Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

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drepouille
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Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby drepouille » Sun Jan 06, 2013 6:51 pm

If I order items from either store.lds.org or Staples (Corporate Express), it looks like they are charged against the "Distribution Center Charges" budget code. After they appear on my financial statement, should I (can I) move those items to a more appropriate budget category?

For example, if the Young Men's president asks me to order something from those web sites using the Church account, how do I charge those expenses to the Young Men's budget?

Sorry if this is a rookie question. I am reviewing all financial statements for the past year, and they are raising many questions in my mind.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby wrigjef » Sun Jan 06, 2013 7:38 pm

You don't have to wait for the expense to show up on a statement (you can if you want). What I always did is as soon as the expense showed up in MLS under "Distribution Center" I went into "view/edit expenses" and changed it from "Distribution Center" to the appropriate budget category. I found that if several expenses build up in the Distribution Center category it quickly became confusing to sort out. I always attempted to get expenses out of that category as soon as they came in so normally it would be 0

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby drepouille » Thu Feb 07, 2013 5:04 pm

I just read this in a training article (File and Retain Expense Records):
"Non-check expense documentation such as Distribution Center invoices filed by date. Note: Some non-check expenses now come automatically through MLS (referred to as IROPS). Include an expense authorization for each expense."

I probably have receipts for Distribution Center and Staples purchases, but I guarantee I don't have signed expense authorization forms on file for them. Is that really necessary?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby jdlessley » Thu Feb 07, 2013 6:19 pm

drepouille wrote:Is that really necessary?
Yes. Every expense must be approved by the bishop. The online training explains the bishop can sign the printed hardcopy IROP. Our ward fills out an expense authorization form so that there is information indicating what organization and budget category the expense belongs.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

drepouille
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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby drepouille » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:19 pm

Or the bishop could simply review and sign the monthly unit financial statement, and determine that all IROPs for the month are reasonable.
https://www.lds.org/callings/melchizede ... p?lang=eng

Sometimes it is difficult to determine exact procedures from different training articles that present different facets of the same process. I suppose it is best to read ALL the training so you see all sides of the issues. I am still learning, and trying to find the best practices in all the documents available.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby aebrown » Thu Feb 07, 2013 9:43 pm

drepouille wrote:Or the bishop could simply review and sign the monthly unit financial statement, and determine that all IROPs for the month are reasonable.
https://www.lds.org/callings/melchizede ... p?lang=eng

I read that linked article, and although it says the bishop should review the appropriateness of the internal purchases and sign the financial statement, I didn't see anything in that article that leads me to believe that signing the financial statement is sufficient.

The audit instructions are very clear that the bishop is to "approve all payments." It goes on to say "Look at the payment records. Make sure the bishop has approved the payments by signing at least one of the following: original invoice, original bill, original receipt, or payment request. The bishop's signature on the MLS Expense Report is acceptable proof of his approval."

But it certainly does not say that the bishop's signature on the financial statement is acceptable proof of his approval. And the audit instructions refer only to payments -- they never say "expenditures by check" -- so clearly those instructions encompass internal purchases.

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby scottarlo » Mon Feb 11, 2013 8:57 pm

We just completed our ward finance audit and the question of Distribution Center Charges was not asked. If I had not read this forum, I would not have known about the issue. I don't know if I agree that the Bishop is required to sign something specific for each IROP. Is there an authoritative policy that says he must approve the purchase in this way?

On the other hand, we have always struggled to approve purchases from the Distribution Center. Ward members have been told they can just charge it to the ward account when buying something in person. The money is gone before we even know about the purchase. We have tried to train people to get approval first, but I find it strange there is no protection from abuse.

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby jdlessley » Mon Feb 11, 2013 10:41 pm

scottarlo wrote:We just completed our ward finance audit and the question of Distribution Center Charges was not asked.

Every expense is not audited. Rather a minimum of two expenses are spot checked for each month. If an auditor does not choose an expense associated with an IROP for spot check then the issue will not be raised. I have found that many auditors are not familiar with IROPs and will avoid choosing an expense associated with an IROP for spot check.

scottarlo wrote:I don't know if I agree that the Bishop is required to sign something specific for each IROP. Is there an authoritative policy that says he must approve the purchase in this way?

The Ward or Branch Financial Audit— United States and Canada item 16 states "Did the bishop approve all payments? ... Make sure the bishop has approved the payments by signing at least one of the following: original invoice, original bill, original receipt, or payment request. The bishop’s signature on the MLS Expense Report is acceptable proof of his approval." It is clear that all payments must be approved. The accepted proof of approval is a signature. MLS Expense Reports do not include IROPs, so that leaves signing the IROP (which serves as the receipt) or a payment request.

Additionally in the RKATS File and Retain Expense Records article in the Procedures section is this. "After recording the expenses and reimbursements, file all expense documents. This includes: ... Non-check expense documentation such as Distribution Center invoices filed by date. Note: Some non-check expenses now come automatically through MLS (referred to as IROPS). Include an expense authorization for each expense." This last sentence strongly suggests even an IROP should include and expense authorization - the form the bishop signs to show his approval of the expense.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby lajackson » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:14 pm

jdlessley wrote:If an auditor does not choose an expense associated with an IROP for spot check then the issue will not be raised. I have found that many auditors are not familiar with IROPs and will avoid choosing an expense associated with an IROP for spot check.

scottarlo wrote:I don't know if I agree that the Bishop is required to sign something specific for each IROP. Is there an authoritative policy that says he must approve the purchase in this way?

There is now. Watch for the W7 and S7 audit forms and instructions for the upcoming mid-year 2013 audits.

The auditor will be specifically asked to review expenses associated with an IROP and determine that the bishop or stake president has approved the expense.

There are two ways the presiding officer may approve the expense that will be acceptable to the auditor (if the auditor follows his instructions).

The presiding officer may sign the IROP to indicate his approval. Or the presiding officer may sign the monthly financial statement AND give his verbal assurance to the auditor that he has reviewed and approved the expense.

If the expense is documented in either of these ways, the audit item will be marked Yes and everything will be fine.

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Re: Expenses from store.lds.org and Staples

Postby jeromer7 » Thu Jun 20, 2013 12:37 pm

jdlessley wrote:Yes. Every expense must be approved by the bishop. The online training explains the bishop can sign the printed hardcopy IROP.

I can understand the requirement for the bishop/branch president/stake president signing IROPs authorizing expenses. However, phone charges show in the expenses section of the stake's UFS and are also reimbursed in the same statement, thus in reality aren't expenses to the stake. There are also times where an IROP has a $0.0 balance when one or more No Charge items are ordered from the Distribution Center. Does the unit leader need to sign showing he authorized these non-expenses?
Not trying to split hairs, just wondering what the group's opinions are in these two specific cases.


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