Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

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drepouille
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Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby drepouille » Thu Jan 17, 2013 5:21 pm

Some of our bishops have noticed that the notice dated December 20, 2012 on this subject no longer requires the Batch Summary Report to be printed and sent to the stake.

Has this been discussed on this forum?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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aebrown
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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 17, 2013 6:58 pm

Sort of. Back in 2011, there was a discussion of the discontinuing of the Deposit Transaction Report, and how that made the submission of the Batch Summary Report rather pointless. Then in the instructions regarding fiscal year 2011, the Batch Summary Report was not mentioned (nor was it this year).

With the advent of CUBS, there's really no need for a manual comparing of MLS batches with the batches received by CHQ. So I'm happy that step is gone.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby drepouille » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:05 pm

My stake president wants to know if any declared full tithe payers are not donating anything to fast offerings. What is the best way for him to know that during this annual review?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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aebrown
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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby aebrown » Thu Jan 17, 2013 7:29 pm

Under Donor Statements, choose the "Year-to-Date Donor Summaries by Category" report. Make sure you choose the right fiscal year, and select all and then print or preview.

Update: I should have noted in my original response that the stake president would have to make a request of each bishop for this information. There's no access in stake MLS to this information.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby allenjpl » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:01 am

Doesn't this bring into play the confidentiality of the financial records? According to Handbook 1, 14.5, the only ones who should know the amounts are the bishop and those who are authorized to handle the contributions. While I understand why the stake president would like to know this information, he isn't authorized to handle the contributions at the ward level, and so it doesn't really seem like he should be privy to this information.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:11 am

allenjpl wrote:Doesn't this bring into play the confidentiality of the financial records? According to Handbook 1, 14.5, the only ones who should know the amounts are the bishop and those who are authorized to handle the contributions. While I understand why the stake president would like to know this information, he isn't authorized to handle the contributions at the ward level, and so it doesn't really seem like he should be privy to this information.

I suppose a narrow reading of that section might lead to that conclusion, but given that the stake president has stewardship over pretty much everything that happens in the stake, and considering that he already receives the annual Tithing Status Report (which tells what each member pays in tithing and total donations, even if it doesn't call out fast offerings specifically), I don't think it makes much sense to say that the stake president can't see that information.

That said, it does seem a little inefficient for the stake president to request this information. It seems like it would work better for him to communicate his reason for the request to the bishops (perhaps he wants to make a plea for more generous fast offering donations) and ask the bishops to do the analysis and follow up on the results.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby allenjpl » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:22 am

Although I agree that the stake president has stewardship over much of what happens in the stake, the handbook is very clear that the Lord has given the responsibility and trust over the tithes and offerings to the bishops. The stake does not handle these donations. So although whether a person is a full-tithe payer, part-tithe, non-tithe, or exempt is completely within the stake president's oversight, when I provide the stake with the Tithing Status Report, the donation amounts are suppressed.

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aebrown
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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 18, 2013 11:27 am

allenjpl wrote:So although whether a person is a full-tithe payer, part-tithe, non-tithe, or exempt is completely within the stake president's oversight, when I provide the stake with the Tithing Status Report, the donation amounts are suppressed.

Interesting. My stake president has always specifically asked for the donation amounts to be included, and no bishop has ever pushed back on that request. But if your stake president is happy with the report with no amounts, that's certainly his option as well.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Jan 18, 2013 12:24 pm

Perhaps this is what happens when policies change but the people don't adapt to the changes (or didn't even realize the policies changed). Also, since old handbooks are destroyed it's difficult to know why someone wants things a certain way (maybe it was required by an old policy?) but that way is actually opposed by current policies.

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Re: Preparing Annual Tithing Reports

Postby allenjpl » Fri Jan 18, 2013 3:03 pm

mrrad wrote:Perhaps this is what happens when policies change but the people don't adapt to the changes (or didn't even realize the policies changed). Also, since old handbooks are destroyed it's difficult to know why someone wants things a certain way (maybe it was required by an old policy?) but that way is actually opposed by current policies.


I don't know that this is a question of a change in policy so much as it is an interpretation of policy. As far as I can remember, I think the current wording about confidentiality was the same as it was in at least the 2006 Handbook, so the question I raised was whether the stake president is authorized to know the amounts of specific members' contributions. I don't think he is, based on my reading of his responsibilities for finances in 14.2.1, and the general admonition of confidentiality in 14.5. The training that is provided about the Declaration Report says only that, after submitting it to church headquarters, the clerk needs to provide one copy of the report to the stake president and another copy to the bishop for his confidential file. It is completely silent as to whether the amounts should be included in these copies, but suppressing the amounts when printing is an option provided in MLS. Given my interpretation of the handbook, the amounts should be confidential, so I suppress them. The statistics contained at the end of the report remain the same whether the amounts are shown or not, but that way, the stake has a record of the tithing statuses declared during tithing settlement. Whether someone is a full-tithe payer does not depend on whether the report shows a payment of $10 or $10,000, and for the life of me, I can't think of any reason for the stake to need to know the specific amounts. If everyone in the ward paid directly to church headquarters, the report would look the same as the one I provide to the stake, because church headquarters doesn't push that information down to the stakes.


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