Finances/categories

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
pgm44
Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:19 am
Location: Philippines, Cagayan de Oro city, Northern Mindanao

Finances/categories

Postby pgm44 » Tue Jan 07, 2014 11:06 pm

Hello,
From the Philippines.

I have some questions and need some help about financial problems.I just write down what I found and want to know.

Is it possible to make a subcategory in the OTHER category account for the following.
- subscribtion for magazines, so the member can pay for his/her magazine via the tithingslip? If the answer is Yes, how to handle?
- Is it possible to make a subcategory in the OTHER category account for to deposit every month some money for the coming templetrip? If the answer also is yes, how to handle?

The question from our Bishop is then how can he withdraw that money if he need it?

Next question.
If I go to the other category and click the + then I see 47 subcategories in red. I know it can not be removed, but what is the reason it is still there? Under the red subcategories are 2 subcategories in black but still under the OTHER categorie.
+ Young single adults
o conference ( with still 100 peso balance)
o Missionary Application (with still 2,400 peso balance)
o Missionary Counter Part (with still 4,800 peso balance)
o Conference (with still 100 peso balance)
+ Youth combined activity
o Stake Youth Conference (with still 2,900 peso balance)
o Subscribe Liahona (with still 48 peso balance)

Next question.
In the categories list is a category WARD MISSIONARY.
If I open this category then most of the missionary names are black and still active, what means there is still een positive balance. Even if they are already long time at home.
Here is one sample:
o Misionary name(balance 1,130 peso) and already more as a year back from her mission. What or better how to handle this.

Last question for now. If members donate money in the tithing and offering slip, for the ward missionary is it sure that all the donated money goes to the missionary with the written name?

Thanks,
Brother Paul

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benjamincarleski
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Re: Finances/categories

Postby benjamincarleski » Wed Jan 08, 2014 10:40 am

I would start by saying that the best place to get most of these questions answered would be to start with the training at clerksupport.lds.org and reading section 14 of Handbook 1 and section 13.2.8 and 13.2.9 of Handbook 2. Then work with your stake/district clerk. They can then ask the administrative office for your region if additional clarification is needed. The training and Handbook cover the common requirements. Many other things vary by region, so the administrative office is the best source for how things work in your area. Your questions cover a wide variety of topics and while we can try to address these as best we can here additional hands-on training from your stake/district/area clerk would probably better cover these and other areas you are wondering about.

Having said that, here's a quick summary of some of the relevant points for the questions you asked. I'll try to answer these as best I can and hope that others will correct me where I slip up.

The OTHER account has an Authorized Member Financed Activity sub-category under which you can create custom categories for collecting money from members to be used for a specific, authorized purpose. The funds are to be used quickly, and not to sit in the account for extended periods of time. If the funds aren't used for the intended purpose, they should be returned to the member or, if that isn't possible, remitted to Salt Lake. Under those general guidelines, the specific categories that would be allowed would be up to the Bishop, who should review the handbooks and training or ask the stake/district for what are considered "authorized". More details can be found at the training here (you may have to log in to see it).

Once the money is in that category, withdrawing money from it is done as with any other expense. If you use checks, then you would cut a check and put the category for the expense as that Other account. If you were to purchase something (such as a Church magazine) from store.lds.org, then the expense will arrive once the item has shipped and will have a category of "Budget: Distribution Center", or something like that. Simply change the category on the expense to the sub-account under Other:AMFA that you created.

As to the accounts that are in red, if I recall correctly this means that they have been hidden. If I'm recalling wrong, I'm sure someone will correct me. These sub categories cannot be deleted until three things happen. First, they need a zero balance. As these are OTHER categories, you need to follow the instructions at the training link above to handle surpluses or deficits. Once you have zeroed out their balance, the second thing to do is mark them as hidden again. This will keep them from showing up in most areas of MLS. Finally, once all transactions in those categories are outside of the legal retention period for financial records (3+current in the US, check with your admin office for your area) then the category will be removed as part of the year-end closing of finance records.

In the Ward Mission category, the reason the accounts are still showing up is that the balances haven't been zeroed out. You should review each with the Bishop and determine if you should transfer funds from the Ward Missionary account or if he wants to talk with the member or their family about paying the remaining amount in order to zero out their balances. Then after the next year-end closing of financial records the accounts should be removed.

More details about cleaning up MLS finance records can be seen on the MLS Financial Cleanup section of the Wiki.

Finally, I'm not entirely clear what you are asking. I could read it as one of two ways. First would be you are asking if all money donated for a specific missionary should be allocated to that missionary's Ward Missionary sub-account or could you allocate it to multiple missionary's sub-accounts. The second possible way I read it is whether or not you can be sure all of the fund allocated to a specific missionary's sub-account actually go to that particular missionary in the field.

In answer to the first possibility, yes, all money donated should go exactly where the member specified it to go. If the bishop feels the money could be better used elsewhere, he should consult with the member about changing their donation slip, but that isn't something we as recorders of that information should ever do without their knowledge and consent.

In answer to the second, the answer is generally no. I would encourage you to review the Missionary Finances section of the clerk training area for more details. The short version is that all the funds are consolidated and paid as needed. This ensures that a missionary travelling to San Francisco, where cost of living expenses are enormous, doesn't have to pay exponentially more than one serving in say Venezuela, where I served and where cost of living is comparatively quite low. If a member has questions on this, I would direct them to the bishop who can counsel with them about it. If this is a question from a clerk or member of the bishopric, they should review the training article I posted above.

Hopefully that addresses most of your concerns. Again, I would encourage you to also review the training on the Record-Keeping and Technology Support site (clerksupport.lds.org), to review the material in the Handbooks, and to seek training and advice from your stake, district, or area clerks who will have experience with these matters and will know the specifics for your area.

jdlessley
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Re: Finances/categories

Postby jdlessley » Wed Jan 08, 2014 11:43 am

benjamincarleski wrote:As to the accounts that are in red, if I recall correctly this means that they have been hidden.

Actually those categories with a red X are categories created by headquarters or the area office and cannot be edited or deleted. They will always be there.

pgm44 wrote:If members donate money in the tithing and offering slip, for the ward missionary is it sure that all the donated money goes to the missionary with the written name?

Donations to the Ward Missionary Fund do not go to a specific missionary. The funds will remain there until the funds are transferred into a specific missionary's subcategory or remitted to the stake/district. If a member makes a donation to the Ward Missionary Fund and designates a name of a missionary serving from the ward then the funds will go into that missionary's category (account). Funds in a specific missionary's category will only go to support that missionary's financial obligation. However, any excess in a missionary's category after their mission is complete and all financial obligations met then the excess must be either re-categorized or transferred into the parent Ward Missionary Fund category.

Members should not make donations to their own ward for missionaries serving from another ward. Instead those donations should be made to the serving missionary's home ward. If a member makes a donation in their ward for a missionary serving from another ward, then the member should be contacted before the donation is processed. Explain to them that if they want to donate to a missionary serving from another ward they need to make their donation to that missionary's home ward. If that is what they want to do then the entire donation will have to be returned to the donor. They could also have that donation made to another category.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Re: Finances/categories

Postby russellhltn » Wed Jan 08, 2014 12:31 pm

jdlessley wrote:Members should not make donations to their own ward for missionaries serving from another ward. Instead those donations should be made to the serving missionary's home ward.


It should go to whichever ward is providing support for the missionary. Usually that's the ward the parents are in. But it can change - even mid-mission.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

pgm44
Member
Posts: 86
Joined: Sat Jul 16, 2011 6:19 am
Location: Philippines, Cagayan de Oro city, Northern Mindanao

Re: Finances/categories

Postby pgm44 » Wed Jan 08, 2014 5:57 pm

Thanks for the answers. I will start to study all the comments and hope we can find all the answers. If we need more information we will back here again. Wish you all a great 2014.


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