Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

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Biggles
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Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby Biggles » Wed Aug 03, 2016 10:13 am

I've been asked if anyone on the forum can throw any insight to the meaning of question 10 found in the Financial Audit.

10. Are all payment documents (such as checks and payment approval forms) always signed by two authorised
people?


Does the statement above, from the finance audit process, mean that the two authorised people must be the bishop and the clerk or another counsellor, or in other words who are the authorised people?

We know that cheques require 2 authorised signatures. Although, in the UK, payments are now paid electronically with 2 authorised signatories.

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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 03, 2016 11:20 am

Biggles wrote:10. Are all payment documents (such as checks and payment approval forms) always signed by two authorised
people?


Does the statement above, from the finance audit process, mean that the two authorised people must be the bishop and the clerk or another counsellor, or in other words who are the authorised people?

We know that cheques require 2 authorised signatures. Although, in the UK, payments are now paid electronically with 2 authorised signatories.

After the bishop authorizes the expense, with a few exceptions, two counselors or a counselor and a clerk must sign the check. Two clerks may not sign a check.

Unless you have other instructions, I would think that the same two people would sign the payment approval form, i.e., the actual form that allows the electronic payment to be made.

In other words, I think in question 10 that "check" and "payment approval form" mean the same thing.

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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby drepouille » Wed Aug 03, 2016 12:19 pm

You could say that the reimbursement form requires at least two signatures, depending on local policies: the person requesting reimbursement (or advance), the organization president, and the bishop (branch president or stake president).
The check must have two signatures, but signed checks are not available for inspection by the auditor.
The expense report that is printed after one or more checks are printed must be signed by the bishop and the clerk. Some clerks prefer to print one check at a time, so only one check appears on the report. I prefer to print all checks at once, so the bishop and I only have to sign a single summary page for the whole batch of checks.
See https://www.lds.org/help/support/printing-checks?lang=eng
You should print and file the Expense Report each time you enter expenses. To print the report, click Print at the bottom of the screen. After printing the report, click Close.
Have the bishop and the clerk sign the Expense Report. In addition, the person who created the expense in MLS initials the report. (Note: This person may be someone other than the bishop or clerk, and his initials provide additional evidence that multiple people have reviewed and authorized the disbursement.) File the Expense Report.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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aebrown
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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby aebrown » Wed Aug 03, 2016 2:38 pm

lajackson wrote:After the bishop authorizes the expense, with a few exceptions, two counselors or a counselor and a clerk must sign the check.

Of course you really mean "bishopric member" where you said "counselor," since the bishop can always be one of the signers (except for the few exceptions).

And when we're talking about checks, the authorized persons are those who are actually on the signature card.

lajackson wrote:Two clerks may not sign a check.

I know this might seem like it should be the policy, but do you have a reference for this statement? It's been a while since I looked, but I researched this question once upon a time and could find nothing in the Handbook or audit instructions that made this restriction. As near as I could tell, once the bishop approves the expense, ANY two authorized signers can sign the check. Of course there might be local policy that is more restrictive, but I'm looking for any official documentation that indicates that two clerks may not sign a check.

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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 03, 2016 3:22 pm

aebrown wrote:
lajackson wrote:Two clerks may not sign a check. [Edit: This is incorrect.]

I know this might seem like it should be the policy, but do you have a reference for this statement?

No I do not. And upon further review, I present evidence that it is not correct.

The basis for my original statement is the infamous "we have always done it that way", instruction from the Assistant Area Auditor (we will chat again), and the requirement that at least one member of the bishopric must be involved in preparing and authorizing the deposit.

As you said, any two account signers who are on the current signature card may sign a check. This is validated by the Help Center instructions at Handwritten Checks in Emergencies, which require that a handwritten check include "Signatures from two account signers". It does not specify which two. While the legal beagles may argue the point, I figure if it is good enough for a handwritten check in an emergency, it is good enough for a computer printed check in normal times.

Good catch. Your memory serves you well. Hang on to it as long as you are able.

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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby drepouille » Wed Aug 03, 2016 4:42 pm

On a related matter, my policy is that you don't get to sign a check that is made out to you. For example, if a check is payable to someone who is on the signature card, I look for someone else on the signature card to sign that check, and not him. I don't know if that is Church policy, but it seems like a good idea to me. I can accept it if I am mistaken.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

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Biggles
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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby Biggles » Thu Aug 04, 2016 3:16 am

lajackson wrote:
aebrown wrote:
lajackson wrote:Two clerks may not sign a check. [Edit: This is incorrect.]

As mentioned in my OP here in the UK payments are now made electronically through MLS.

MLS will not allow two clerks to authorise the actual payment. It also won't allow two clerks to authorise the banking details of any payee entered on the system. That has to be either the Bishop, his counsellors, or in combination with a clerk.

As drepouille stated in his post, we also have adopted the policy of whoever is the beneficiary doesn't authorise his own payment. In fact I'm pretty sure MLS won't allow it now anyway.

Thanks for the insight into my original, maybe not too clearly described question. I will now send the link to the person who original posed the question to me!

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Re: Financial Audit - Question 10 Query

Postby aebrown » Thu Aug 04, 2016 5:30 am

drepouille wrote:On a related matter, my policy is that you don't get to sign a check that is made out to you. For example, if a check is payable to someone who is on the signature card, I look for someone else on the signature card to sign that check, and not him. I don't know if that is Church policy, but it seems like a good idea to me. I can accept it if I am mistaken.

That is actually Church policy, as noted in this post (with Handbook reference to Handbook 1, Section 14.6.7). That's one of the exceptions (fast offering assistance to the bishop's family is another) -- lajackson did note that there are some exceptions.


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