New to finance - reconciliations missing a key component?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
rcosby-p40
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New to finance - reconciliations missing a key component?

Postby rcosby-p40 » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:04 pm

As a fairly new first councilor, I have been asked to help an even newer finance clerk to get caught up on reconciliations. We're just about caught up, then find out that the records for orders from distribution have not been tracked or entered. However, unless we're doing something wrong, the reconciliation doesn't seem to catch this. It comes out just fine.

Are we missing something here? Should the reconciliation be "off" if we haven't recorded those? It appears the money comes in, and goes back out, leaving a zero net impact on the reconciliation, whether it's recorded or not.

Randy Cosby
Ivins 6th Ward

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Jul 29, 2008 9:19 pm

rcosby wrote:As a fairly new first councilor, I have been asked to help an even newer finance clerk to get caught up on reconciliations. We're just about caught up, then find out that the records for orders from distribution have not been tracked or entered. However, unless we're doing something wrong, the reconciliation doesn't seem to catch this. It comes out just fine.

Are we missing something here? Should the reconciliation be "off" if we haven't recorded those? It appears the money comes in, and goes back out, leaving a zero net impact on the reconciliation, whether it's recorded or not.

Randy Cosby
Ivins 6th Ward


First of all, welcome to the LDS Tech community! I trust you will find valuable information here, and we will also appreciate your contributions.

The Budget category is a bit tricky to reconcile, since it is not part of the actual running bank balance -- only the Ward Missionary and Other categories make up the bank balance, and thus are part of the actual reconciliation process. You're right that as far as the bank account is concerned, all checks are immediately reimbursed, and all deposits are immediately transferred out.

However, it is indeed important to enter all Budget expenses, whether by check or direct debit. All budget expenses are counted against your Budget Allowance, and if you don't count all your expenses, you may well make the mistake of thinking you have more budget allowance to spend than you really do.

It is possible to reconcile the Budget category, but you have to go beyond the standard reconciliation built into MLS. You can find a way to do this on the LDS Clerks Wiki under Reconciling the Budget Category.

It is also important to know what your budget allowance is. Your stake should be communicating this to you; some stakes do it on an annual basis, and others do it on a quarterly basis. A couple of helpful wiki articles in this area are Budget Allowance and Budget Allowance Accounting. Your budget allowance will of course affect the total amount of your annual budget, which should also be entered in MLS and monitored throughout the year using the Budget Report.

I know this is a lot of information, but hopefully it can get you started. Feel free to ask any follow up questions and forum members will be happy to help you.

rcosby-p40
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Thanks...

Postby rcosby-p40 » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:42 am

Thanks for the quick reply.

I agree, we should be reconciling this. I have a hunch this is a WIDELY missed area, and I know that in the past our ward has been "stung" by missing expenses eating too much of the budget, leading to a deficit that needs to be made up the next year. Any chance of having the budget reconciliation process amended to include this, or possibly have those automatic charges entered into MLS automatically, possibly with a "urgent task" assigned to remind the clerk to categorize each of them?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 30, 2008 8:49 am

rcosby wrote:Any chance of having . . . those automatic charges entered into MLS automatically, possibly with a "urgent task" assigned to remind the clerk to categorize each of them?


I'm not privy to the MLS development process, so I can't comment directly on this suggestion. However, in conversations with clerks in the UK, I have learned that at least there the automatic debits are entered into MLS automatically, so I have hope that this will happen at some point in other parts of the world.


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