Handling Finances for Temple Trips

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jdlessley
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Handling Finances for Temple Trips

Postby jdlessley » Tue Aug 11, 2009 10:50 am

This thread was started in response to comments in posts in the Temple Caravan Administration System regarding financing, or handling finances of, temple caravan trips to the temple.
tomw wrote:That is a very interesting project. The challenge to this project would be getting the money handled properly.

MorettiDP wrote:In my opinion, Tom, the money transactions are not the biggest problem in this case. In our stake, for example, there are two ways to pay for travel to the temple:

(1st) Members pay directly to the "other" field using the form Tithes and Other Offerings, which the ward clerk then transfers the money for the stake and notify the leader of group of high priests that the payment was made by each member (the more practical way, in my opinion); or

(2nd) The member pays directly to the leader of group of high priests of the ward, then he delivered all the money to the ward clerk (which had already noted who had paid), the clerk deposited the money in "other" field of the unit as the unit as "donor" and then transfers the money usually for the stake.

Since the financial Church rules varies from one country to another, "the way that money road to get into Church bank accounts" isn't the principal problem at this product.
From what you describe as to how the funds for these caravan trips to the temple is handled, Diego, Tom has a valid concern. My concern abut your comments, Diego, is more focused on the second method of paying for the travel to the temple. Any time the Church is involved in any financial transactions, the procedures they have established to protect the Church, Church leaders, and those handling the funds must be followed. The Church Handbook of Instructions, the instructons for MLS, and the on-line training at lds.org outline those policies and procedures. While I am not familiar with procedures for getting funds into the financial institutions outside the United States and Canada, I am relatively certain that the procedures for handling funds is the same. To have anyone other than members of the bishopric/branch presidency receive funds is contrary to Church policies and procedures. This creates potential situations for mishandling of the funds.
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MorettiDP
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Postby MorettiDP » Tue Aug 11, 2009 2:23 pm

I understand it, jdlessley, but this is a pratice in Brazil because, at the time, we are starting to handle temple trips money inside Church financial procedures. In past years, each member pay your trip directly to bus owners or trip companies during the trip. Recently we begin to do like in other parts of the world and handle the funds inside the "other" field. I believe, correctly like you, that only a member of the bishopric (and only then) are able to receive this money, but I don't believe that is easy to MLS send correctly to a "caravan administration system" informations about each caravan payment.

In my view (about the system) isn't important the people that will record the payment information (if a member of the bishopric or the leader of group of high priests) but is important that the member can see if the payment are recorded but can't add or remove informations about the payment (a ward leader or stake leader is the person to do it at the system).

I hope you can understand. Is hard to explain it in English (is so more easy in Portuguese). The great use of the system is manage the trips each week. The payment features is an complementation.
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Postby marianomarini » Wed Aug 12, 2009 9:37 am

The way to manage money depend on WHO sign the contract with Caravans contractor.
If it's the Church, then church's policies must be accomplish. If it's a private member, even the Stake President, then local payment policies could be accomplish.
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:20 am

marianomarini_vi wrote:The way to manage money depend on WHO sign the contract with Caravans contractor.
If it's the Church, then church's policies must be accomplish. If it's a private member, even the Stake President, then local payment policies could be accomplish.
It does not matter who has created or signed the contract or with whom the contract is with. As long as the Church is involved in anyway in handling the funds, Church policies and procedures must be followed. These policies and procedures are in effect to protect the Church, Church leaders, and those handling the funds. In the situation MorettiDP describes MLS, and therefore Church approved financial institutions, is being used to manage the funds. Especially in this situation Church policies and procedures must be used.
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Postby marianomarini » Wed Aug 12, 2009 10:43 am

jdlessley wrote:It does not matter who has created or signed the contract or with whom the contract is with. As long as the Church is involved in anyway in handling the funds, Church policies and procedures must be followed. These policies and procedures are in effect to protect the Church, Church leaders, and those handling the funds. In the situation MorettiDP describes MLS, and therefore Church approved financial institutions, is being used to manage the funds. Especially in this situation Church policies and procedures must be used.

I agree! But what do you mean with "Church is involved in anyway"?
It's enough that a leader is involved to manage money, Or must be a travel organize by the leaders as leaders?
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Postby jdlessley » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:26 pm

marianomarini_vi wrote:I agree! But what do you mean with "Church is involved in anyway"?
It's enough that a leader is involved to manage money, Or must be a travel organize by the leaders as leaders?
My statement was "As long as the Church is involved in anyway in handling the funds". I want to make sure we are talking about handling the money and not all the other details of the temple trips. I know this sounds like a big burden is being placed on the bishopric/branch presidency. A High Priest Quorum member, or any member of the Church, collecting the money is acting as a representative of the Church since the activity is for Church purposes. The Church Handbook of Instructions, Book 1, p 156-158, identifies the procedures used in handling and accounting for funds. Funds collected from members and then paid to a bus company are considered 'other offerings'. They are offerings for a tangible benefit as described in the MLS training programs.

My purpose for pointing out this issue is to make sure Church units and Chruch members do not put themselves in a possition that, at the least, puts them in conflict with Church policies and procedures.
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Postby MorettiDP » Wed Aug 12, 2009 1:34 pm

Sorry, I need to make you know it:

In the past, we had only one caravan trip a month to the temple (before the dedication of Camipnas Brazil Temple; for São Paulo Brazil Temple trips). Since 2002 with the dedication of Campinas Temple, our stake begin to receive more sheduled dates to have members in the Temple. Since this begin to be weekly, begin to be hard to us manage all these funds and informations.

We begin to put off the old systems of handle money without the Church funds. Today we are beginning to handle money inside Church funds. With time, we are abandoned the payment methods to leader of group of high priest and begin to handle this money only to a bishopric member.

In my viewpoint, you need to remember we in Brazil aren't inside same procedures of US and Canada policies. Our Area Offices release instructions to us and only applicable to Brazil Area. For a time, this procedures are acceptable. With time it will not be acceptable more. We are in a transition phase now.

The great thing I request you remember is: built a system to handle the trips goers is one thing, the way leaders will receive the payment is another different thing. Our great problem is to handle the trip goers. Money administration isn't the essential part of the system, is only an annex. Only a checkbox (operated by a Church designed leader) will resolve all the problems in "money" fields.
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Postby marianomarini » Thu Aug 13, 2009 6:28 am

I think there is no different point of view about managing church's funds!
I agree with jdlessley. It takes me several years to convince Italian leaders acting in this way.
Along many years I was the only, in my Stake (or District before), who payed YW and YM youth conference this way.
Now my childs are grow and I'm not more involved to. I hope thinks are going as General Handbook say.
As we say: "Church is perfect not members (and leaders I add)".
So I understand MorettiDP situation. We are in a perfecting way.
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
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Postby MorettiDP » Thu Aug 13, 2009 10:10 am

I believe each day we add more "outside money" (os money paid by members and not Church funds) into Church financial procedures, like the temple caravan trips, YM and YW camps and YSA multistake activities. I hope in the next few months, all money related to Church activities will be administered inside CUFS procedures (or, I expect It, too ;-) )
MorettiDP
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