Auxiliary budgets

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
drepouille
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Auxiliary budgets

Postby drepouille » Fri Jan 25, 2013 8:00 pm

From the few stake and ward budgets I have seen so far, the estimated expenditures for auxiliaries are usually all zero. In other words, most units do not set a budgeted amount for auxiliaries. They spend whatever they need, and as long as the balance for the entire unit doesn't go negative, nobody cares.

When I told our stake auxiliary presidents how much they spent in 2012, and asked them how much they plan to spend in 2013, I got a couple numbers, but mostly just crickets chirping.

Have I formed an incorrect first impression of the way things generally are?
Most church leaders only do what is required of them, and anything that is optional (not verified or audited by anyone else) is ignored. Establishing auxiliary budgets typically falls beneath their radar.
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby lajackson » Fri Jan 25, 2013 9:17 pm

We have a stake budget. It has flexibility, and we move things around a bit when we decide we would like to use budget funds differently, but we do have a budget.

I was in a ward once where the bishopric had a budget, but the auxiliary leaders were not too concerned. They were very frugal, so there was rarely a problem.

The problem comes when someone decides to ignore a budget and spend beyond what they should.

I think you ought to have a budget, though. And I think the Handbook says something about it, too.

jdlessley
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby jdlessley » Fri Jan 25, 2013 10:02 pm

Whether or not units, or more specifically unit organizations, have budgets comes from the stake and how they manage allocations. I think our stake president does it correctly, but then he is a CPA. He requires each unit to submit an annual budget for the next year before the end of the current year. This budget submission must have enough detail to show the unit and unit organizations are planning their programs and activities rather than just winging it. This requires units to ask unit organizations to submit their budget needs or requests for ward council and then bishop approval. This in turn causes the organization presidencies to considerately estimate their organization's programs and activities and the budget needed to support them.

I honestly do not know how an organization can effectively run programs and activities effectively without a plan and a budget.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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aebrown
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby aebrown » Sat Jan 26, 2013 7:22 am

drepouille wrote:From the few stake and ward budgets I have seen so far, the estimated expenditures for auxiliaries are usually all zero. In other words, most units do not set a budgeted amount for auxiliaries. They spend whatever they need, and as long as the balance for the entire unit doesn't go negative, nobody cares.

When I told our stake auxiliary presidents how much they spent in 2012, and asked them how much they plan to spend in 2013, I got a couple numbers, but mostly just crickets chirping.

I'd strongly recommend that you, the stake president, and the bishops all review Handbook 1, Section 14.7.1. That section makes it very clear that each unit (both at the ward and stake level) is required to set a budget before the year begins, and specifically mentions that each organization is to estimate their needs so that a budget amount can be set for each organization. Each ward and stake is then required to operate on that approved budget.

That's the way that our stake and each ward in our stake operates. Not all wards do a great job of the process of actually operating on a budget, but at least they do create a detailed budget each year.

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johnshaw
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby johnshaw » Sat Jan 26, 2013 9:13 am

When I became a ward clerk, my first personal and private meeting with a 3 year bishop was to counsel on this very topic. I told him that it's called a Budget for a reason, it is not a list of expenses incurred during the year. The next couple of years we established a practice of planning specific events for the year and associating a cost for each event which became a proposed budget. Simple and Easy to do.

That Bishop is now the Stake President, I am now the Stake Clerk, and training to all of our wards is to follow that procedure. Activity based budgeting I believe is what the Wiki refers to.

One issue I see a lot is when auxiliaries are changed in a Ward, they often feel like their contribution is best served by changing everything the ward council planned for the year and do something different. It is vital that new leaders are counseled to follow the ward council planning for the year, wait for the coming year and plan and budget according to their wants and needs.

One other issue I run into is a problem where wards or branches want to build up some kind of contingency. There is no reason to do so.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
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marknieffenegger
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby marknieffenegger » Sun Jan 27, 2013 4:47 pm

jdlessley wrote:Whether or not units, or more specifically unit organizations, have budgets comes from the stake and how they manage allocations. I think our stake president does it correctly, but then he is a CPA. He requires each unit to submit an annual budget for the next year before the end of the current year. This budget submission must have enough detail to show the unit and unit organizations are planning their programs and activities rather than just winging it. This requires units to ask unit organizations to submit their budget needs or requests for ward council and then bishop approval. This in turn causes the organization presidencies to considerately estimate their organization's programs and activities and the budget needed to support them.

I honestly do not know how an organization can effectively run programs and activities effectively without a plan and a budget.


I am the Ward Clerk (for the past 3 Bishops) and this is how they have done it. No budget, no allocations for the next year. Auxillery budgets are usually submitted by the end of November for the following year.

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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby waynecooke » Sun May 05, 2013 8:06 pm

Our Ward seems to do it differently. The Bishop doesn't ask the Auxiliaries what they plan to spend the next year, he looks at the allotment from the Stake, and just gives each Auxiliary a given percentage of what we get as a Ward. Each Auxiliary then lives with what it gets. There have been a few times when we have had to move dollars from one group to another, but for the most part it works just fine. It is tweeked each year as necessary, such as the YM and YW populations change.

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aebrown
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby aebrown » Mon May 06, 2013 5:03 am

waynecooke wrote:The Bishop doesn't ask the Auxiliaries what they plan to spend the next year, he looks at the allotment from the Stake, and just gives each Auxiliary a given percentage of what we get as a Ward. Each Auxiliary then lives with what it gets.

The procedure for creating budgets is in the support article Local Budget Instructions (the Policy and Principles section is basically an excerpt from Handbook 1, Chapter 14). Your bishop is skipping step #2: "Ask organizations to estimate their budget needs in detail."

You might also want to read the wiki article Budget allocation methods which explains the virtues of activity-based budgeting.

carlscpa
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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby carlscpa » Tue May 07, 2013 4:18 pm

Our ward goes one step further. When an organization submits a request for reimbrsement, they must fill in the amount of the original budget assigned, the amount spent to date, and the amount of the request. This is especially helpful when the head of the organization changes.

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Re: Auxiliary budgets

Postby jasonfitt » Wed May 22, 2013 1:55 pm

I assumed all wards did it this way, but first we estimate the quarterly allowance we'll get for that year to figure the total annual budget. Our bishop then has a budget meeting with the auxiliary presidents to determine how much each will need. Then I enter those amounts in the various budget categories. We don't use all of the budget categories, so when issuing reimbursements we only use the categories that we put money in. We don't use the categories with a zero dollar amount. So when you look at our budget report, there are no negative balances. If there are any, then the bishop re-evaluates how much is needed in each budget, and makes changes as needed, which usually means redistributing funds from one budget in to another.


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