Checks made payable to the Church

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chamfamdad
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Checks made payable to the Church

Postby chamfamdad » Mon May 11, 2015 8:00 am

As a newly called financial clerk, I just came across this while researching another question.

From Handbook 1, 14.6.1
"Checks should be made payable to the ward, not to the bishop or the Church."

I have never written a check made payable to the ward. It has always been payable to the Church. In my few months of being financial clerk most of the checks I see are made payable to the church. I have only seen a couple checks made payable to the ward and I remember thinking how strange that was. Why did they ever think to make the check out that way? (Maybe they were former clerks?)

Since the checks made payable to the Church always clear the bank, why does it state in the handbook to NOT make them payable to the church? And if the Church really doesn't want the checks made payable to the Church, why don't we instruct the members to make them payable to the ward?

eblood66
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby eblood66 » Mon May 11, 2015 8:27 am

chamfamdad wrote:Since the checks made payable to the Church always clear the bank, why does it state in the handbook to NOT make them payable to the church?

Bank accounts are set up in the name of the unit, not the church, so checks should be made out to the unit. Just because many banks aren't particular about that doesn't mean that some might refuse a check made out to the church.

chamfamdad wrote:And if the Church really doesn't want the checks made payable to the Church, why don't we instruct the members to make them payable to the ward?

I've always made my checks out to the ward and from what I saw when I was clerk most of our ward did as well. I don't remember when I first learned to do that but I assume someone must have told me to. I never remember any instruction in our ward about it but the knowledge seemed to be passed on. But if people in your ward aren't following that instruction the leadership should probably give people some instruction on the correct practice.

We had bigger problems with people paying tithing in their fast offering envelopes (gathered by the deacons) and that is also prohibited by the handbook. We gave the ward multiple reminders about that and still had a significant number still doing it.

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Biggles
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby Biggles » Mon May 11, 2015 9:57 am

FWIW - In the UK cheques are made out to the Church, as local Wards don't have individual bank accounts. The UK Church bank, has branches throughout the country.

chamfamdad
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby chamfamdad » Mon May 11, 2015 10:07 am

FWIW - In the UK cheques are made out to the Church


Good point. For those responding to my inquiry, I am in the USA.

russellhltn
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby russellhltn » Mon May 11, 2015 10:14 am

chamfamdad wrote:I have never written a check made payable to the ward. It has always been payable to the Church.

And I've always made them out to the ward.

chamfamdad wrote:In my few months of being financial clerk most of the checks I see are made payable to the church. I have only seen a couple checks made payable to the ward and I remember thinking how strange that was. Why did they ever think to make the check out that way? (Maybe they were former clerks?)

Most likely they came from other wards that trained them differently.
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lajackson
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby lajackson » Mon May 11, 2015 4:15 pm

[Again an answer for the U.S.]
When I was young a kindly ward clerk mentioned to me that I had made a check out to the Church and should make it out to the Ward. That's how I learned. A bishopric member might also provide the instruction. It was not long afterward that I began serving in callings where I learned the instruction is in the Handbook.

In one ward I moved to, I made my check out to the new ward and was asked by the ward clerk why I was doing that, since it was unusual to him. I told him I was following the Handbook instructions. He looked them up, and is wasn't long before bishopric members were quietly visiting with members on the subject. It was very fun to watch.

As a practical matter, we always deposited the checks anyway, and I have never seen a bank give us any trouble about it, but it is not proper to do so in the U.S. banking system.

allenjpl
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby allenjpl » Tue May 12, 2015 11:38 am

eblood66 wrote:Bank accounts are set up in the name of the unit, not the church, so checks should be made out to the unit.


Not necessarily. The larger banks may have deposit concentration, meaning that many different wards may be depositing funds into the same account. The account is titled under the Corp. of the Presiding Bishopric. A distinguishing code in inputted with each deposit so as to identify specific wards, but the account itself is not set up in the name of the ward. This is also the reason why generic deposit slips should not be used, if at all possible.

So it is very unlikely that any check will be refused. But it's better to be 100% certain.

eblood66
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Re: Checks made payable to the Church

Postby eblood66 » Tue May 12, 2015 12:29 pm

allenjpl wrote:
eblood66 wrote:Bank accounts are set up in the name of the unit, not the church, so checks should be made out to the unit.


Not necessarily. The larger banks may have deposit concentration, meaning that many different wards may be depositing funds into the same account.

Well, yes. I was ignoring that complication for simplicity. As a member you generally don't know how the account is setup so you should write the check to the ward (in the US) which is always valid (although I agree that most banks are unlikely to refuse to accept checks written the church even if the account is purely in the ward's name).


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