Reconciling Problem

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
worthingtonjg-p40
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Reconciling Problem

Postby worthingtonjg-p40 » Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:13 pm

I went to reconcile, and noticed that the previous month (that I had already reconciled) had changed. I had of course printed all the previous months already and had them signed previously, so this isn't necessarily a problem.

However, how do I get the current month to reconcile?

It appears that this mystery amount in the Missionary category (-800), goes back to March and April. Both those months of course have reconciled previously and have been printed and signed.

So how do I reconcile the current Month? I can't see what the -800 is coming, it seems like something changed, but I don't have anyway of seeing what it might have been.

Any suggestions would be great!

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:13 pm

worthingtonjg wrote:It appears that this mystery amount in the Missionary category (-800), goes back to March and April. Both those months of course have reconciled previously and have been printed and signed.

So how do I reconcile the current Month? I can't see what the -800 is coming, it seems like something changed, but I don't have anyway of seeing what it might have been.


MLS dates adjustments to transactions with the date of the original transaction. So if a transaction dated in March or April in the missionary category has been changed in the last month or so, it would have the effect you describe.

One possibility would be a canceled donation. For example, suppose a donation was made in March that included $400 for the Ward Missionary category, but the check used to make the donation bounced. To reconcile the previous months, you would have had to create a Temporary Item for that donation, that would carry forward from month to month. Then sometime in the last month someone finally got around to canceling the donation associated with the check. That would create a -400 transaction dated in March in MLS. But it would also create a -400 entry on the Church Unit Financial Statement dated in November. In this scenario, the correct action would be to check off the Temporary Item during reconciliation, which should make it balance.

So you should definitely look for any Temporary Items. I would also look at the batches for March and April and see if there are any adjustments that have been made to the batches. For example, a donation may have been made in April for $400 that was supposed to be in Missionary, but was incorrectly recorded by the clerk as TIthing. Then someone noticed the error and adjusted the category of that April donation, but the adjustment was made in December, yet you are reconciling November. In this case, you would need to create a Temporary Item to reconcile, since the correction has already been done in MLS (it would be dated in April), but won't show up on your CUFS until the December statement.

Those are a couple of ideas you might check into.

atticusewig
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reconcile Missionary "Expenses"

Postby atticusewig » Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:29 am

I'd start with the Jan CUFS, and make sure that
all the Missionary equalized payments (the $400 amounts)
have a matching MLS entry in the View Expenses screen.
Pay careful attention to the dates of the entries. I often
find that Missionary inbalances occur because the clerk
does not enter the date of the expense on the Bank Statement,
but allows the system to use the date the expense is inputted.

- Atticus

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:23 pm

** Wait - just had a thought. I'm guessing in your current month's reconcile, you entered an automatic missionary payment in the "other items" screen but put the wrong sign. In that screen, if it is an expense, you must put a negative sign. I'm guessing it was entered as a positive value, which would credit your MLS missionary balance $400 instead of charging it $400, resulting in an $800 unreconciled difference. Fix the sign and you should reconcile.

(I'll leave the content of my original post since it may be useful to someone else having a similar issue)

If all your previous months reconciled, there are only 2 options. 1) in the last month, someone changed/modified an entry or 2) there was an adjustment in your latest statement that perhaps you are overlooking.

Being off a factor of $400 tells me that it has to do with automatic missionary payments instead of canceled donations. However, being that far back, you should have caught the not reconciling problem earlier. atticusewig makes a good point about the dates, but again, you should have caught this earlier than now if that was the case.

Were you carrying temporary items since March and April and someone finally cleared them? Wait... I think I got it. I'll put that at the top of this post so you don't miss it.

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Fri Dec 18, 2009 4:34 pm

crislapi wrote:Being off a factor of $400 tells me that it has to do with automatic missionary payments instead of canceled donations. However, being that far back, you should have caught the not reconciling problem earlier. atticusewig makes a good point about the dates, but again, you should have caught this earlier than now if that was the case.


Here's my guess: Missionary parents moved into (or out of) of your ward and HQ made a retroactive adjustment to previous months. Scrutinize the statements carefully and I bet you'll find it.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Fri Dec 18, 2009 8:07 pm

oregonmatt wrote:Here's my guess: Missionary parents moved into (or out of) of your ward and HQ made a retroactive adjustment to previous months. Scrutinize the statements carefully and I bet you'll find it.


That's true - it'd show up as credits in the miscellaneous section. A credit entered as an expense would do the same thing. So when scrutinizing, pay attention to the sign of the transaction.

However, HQ wouldn't just automatically switch the payment because the parents moved. The same ward is charged for the duration of the mission unless the bishops of two wards communicate and agree to transfer the expenses. Then one has to call CHQ as well, so something like that should not take the financial clerk by surprise.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:33 pm

crislapi wrote:so something like that should not take the financial clerk by surprise.


As long as the bishop has effective communication with the financial clerk...
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

lajackson
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Postby lajackson » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:32 pm

crislapi wrote:HQ wouldn't just automatically switch the payment because the parents moved. The same ward is charged for the duration of the mission unless the bishops of two wards communicate and agree to transfer the expenses. Then one has to call CHQ as well, so something like that should not take the financial clerk by surprise.


Almost. The key to the switch is the gaining bishop. If the new bishop calls Finance and says his ward will assume the payment for Elder Someone, as of Some Month, it will happen.

And the former ward will get a credit, if applicable.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Fri Dec 18, 2009 10:48 pm

oregonmatt wrote:Here's my guess: Missionary parents moved into (or out of) of your ward and HQ made a retroactive adjustment to previous months. Scrutinize the statements carefully and I bet you'll find it.


crislapi wrote:** Wait - just had a thought. I'm guessing in your current month's reconcile, you entered an automatic missionary payment in the "other items" screen but put the wrong sign.


The problem with both these theories is that they would not have the effect on earlier months (March and April) that was reported. They would only affect the month of the financial statement. CHQ has no ability to change MLS records from the past; everything CHQ does affects only the current month's statement.

So those theories don't explain how previously reconciled months now don't reconcile all the way back to March and April. For that to happen, there has to be some sort of adjustment, either a voided check, or major category change of donation or expense, or a canceled donation -- one or more of those events applied to a March or April transaction. Of course it's possible that some of those things happened in the past, but the clerk simply hasn't looked back until now, so the current out of balance situation has nothing to do with the March and April issues that were mentioned.

In any case, it would be nice if worthingtonjg would report back so we could know what he found.

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Postby jbh001 » Sat Dec 19, 2009 1:17 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:So those theories don't explain how previously reconciled months now don't reconcile all the way back to March and April. For that to happen, there has to be some sort of adjustment, either a voided check, or major category change of donation or expense, or a canceled donation -- one or more of those events applied to a March or April transaction.
And most likely, someone noticed something amiss during tithing settlement, corrected the original donation(s), which has now thrown off the current reconciliation.


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