The use of gift cards and/or prepaid visa cards

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jpkimb77
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The use of gift cards and/or prepaid visa cards

Postby jpkimb77 » Tue May 21, 2013 4:31 am

What is the best practice for a Bishop to follow church policy and guidelines when helping a member that is in dire need and where the Bishop doesn't want to breach confidentiality, i.e disclose the name of the member among the church records because of perhaps the fear of the member? For example say a member sees a Bishop and is in need of food or transportation for the night and needs the money now and the member is in a bad state such as has suicidal thoughts.

Ideas have been floating around such as the Bishop holding several gift cards or prepaid visa cards that he holds locked in his office and has been purchased earlier through fast offerings using anonymous as the recipient name.

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aebrown
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Re: The use of gift cards and/or prepaid visa cards

Postby aebrown » Tue May 21, 2013 5:28 am

jpkimb77 wrote:What is the best practice for a Bishop to follow church policy and guidelines when helping a member that is in dire need and where the Bishop doesn't want to breach confidentiality, i.e disclose the name of the member among the church records because of perhaps the fear of the member?

Although it is certainly admirable that the bishop is very careful about confidentiality, I would note that every step of the process of providing fast offering assistance to members is already quite confidential. Yes, the name of the recipient of such assistance appears on financial records, but these records are visible to only a very small set of people, each of whom is highly trusted and has a solemn responsibility to keep all confidences.

jpkimb77 wrote:Ideas have been floating around such as the Bishop holding several gift cards or prepaid visa cards that he holds locked in his office and has been purchased earlier through fast offerings using anonymous as the recipient name.

There is a clear policy that requires every fast offering payment to designate the recipient of the assistance. You should not attempt to get around that requirement by saying the recipient is "anonymous"; that would clearly violate the policy. Any auditor who came across such an expenditure would rightly flag this as an audit exception, since it eliminates all the necessary controls and tracking of such expenditures, opening up this process for misuse.

russellhltn
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Re: The use of gift cards and/or prepaid visa cards

Postby russellhltn » Tue May 21, 2013 11:11 am

jpkimb77 wrote:For example say a member sees a Bishop and is in need of food or transportation for the night and needs the money now and the member is in a bad state such as has suicidal thoughts.


I'd say the best practice is to review Handbook 1 and any training he has received on the subject. If he has any further questions/concerns, he can talk to the Stake President. He should have received training on what to do if someone has suicidal thoughts.
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dannykos
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Re: The use of gift cards and/or prepaid visa cards

Postby dannykos » Wed May 22, 2013 2:55 am

If it was me - I would have either gone to a cashpoint and withdrawn funds, or just used my credit card. No real drama.


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