Invoices

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jonaud72
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Invoices

Postby jonaud72 » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:19 am

Hi all,

I know that invoices can be used as evidence of an expense. But what is a true invoice? I think that anyone can type up a list of expenses and put "Invoice" as a heading, but is that good enough for an audit? What constitutes an official invoice?
Hope someone can clear the mud from my eyes!

Regards,

TJB

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aebrown
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Re: Invoices

Postby aebrown » Wed Oct 16, 2013 11:23 am

It seems to me that an "official invoice" can only come from the entity that provided the goods or services. It's not something a member can write up who is simply seeking reimbursement for expenses incurred. The entity providing the invoice should be an actual legal entity -- some sort of company -- which is presenting to the ward or stake a request for payment for services or goods provided.

Now this is just my opinion; the audit instructions don't explain precisely what an invoice is. But if a member just writes up an invoice without providing the original documentation behind it, that would seem to violate the spirit of the the other audit instructions about expense documentation.

jasonfitt
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Re: Invoices

Postby jasonfitt » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:24 pm

It would have to be an official invoice from the organization/vendor/business providing the goods or services. If the balance has not yet been paid, then you would make the check payable to the organization, not the member. If the member paid the invoice out of pocket, then the member would need to provide a receipt of payment (it may show payment received on the invoice) and then you would make the check payable to the member as a reimbursement.

jasonfitt
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Re: Invoices

Postby jasonfitt » Wed Oct 16, 2013 1:30 pm

jasonfitt wrote:It would have to be an official invoice from the organization/vendor/business providing the goods or services. If the balance has not yet been paid, then you would make the check payable to the organization, not the member. If the member paid the invoice out of pocket, then the member would need to provide a receipt of payment (it may show payment received on the invoice) and then you would make the check payable to the member as a reimbursement.


Just to add to my own comment, an invoice, or bill is a commercial document issued by a seller to a buyer, indicating the products, quantities, and agreed prices for products or services the seller has provided the buyer. On rare occasions if the invoice or receipt has been lost and the member is unable to obtain a copy, then they can type up or write up a letter indicating what was purchased, amounts, purpose and the member's signature. But that should only be in rare extenuating circumstances.

jonaud72
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Re: Invoices

Postby jonaud72 » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:09 am

Thank you all,
You have reinforced my own views.
JB

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gregwanderson
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Location: Huntsville, UT, USA

Re: Invoices

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Oct 17, 2013 8:07 am

Our first priority has always been to make sure that a member is properly reimbursed for a legitimate, church expense. When someone has lost a receipt they sometimes have the attitude that "it's not a big expense so I'll just 'donate' what I paid and we'll forget about reimbursement." Of course, that distorts the record which would otherwise show what the real budget should be (if it's a budget expense). So when all else fails, I would gladly accept a member-written "receipt" to file with the paperwork. It's pretty easy to find witnesses (including a member of the Bishopric) to tell us that, yes, there was ice cream at the youth activity so, yes, someone must have bought it.

When we talk about "invoices" then we're usually referring to a good or service that wasn't purchased at a regular store. If, for example, a plumber repaired something for a fast offering recipient, then a professional plumber should be accustomed to producing invoices. So, for the sake of this topic, are we talking about someone who provides goods or services "on occasion" and doesn't have a habit of producing invoices for their work? I'm just saying that anyone who expects to get paid should be able to produce an invoice and should also be able to produce a copy if the original was lost. Why can't this person print out an invoice?

TinMan
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Re: Invoices

Postby TinMan » Thu Oct 17, 2013 1:12 pm

One example I can think of:

I occasionally pay for housing for a ward member. They do not get an invoice/or bill every month. So I have them copy their lease agreement that shows when their rent is due and the amount, and I use that for an invoice.


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