Changing Check Payment Categories

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Eric Werny-p40
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Changing Check Payment Categories

Postby Eric Werny-p40 » Mon Jun 30, 2008 6:54 pm

We have found checks put into the wrong budget category. I went into MLS to change it, and it appeared it was going to work. But after a transmission to SLC it didn't change.

I have been forced to make funds transfer and budget modifications.

Any ideas

Regards,

Eric Werny

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Jun 30, 2008 8:52 pm

Eric Werny wrote:We have found checks put into the wrong budget category. I went into MLS to change it, and it appeared it was going to work. But after a transmission to SLC it didn't change.

I have been forced to make funds transfer and budget modifications.


This may have been what you tried already, but just to clarify, the steps to change a budget subcategory are:
  1. Go to View/Update Expenses
  2. Locate the check in question, and click on the blue reference number to edit it.
  3. Change the category to be the correct subcategory
  4. Click Save
  5. Enter the reason for the adjustment, and click OK
  6. Now in the list of checks there should be an entry with the reference number preceded by three asterisks.
  7. On that new entry, click on the blue underlined word "Multiple" in the Category column
  8. You should see the negative check amount for the new category, and the positive check amount for the old category. Click OK to dismiss that dialog.
Adjusting the check is far preferable to creating a transfer. You should never have to actually transfer funds as long as the mistake was within the Budget category (you just had the wrong subcategory). If the mistake crossed major categories (e.g., you wrote it from Other but it should have been from Budget), then you have to write a check to the ward from the new category and deposit it to the ward in the old category.

If this doesn't help, please give us some more details (what was the original category? what is the desired category? how did you attempt to correct it?) and I'm sure someone can help you.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Mon Jun 30, 2008 11:54 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:If the mistake crossed major categories (e.g., you wrote it from Other but it should have been from Budget), then you have to write a check to the ward from the new category and deposit it to the ward in the old category.

Actually, you could always cross major categories with a correction, but it required notification to CHQ (either by phone or MLS message) so they could adjust their records to match. To make it even easier, they recently changed MLS so a message is automatically generated for each correction that crosses a major category.

Go ahead and follow Alan's steps above and let us know if it didn't work as expected.

Cheers,
Mike
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seth.wagenman
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Postby seth.wagenman » Wed Sep 15, 2010 6:33 pm

When I changed a check category (after it was already written) from a "Budget" category to an "Other" category, I experienced major issues...could this be resolved by a call to HQ? If so, what is their phone number?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Sep 15, 2010 10:05 pm

brethvoice wrote:When I changed a check category (after it was already written) from a "Budget" category to an "Other" category, I experienced major issues...could this be resolved by a call to HQ? If so, what is their phone number?


The contact numbers are listed in the wiki under Local Unit Support. But you should work through your stake clerk (or stake financial clerk) before you call Local Unit Support. But if you do end up calling Local Unit Support, they are generally able to help you resolve such problems.

You might also get some helpful feedback here if you gave us some idea what you mean by "experienced major issues". In my experience, one problem that often occurs in this scenario is that clerks don't follow up to make sure that the correction actually appears on a Church Unit Financial Statement. Sometimes the correction doesn't get processed at CHQ, either because it got overlooked, or because the request to make the change was actually denied because it did not appear to be within Church policy.
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seth.wagenman
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Correction was in June finance statement

Postby seth.wagenman » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:23 pm

The correction actually was in my June 2010 finance statement but it didn't list subcategories (just "Budget" and "Other"). It makes me wonder if that is part of the problem...not being in the parent "Major Category"? I had to enter the correction manually in MLS when reconciling so I put it into the subcategories (or sub-subcategories, as applicable) from which the check was originally drawn and to which it was changed after the fact.

So despite the fact that the automated message was sent to HQ via the MLS messaging and they did indeed make the adjustment in my June 2010 finance statement, I am not able to reconcile for June or July without a temporary item in my reconciliation for that same exact amount. For some reason that same amount is appearing lots of unexpected places, for example when printing out a budget report.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:33 pm

brethvoice wrote:The correction actually was in my June 2010 finance statement but it didn't list subcategories (just "Budget" and "Other"). It makes me wonder if that is part of the problem...not being in the parent "Major Category"?


The Church Unit Financial Statement never knows anything about subcategories -- all you will ever see is the major categories. So what you saw on your finance statement is exactly what I would expect, and the lack of subcategories on the CUFS is certainly not part of the problem.

What you need to check is that the correction is for the right amounts for each major category, and corresponds exactly to what was done in MLS. You may need to add up multiple subcategories to the corresponding major category in order to do this.

I'd also double check to make sure that the correction in MLS was not accidentally made twice.

Other than that, I can only suggest having someone else take a close look at it -- your ward clerk, or stake financial clerk, an auditor, etc. -- and see if they can help you find the problem. If May reconciled just fine, but in June you started having to enter a Temporary Item in order to reconcile, then the problem must be in June (or in some transaction created in June or later, but dated prior to June). If local help fails, you can then call Support.
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seth.wagenman
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Multiple entries of correction possibility

Postby seth.wagenman » Thu Sep 16, 2010 3:50 pm

Alan_Brown:

Thanks for the great suggestions. There was not a problem with multiple categories (changed check draw from one "Budget" category to a single "Other" subcategory) and there was only one correction listed on the finance statement. The temporary item had actually been carried forward since much earlier in the year since that is when we first started receiving donations for Scout camps.

I just went through an audit and the auditor will be meeting with me soon, but I just wanted to see if it was a bug in MLS or a mistake I made. I was starting to think that it was not allowed to change the category from which a check was drawn after it had already been sent out and cashed but it seems like I'm not the only one who has done it. The training certainly doesn't mention anything about this that I am aware of. I figured that as long as there was money in the category or categories from which a check is drawn (or to which it is changed to being drawn from) then it should be safe to do but it sure doesn't seem to be working out.

The reason I wanted to change where the check was drawn from is a little bit of a story regarding fundraising for Scout camps. It seems the Young Men failed to plan ahead and submitted a request to send a check out for a down payment in March to some camp or another. There was way less than $100 in the "Other" subcategory for Scout fundraising monies, and the check was to be for close to $1000, so I went ahead and wrote two checks (since we all know you can't write one check from both "Budget" and "Other"), taking the rest of the funds from "Budget:Young Men:Scouts" subcategory. Later, the Young Men raised a whole bunch of money and the Bishop was a little bit concerned about using "Other" funds to pay for expenses that "Budget" funds are usually used for, despite the fact that "Budget" funds were used in place of non-existent "Other" funds earlier in the year. This was the only way I could see to keep everyone happy and out of trouble...except for me it would appear, because now I have this temporary item close to $1000 that I can't seem to get rid of...

One of your suggestions seems to give me some hope: checking to see that the correction was not made twice in MLS, but I need a little bit more detail. Do you include the temporary item among the set of corrections for which I need to check? I don't think that's what you meant, but I wanted to make sure. Where exactly, or how exactly would I go about checking to see whether the correction had been entered more than once? I thought the only place corrections were entered in MLS was during the reconciliation process and I know I didn't do it more than once there, at least not for the month of June when it finally appeared in the financial statement. I will check previous months to see if perhaps I entered it in one of them before it showed up on the church finance statement, but I usually never enter corrections during reconciliation unless they show up on the finance statement.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Sep 16, 2010 8:56 pm

brethvoice wrote: Where exactly, or how exactly would I go about checking to see whether the correction had been entered more than once? I thought the only place corrections were entered in MLS was during the reconciliation process and I know I didn't do it more than once there, at least not for the month of June when it finally appeared in the financial statement. I will check previous months to see if perhaps I entered it in one of them before it showed up on the church finance statement, but I usually never enter corrections during reconciliation unless they show up on the finance statement.


The correction to the category of a check is made on the check itself, not during reconciliation. Correcting the category of a check will create transfer transactions that will add money to the original category, bringing the net transaction to 0, and subtract money from the new category, so that the net is the same as if the check had originally been drawn on that category.

Depending on the timing of the correction relative to the check and to the dates of the CUFS, you may need to enter a Temporary Item during reconciliation. This would be necessary if you have made the correction in MLS but the monthly statement you are balancing is for a month before the change was made at CHQ. Once the correction appears on the CUFS, you simply check the Temporary Item as cleared, the Temporary Item goes away, and you should balance.

You should never enter an Other Item during reconciliation for such an issue, because that will also create transfers and could have the effect of making the change twice.

The places I would look would be:

  1. In View/Update Expenses, look for the check, and right by it should be an entry with "***" that is the transfer from the old category to the new category.
  2. In the View Transfers screen, see if there are any other transfers related to this transaction.
  3. In the Expenses tab during Reconciliation, make sure that the check has been checked off as cleared.
  4. It's also very important to look at the Transfers tab during reconciliation, and make sure that any transfers related to the adjustment are also checked off as cleared (once the adjustment shows up on the CUFS).
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