Church Distribution Invoices

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
kmalone-p40
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Church Distribution Invoices

Postby kmalone-p40 » Thu Nov 20, 2008 11:15 pm

I have had it. I am tired of looking for $5.90 every month.

Please does someone have a sure fire way to make reconciling these easier??

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:16 am

kmalone wrote:I have had it. I am tired of looking for $5.90 every month.

Please does someone have a sure fire way to make reconciling these easier??


Without knowing just what you are doing now, it's difficult to know what would be easier. The nice thing about reconciliation is that there is nothing hidden -- every expense, deposit, and transfer that has cleared is listed on your CUFS, and every MLS transaction can be examined. So if you are patient and systematic, you can always reconcile.

The Budget category can be a bit tricky, since it is zero-based and thus you can balance to the ending balance of each category, even if you fail to record or check off an item in the Budget category. It is possible to reconcile the Budget category by using the YTD totals at the end of the CUFS. A process for doing this is described HERE.

Another issue with Distribution Center invoices is that sometimes the people who make the charges fail to turn in their receipts. But the bishop or stake president is always sent a separate invoice, so the charges should not be a complete mystery, even if you may not be sure just what Budget subcategory to charge the invoice to until you do a bit of detective work. But that would not affect your ability to reconcile.

kmalone-p40
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Postby kmalone-p40 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 9:54 am

Thanks for the link Alan, this simplifies the process.

My complaint stems from always having to find $5.90 in the process of reconciliation. The kicker is I manage budgets over $8 mil on more sophisticated systems. This tells me I am not looking at the obvious, the link helps.

Thank you.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Fri Nov 21, 2008 10:33 am

kmalone wrote:My complaint stems from always having to find $5.90 in the process of reconciliation. The kicker is I manage budgets over $8 mil on more sophisticated systems. This tells me I am not looking at the obvious, the link helps.


Is it your budget category that is off? I'm probably stating the obvious here, but it appears that once either an expense didn't get entered, or an outstanding check was marked as having cleared when it really hasn't. You've probably tried these, but here goes:

If an expense didn't get entered, the easiest would be to go through the miscellaneous section of your old statements until you find a charge for that amount. Once found, check the reconciliations for that month to see if the expense was ever entered in MLS. If not, enter it.

If it's an outstanding check, compare the printout of outstanding checks from the reconciliation report to the list in your statement. They should match exactly.

Another option for at least locating the expense in MLS (if it exists) is to "view expenses". Sort by amount, and find an expense for $5.90.

I guess another possibility is that an expense got entered incorrectly. Hopefully the YTD method helps with that...

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Nov 21, 2008 12:51 pm

It's an old trick, but it probably bears repeating: Add up all the digits of the missing amount and see if they add up to a multiple of "9". If so, then the problem may be that a couple of digits got swapped somewhere.

That kind of problem can be difficult to find since all the transactions are there and unless you carefully check for that, you may not see it. Using this example, $5.90 would not be a digit swap problem, but 27¢ would be.
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kmalone-p40
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October Balanced (zeros)

Postby kmalone-p40 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 3:50 pm

Okay, found the problem.

But I am curious, I balanced October (zeroed unreconciled), and I was curious and looking at Aug and September which now show numbers where there should be zeros while October is balanced.

Please tell me this is normal in how MLS handles this. Should each month remain at zero?:(

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:03 pm

kmalone wrote:Okay, found the problem.

But I am curious, I balanced October (zeroed unreconciled), and I was curious and looking at Aug and September which now show numbers where there should be zeros while October is balanced.

Please tell me this is normal in how MLS handles this. Should each month remain at zero?:(


This is normal MLS behavior when you look at previous months.

MLS doesn't really handle going back to look at previous reconciliations. The fundamental problem is that for each transaction there is only one indicator of whether it is cleared. So if a check was outstanding for September, the check box by the check (and its corresponding transfer, if any) would have been unchecked as you reconciled September's statement. But then if that check cleared in October, as you were reconciling October's statement, you would have checked off the check.

When you then return to examine the September reconciliation, that check will now be checked off as cleared, even though it was not cleared as of September 30. That could lead to September's reconciliation no longer being in balance. There are several other similar issues, such as corrections made to September deposits or expenses, or voiding of checks, that can also cause previous reconciliations to no longer balance.

The simple rule is to reconcile each month and print out the reconcilation form. "Go forward and not backward" (D&C 128:22), as it will be difficult or impossible to recreate the situation that existed when you reconciled a prior month.

kmalone-p40
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Postby kmalone-p40 » Fri Nov 21, 2008 4:11 pm

Great, I was really worried. My Bishop uses the past month as reference and was sure we couldn't do that for the reason you mentioned.

At least I am on the right track,

Thanks.:p


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