Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
dguaton74
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Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby dguaton74 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:20 am

When members of the ward go into local Deseret book stores and buy items for their organizations or Ward functions. (CTR rings, supplies, Manuals, videos, etc) and they charge them to the "ward". How do I account for those charges and do I need to be assigning those expenses back to a specific budget line item?

eblood66
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby eblood66 » Thu Jan 16, 2014 11:32 am

dguaton74 wrote:When members of the ward go into local Deseret book stores and buy items for their organizations or Ward functions. (CTR rings, supplies, Manuals, videos, etc) and they charge them to the "ward". How do I account for those charges and do I need to be assigning those expenses back to a specific budget line item?

For each such order you should receive a statement in the Finance Statements section of MLS (select Finance > Finance Statements from the menu). These should generally be printed and filed with any other documentation you may have received from the organization about the expense.

The actual charges will automatically show up in the Distribution Center Charges category. You can leave them there (and allocate a budget to that category) or you can edit each expense as they come in and change the category to something else. This will basically create a transfer from the Distribution Center Charges to another category. We generally do the later so that these charges go against the budget of the organization which incurred the expense. So we generally allocate 0 budget to the Distribution Center Charges and make sure that it's balance stays zero by adjusting all expenses that come in.

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benjamincarleski
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby benjamincarleski » Thu Jan 16, 2014 12:36 pm

We also allocate the expenses back to individual organizations and try to keep a zero balance in the Distribution Center Charges budget category.

One thing to remember though is that anything paid for with church funds should have approval from the Bishop. This means a signed form showing that the Bishop authorized the funds, which also is useful if that expense gets audited.

In our ward, we instruct the organizations to get verbal authorization from the Bishop for each item they charge back to the ward. Then once we get the IROP in the Finance Statements section of MLS, we print it out and have the Bishop sign it (or a reimbursement form we fill out) showing he authorizes the expense. While there is always the possibility of someone charging something they shouldn't and then having to deal with an unauthorized expense, the way they are able to make the charge at the stores without a signed authorization doesn't really let us do anything to prevent this. Having said that, we haven't had any problems, or if we have the Bishop has taken care of them discretely and the problems did not persist.

dguaton74
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby dguaton74 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:46 am

Thnaks for the help, I had been incorrectly trained on this aspect. Do either of you know where this specific training is located online? I was trained to not do anything with these charges, and now at year end we have a 1500 bogey to acount for. This info has been very helpful, and I would like to get official training if it exists. Thanks again.

eblood66
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby eblood66 » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:16 am

dguaton74 wrote:Thnaks for the help, I had been incorrectly trained on this aspect. Do either of you know where this specific training is located online? I was trained to not do anything with these charges, and now at year end we have a 1500 bogey to acount for. This info has been very helpful, and I would like to get official training if it exists. Thanks again.

I don't know of any online training addressing this issue. Most of what I outlined is just what I've worked out, often from comments and advice from others on the forums.

jdlessley
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby jdlessley » Tue Jan 21, 2014 11:56 am

The issue of charges using the unit account is a moving target. The ward clerk, assistant ward clerk - finance, and the bishop in counsel together need to come up with a plan to handle these charges.

If a unit is not going to recategorize Budget:Distribution Center Charges against an organization's budget allocation then the category Budget:Distribution Center Charges needs to have its own allocation. In the case where it has its own allocation, then all purchases using the unit account should be approved in advance by the bishop. Some may even posit that all purchases using the unit account must be approved in advance by the bishop.

In the case where the bishop gives organizations budget allocations with the understanding or direction that those budget allocations give the organization presidents the delegated authority to approve in advance purchases made for the organization, it needs to be clear whether this includes purchases using the unit account. If it does then the logical choice regarding these purchases is to recategorize the expenses to the organization.

Having an allocation for the Budget:Distribution Center Charges category makes it difficult to come up with the amount for that allocation without knowing what purchases will be made from organizations using the unit account.
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Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

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benjamincarleski
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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby benjamincarleski » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:22 pm

dguaton74 wrote:Do either of you know where this specific training is located online?


The need for documented authorization is probably the only thing you'll find training on. That can be found at clerksupport.lds.org (you'll need to sign in to see all the finance training). The handling of the Distribution Center Charges is just something I did after talking with the Bishop to help him be able to track expenses back to organizations.

As was mentioned, you could leave all these charges in the Distribution Center budget category, and just allocate funds to that category. It really is up to you and your bishop on how you want to track funds. If he wants to be able to find out how much is being spent through these channels, leaving it in that category might make it easier. If he's more interested in tracking the organizations that are doing the spending, reallocating the expenses makes more sense. I think the specific categories funds go in are far less important then the fact that the Bishop knows and authorizes the expense before it happens (whether explicitly or by an authorized agent as jdlessley mentions), and that before your audit you have some tangible evidence showing that the expense was authorized (i.e. an itemized bill/receipt with the agent and the bishop's signature).

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Re: Deseret Book Charges - Accounting

Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 21, 2014 12:39 pm

However you slice it, it all comes out of the same pie - the ward budget. So it's really a question of preference in how it's tracked.
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