MLS Financial Cleanup at Year-end

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

MLS Financial Cleanup at Year-end

Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 10, 2008 12:30 pm

As we approach the end of the year, it's probably good for all financial clerks to consider cleaning up a few things before the end of the year. MLS retains records for 3 years plus the current year in the US (5 years in Canada, 7 years in Australia, etc.). Because of this, if you clean up certain things before the end of the year, you will be rid of them in 2012, but if you wait until next year, you will be stuck with them until 2013.

Some items you would want to address might include:

  1. Ward Missionary subcategories. As I visit various wards in our stake, I often see remaining balances in the subcategories for missionaries (e.g., "Ward Missionary:Elder Joseph Smith") who returned long ago. You should zero out these subcategories by transferring money to or from the parent Ward Missionary category. It's essential that these subcategories have a zero balance as you begin the new year. You should also make these subcategories inactive.
  2. Do the same thing for any Other subcategories that are no longer needed. However, zeroing these categories can be a bit trickier. Negative balances for Other subcategories that will not have any more activity are usually corrected by writing a check from Budget funds. Positive balances should generally be zeroed by returning unused funds to the donors. See the training lesson Understanding and Using the "Other" Category for details.
  3. Cancel donations related to returned checks, and clean up any other temporary reconciling items so that your December reconciliation will be as clean as possible.
  4. Contact payees of any old (more than 3 months or so) outstanding checks. Encourage them to cash the checks, and replace any lost checks, to avoid the escheating process.
  5. Review the previous audit to make sure you have corrected exceptions and that you are ready in every way for the upcoming audit.
There are other items you may want to address after the year ends, but that would be the topic for another post.

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14685
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Financial Cleanup after Year-end

Postby aebrown » Fri Jan 02, 2009 7:09 am

Now that 2008 is history and 2009 has begun, there are several things financial clerks must do, as well as some other procedures that are helpful.

  1. Complete the MLS process for closing the fiscal year. Note that you can continue to make changes to the previous year's data after you do this process (you can even still create 2008 donation batches for donations received or postmarked in 2008), so there is no reason to delay this. Your Urgent Tasks list will have a new task "Fiscal year needs to be closed" for doing this. Once the process has begun, do not cancel the process. Let it finish -- it only takes a few minutes.
  2. Inactivate any subcategories of Budget, Other or Ward Missionary that are no longer needed (Add/Update Categories). For Other and Ward Missionary, this should only be done for subcategories that have a 0 balance; if you neglected to set them to 0 before the end of the year, do so now by making the appropriate transfers, before you inactivate them.
  3. Set any donors to Invisible that are no longer in the ward (Add/Update Donors)
  4. Enter new amounts for the 2009 budget allocation, and each budget subcategory (View/Edit Budget)
  5. Reconcile the December Church Unit Financial Statement as soon as possible after it arrives in MLS in the next few days (Reconcile)
  6. Reconcile the budget category to make sure you have not missed any non-check expenditures
  7. Clean out old files. In the United States, the record retention period is 3 years plus current year, so US clerks can destroy 2005 records now. In Canada this is 5 years, in Australia 7 years, and in other countries consult your Area Administration office. Since these records are highly confidential, make sure you securely burn or shred them.
  8. Create the new filing system for 2009. This may involve creating new labeled folders, drawers, binders, etc. -- whatever your system is, extend it into 2009.
And of course there are the procedures that remain to be done from tithing settlement:

  1. Enter all the Tithing Declarations from Tithing Settlement, including the Bishop's declaration for members who did not attend settlement.
  2. When the Tithing Declarations are complete, transmit them to CHQ before January 31.
  3. Print and sign the Tithing Declaration Report and deliver it to the stake president by January 31.
  4. Deliver Official Tax Statements to donors by January 31.
If anyone has any additional helpful tips for moving into the new year, please post those suggestions.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20723
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 02, 2009 10:27 am

It's not financial, but still needs to be done: update MLS with any new meeting times. This updates the LUWS. It would be best to make the update just after the last Sunday in 2008, but since it's already 2009, better late then never.

There is some question on how the date works, and depending on where you make the change. Based on the information from last year, you need to use a date that's a day to two in the future when you make the send/receive. Be sure to check LUWS in a few days to make sure the update has worked.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
Mikerowaved
Community Moderators
Posts: 3131
Joined: Sun Dec 23, 2007 12:56 am
Location: Layton, UT

Postby Mikerowaved » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:35 am

Thanks for the excellent tips, Alan.

Alan_Brown wrote:[INDENT]7. Clean out old files. In the United States, the record retention period is 3 years plus current year, so US clerks can destroy 2005 records now. In Canada this is 5 years, in Australia 7 years, and in other countries consult your Area Administration office. Since these records are highly confidential, make sure you securely burn or shred them.[/INDENT]

This is usually the most time consuming for me, sitting over an OfficeMax shredder for a couple of hours (and emptying it every few minutes) gets rather tedious. I'd like to hear suggestions on how others accomplish this.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

User avatar
opee
Member
Posts: 332
Joined: Mon Jun 25, 2007 2:00 am
Location: Grand Rapids, MI

Postby opee » Fri Jan 02, 2009 11:45 am

Mikerowaved wrote:Thanks for the excellent tips, Alan.


This is usually the most time consuming for me, sitting over an OfficeMax shredder for a couple of hours (and emptying it every few minutes) gets rather tedious. I'd like to hear suggestions on how others accomplish this.


I have collected all of the outdated files from each unit in the Stake and then called a service that does onsite shredding from a minimal fee. You can watch them shred the papers in front of you--and they don't touch or see the documents. It is quick, easy, and inexpensive.

I have also had a shredding party around 1-2 shredders until they overheat, and then wait 20-30 minutes to start again. :D

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20723
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:38 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:This is usually the most time consuming for me, sitting over an OfficeMax shredder for a couple of hours (and emptying it every few minutes) gets rather tedious. I'd like to hear suggestions on how others accomplish this.


Depending on how much you keep, shredding a month's worth at a time isn't too bad. I'd just shred some (maybe a month's worth) each week until it's gone. It'll be gone by the end of 1Q.

Sometimes communities have a free shred day where the local shredders offer to do personal shredding for free to deter ID theft. Check their rules, but I think the amounts involved can be done that way.

But this is a problem I'd like to see tackled at a higher level. It's a chore for individual units and yet it's a bit small to call the pros unless you aggregate a number of wards together.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
johnshaw
Senior Member
Posts: 1834
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 1:55 pm
Location: Syracuse, UT

Postby johnshaw » Fri Jan 02, 2009 12:41 pm

The time change now has a good feature, it will prompt you each and every year with an urgent task to update the meeting times.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6129
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Postby lajackson » Fri Jan 02, 2009 4:52 pm

Mikerowaved wrote:This is usually the most time consuming for me, sitting over an OfficeMax shredder for a couple of hours (and emptying it every few minutes) gets rather tedious. I'd like to hear suggestions on how others accomplish this.


Hay ride and bonfire for the Young Men and Young Women, with hot dogs and marshmallows. [grin]

vincejebsen-p40
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:28 am
Location: UK

Postby vincejebsen-p40 » Tue Jan 27, 2009 5:10 am

This is an excellent way to start the year right. Clean up and move forward in a better manner.

vincejebsen-p40
New Member
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Jan 26, 2009 12:28 am
Location: UK

Postby vincejebsen-p40 » Fri Feb 13, 2009 10:31 pm

so how is this affecting everybody else?


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest