Counselors entering donations

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
drepouille
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Counselors entering donations

Postby drepouille » Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:52 am

In my travel around the stake, I have seen bishopric counselors entering donation batches into MLS, rather than clerks. I didn't ask whether they did it that way because of personal preference, or some lack of ability of the clerk. Maybe they do it because the counselor is more proficient than the clerk. In any case, this requires the counselor to have the View Membership MLS privilege, because donors must be matched to members.

Is there a policy that prohibits bishopric counselors from logging in to MLS and entering donation batches?
Is there a policy that prohibits bishopric counselors from printing checks?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 8:30 am

I hope not.

Sometimes I have a counselor help me write checks (I don't know how, by design... :) ). Sometimes we are writing a fast offering check for someone I don't want the clerk to know about. Yeah, the clerk can see the checks on the financial statement and search it out if he wants to, but I would just like to make it as hard for him as I can sometimes.

Sometimes, even in a closed confidentiality circle, not everyone need to know everything.

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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby gregwanderson » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:07 am

drepouille wrote:Is there a policy that prohibits bishopric counselors from logging in to MLS and entering donation batches?


On the contrary. Before a batch can be transmitted, two individuals need to log in with their passwords to verify the batch. One of them can be a "financial clerk" but the other must be a member of the Bishopric. (When I moved from being the financial clerk to the executive secretary I would often help the new clerk and a member of the Bishopric with donations. At first, the clerk and I could "verify" the batch but when a new version of MLS was released, the executive secretary was no longer "eligible" to verify the batch.)

drepouille
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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby drepouille » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:17 am

Understood. But the person who logs in to MLS must have View Membership permissions before he can enter donation slips into a batch. That person should be a clerk. The other person who enters his password to verify the batch does not require View Membership permissions.

Given our recent discussion of Handbook 1 and the restriction of membership record access to the bishop and the clerks, I don't think it is appropriate for the bishopric counselor to login to MLS to create a donation batch. He should verify the batch only.

I am looking for an authoritative source to support my conclusion.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

TinMan
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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:29 am

Seems to me it is the opposite of what you are thinking, that is you must have a bishopric member, not necessarily the clerk. Handbook 1:

14.6.2
Verifying Tithing and Other Offerings

14.6.3
Depositing Tithing and Other Offerings
Last edited by russellhltn on Fri Jun 13, 2014 5:24 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Quoting Handbook 1

drepouille
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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby drepouille » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:34 am

aebrown wrote:According to Handbook 1, Section 13.6, 5th paragraph, only the bishop and the clerk are to see membership records.


So the basic question is whether a bishopric counselor requires View Membership permissions in order to enter a donation batch. If so, then we have two mutually exclusive policies.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:39 am

Obviously I am confused. The Financial clerk who usually initiates donation batches doesn't have any more View Membership permission than the bishopric counselor, does he?

Why do you need full View Membership permission to enter donation batches? My two counselors do tithing batches all the time during tithing settlement. My ward clerk that has full membership viewing permission doesn't even help during weekly tithing batches. Unless someone is out of town.

drepouille
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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby drepouille » Fri Jun 13, 2014 9:47 am

I can't test this at the stake level. A bishopric counselor is telling me that he did an experiment with his ward MLS. He asked the ward clerk to drop his View Membership permission. Then the counselor attempted to create and enter a donation batch, but he was unable to do so.

Maybe I'm getting incorrect information. I just can't tell from the stake level.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

TinMan
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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby TinMan » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:18 am

I guess I am confused as to why he would do that? He needs access to membership records on his level so he can do temple recommends.

Granted he cannot see as much information as a Ward Clerk can see, but he still needs some access.

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Re: Counselors entering donations

Postby scgallafent » Fri Jun 13, 2014 10:29 am

If a user has Finance rights in MLS, they also get View Membership rights. If the counselor really dropped his View Membership permission, he also dropped his Finance permission. It's part of the existing security model in MLS, which has evolved over many years. It's not ideal and we have occasional conversations about how things would have been done differently if someone knew then what we know now.

drepouille is correct that it creates two conflicting policies. As more tools move online, these issues are being reviewed and the online tools reflect the current policies. For example, bishopric counselors have access to membership record numbers for members of their unit (they need them for temple recommends) but do not have access to the MRNs for the spouse, parents, and children of members in their unit (unless those members are also in their unit). The bishop and clerks with membership responsibilities do have access to that information.


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