this as "totally conflicting information." I too have been told by the Assistant Area Auditor (in a face-to-face meeting) that interest should not be counted as an audit exception. That is quite clearly the policy. Against that, we just have a supposition by a single financial clerk that this "can trigger an audit exception." I've seen no evidence that such would actually be the case.

JohnShaw wrote:One reason I can think of is that the Other, Budget and Ward Missionary accounts are unique per unit. CHQ doesn't have any authority to move funds from one account to another. What if a ward wants to use those funds for girls camp rather than Ward Missionary? In most cases I'd be all for automating something like this, but it seems that making a couple of transfers in a year solves this issue for auditing. It calls for clerks to be more curious and anxious to manage their accounts.


I guess I don't see how this would be characterized as moving funds from one account to another. All funds stay in place in their designated category. It's simply a question of where the Church chooses to deposit the accrued interest. I have no problem with the Church choosing whatever account they want.

Actually, if it were up to me, I'd say that the Church should get completely out of the business of crediting interest to local units. The Church should simply keep the accrued interest for its own purposes; I assume that would simplify the accounting for everyone involved. If the Church had never given interest to local units, I doubt that anyone would even care. It's not "our" money anyway.

JohnShaw wrote:Here's a suggestion. MLS could be modified to ask the Unit what category to automatically deposit Interest Income into? I could put a check mark next to the Other:girls camp for other interest and the top-level Ward Missionary account for the missionary interest?


That seems like a significant amount of work to change the software (both MLS and CUBS would have to change) for such a small benefit of convenience. But if that were to become a priority, the suggestion seems reasonable.

JohnShaw wrote:Anyone want to hazard a guess why a ward doesn't earn the interest for the budget category?


I've wondered that, too. My first thought was that the Church doesn't want to encourage the accumulation of large balances in the Budget category, but then again, that same argument would apply to Ward Missionary and AMFA. So I don't have a good theory.
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Postby russellhltn » Wed Sep 12, 2012 2:18 pm

JohnShaw wrote:Anyone want to hazard a guess why a ward doesn't earn the interest for the budget category?


I'd speculate that it's because it's the church's money budgeted to the ward to spend. The church is collecting the interest on that. Missionary and "Other" are funds raised by the local unit prior to the actual spending so any interest is earned by the local unit.
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