Stake allocation of budget allowance

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
rpyne
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Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby rpyne » Sun Dec 18, 2016 1:24 pm

I am looking for guidance on how a stake manages the budget allocation percentages. We are a new stake as of June of this year, and have been trying to adjust the ward allocations. The only place I can find that looks like it should allow us to adjust the allocation is in MLS under Finances -> Budget Allocation %, but I have been trying for several months, and it will not let me change anything.

We need to get these allocations adjusted before the new year. Any help will be greatly appreciated.

dbcallsr
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby dbcallsr » Thu Feb 02, 2017 3:25 pm

I'm an Assistant Ward Clerk - Finance. I see where the Stake manipulates the numbers and percentages turned in by our Ward Clerk each quarter in order to arrange for our Ward to get their intended quarterly Budget Allocations to our Ward. This doesn't seem appropriate, i.e., to manipulate our general membership and reported attendance numbers (or attendance percentages) in order for us to receive lesser budget allotments than the "real" numbers would have indicated, according to the formulas provided by the Church. What's the deal?

russellhltn
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby russellhltn » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:01 pm

dbcallsr wrote:I see where the Stake manipulates the numbers and percentages turned in by our Ward Clerk each quarter in order to arrange for our Ward to get their intended quarterly Budget Allocations to our Ward.

While there may be extenuating circumstances, what is described doesn't sound appropriate.

One thing that is within the stake's control is what percentage they hang onto for stake programs and how much they let the ward(s) have. In more extreme cases, they could turn off automatic disbursement completely and manually cut checks. The disbursement of funds is under the stake president's direction.
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eblood66
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby eblood66 » Thu Feb 02, 2017 4:05 pm

As far as I know the stake can't change the actual numbers. What they can do is change the percentage of the allocation that is retained by the stake. The stake doesn't receive any allocation of it's own. The only funds it has are those it retains from the ward allocations. So setting those percentages is how the stake funds stake-wide activities and expenses.

Ultimately the Stake President is responsible for how funds are allocated to the wards and can make any decision he feels is appropriate. The church has set up a system so that most stakes can set up a few percentages and then not worry about distributing budget allocations. But if the Stake President feels funds should be allocated very differently he has the option of setting all percentages to 0 and then sending checks to each ward.

BryanWolf
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby BryanWolf » Sun Jun 04, 2017 9:25 am

Before the beginning of each year, our stake sets a budget for each ward, with input from the wards (wards may request a specific budget and give reasons why, but ultimately, the stake president decides the budgets). Each quarter, we set the allocation percentages for each ward to give the ward one quarter of their annual budget. When the amounts allocated from SLC differ from what we expect, the stake budget absorbs the excess or deficit.

Setting the percentages is a bit tricky, since the attendance numbers that SLC uses for the allocations differs somewhat from the numbers in MLS. The reasons why are in the footnotes on page 2 of the Projected Local Unit Budget Allowance Quarterly Report. Also, that report, MLS, and the actual bank transfer all use different methods of rounding fractions of a penny. Since there are five categories that we can set percentages on, and we want to hit an exact dollar amount, we have created a spreadsheet that calculates percentages for us. We enter those percentages into MLS, and each ward gets the amount we budget for them, to the penny.

russellhltn
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:13 pm

BryanWolf wrote:Since there are five categories that we can set percentages on, and we want to hit an exact dollar amount, we have created a spreadsheet that calculates percentages for us. We enter those percentages into MLS, and each ward gets the amount we budget for them, to the penny.

That's one way of doing it. Another is to simply enter zero for all percentages and cut a check/transfer the desired amounts to the ward.
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eblood66
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby eblood66 » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:18 pm

russellhltn wrote:
BryanWolf wrote:Since there are five categories that we can set percentages on, and we want to hit an exact dollar amount, we have created a spreadsheet that calculates percentages for us. We enter those percentages into MLS, and each ward gets the amount we budget for them, to the penny.

That's one way of doing it. Another is to simply enter zero for all percentages and cut a check/transfer the desired amounts to the ward.

With the ability to transfer funds directly to wards in MLS I think that would be much easier than trying to fiddle with the percentages. Back when you had to actually cut and mail checks that might have made sense but probably not anymore.

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aebrown
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby aebrown » Sun Jun 04, 2017 12:44 pm

BryanWolf wrote:Before the beginning of each year, our stake sets a budget for each ward, with input from the wards (wards may request a specific budget and give reasons why, but ultimately, the stake president decides the budgets). Each quarter, we set the allocation percentages for each ward to give the ward one quarter of their annual budget. When the amounts allocated from SLC differ from what we expect, the stake budget absorbs the excess or deficit.

That's certainly an option. But that budget for each ward still has to be calculated, and I would imagine that most stakes doing this would factor in the number of youth and Primary children and YSAs. The beauty of using the percentages is that all those factors are already part of the formula. Our stake has been very happy with just setting the percentages and letting the ward budgets go up and down as the ward demographics change. The great benefit of that approach is that as wards change, getting more youth or increasing overall attendance, or reducing Primary, or whatever, the budget automatically adjusts accordingly. The only negative that I can see is that wards have to be able to adapt to changes that might occur during the year. When I've worked at the ward level, I've never seen that as a very big challenge. Setting a fixed budget at the beginning of the year solves only that one problem, but makes the stake do a lot of calculating, and makes the budget less adaptable during the year.

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sbradshaw
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby sbradshaw » Mon Jun 05, 2017 6:57 am

In my previous stake we did something similar with an external spreadsheet, but allocating budget to the ward three times a year instead of quarterly, because the number of members in our (YSA student) wards fluctuates for each of the three major semester periods.
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Re: Stake allocation of budget allowance

Postby drepouille » Mon Jun 05, 2017 7:17 am

Two months ago, a neighboring ward was dissolved, and my ward received a large increase in membership. However, we received none of the budget or other funds. So we now have twice as many membership records, and at least 50% more active members, but no more money. The budget disbursement we will receive in July is based upon the quarterly report I submitted at the end of March, one week before the boundary change. Looks like it could be a slim summer.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska


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