Agent Ward Year End

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
slh531977-p40
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Agent Ward Year End

Postby slh531977-p40 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 7:50 am

So we are the agent ward for the 3 wards in our building. For the year, we made a budget catagory and tracked all the agent ward expenses. At this point, my guess is what we need to do is take that total, divide it by 3, and then give the other 2 wards a bill of some sort. Then have them write us a check that we can deposit back into our account?

Is that what the normal process is? Does anyone have any better ideas?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 22, 2009 8:58 am

slh531977 wrote:So we are the agent ward for the 3 wards in our building. For the year, we made a budget catagory and tracked all the agent ward expenses. At this point, my guess is what we need to do is take that total, divide it by 3, and then give the other 2 wards a bill of some sort. Then have them write us a check that we can deposit back into our account?

Is that what the normal process is? Does anyone have any better ideas?


That's pretty much how we did it when I was a ward financial clerk. Tracking all those expenses in one subcategory is very helpful in making sure you know just how much was spent. Also, the other wards need some documentation for their own audit purposes, so you do need to provide an invoice of some kind. When you get the checks from the other wards, you will deposit them into your "Budget:Agent Ward Expenses" subcategory.

The one thing I would recommend (although it's far too late now) is to give invoices a bit earlier. It might be a bit difficult just one week before the end of the year to get checks from the other wards and get them deposited into your account before December 31. It's always nice to keep the expenses and deposits all in the same fiscal year whenever possible.

Also, depending on the total amount involved, you might consider sending invoices more frequently than just one big bill at the end of the year. By sending invoices perhaps 2-4 times during the year, you spread out the cost and reduce the chance of giving the other wards an unpleasant surprise right at the end of the year, when they may not have been expecting it.

tdhawryluk
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Postby tdhawryluk » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:46 am

I totally agree with the above. We devised an invoice showing the totals with tax and then the division by the number of wards and amounts owing. We tried to invoice about three times a year. Some wards paid instantly, others you had to track for a few weeks to be sure they submitted. We kept a folder of unpaid agent ward invoices to make sure everyone eventually paid.

Also, every ward should have an agent ward category in budget even if they are not the agent ward and they need to budget a few hundred dollars in there or when they get invoiced from you they may be shocked to not have set aside money for that purpose.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Dec 22, 2009 9:57 am

punman wrote:We devised an invoice showing the totals with tax


Just one little note regarding tax on such expenses, for those units that record sales tax: the agent ward did the purchasing and already reported the full amount of sales tax paid as they wrote the original checks. So when the other wards get an invoice for their share of the agent ward expenses, they should report 0 tax. If they were to report their 1/3 share of the tax, then the Church as a whole would end up reporting more than the tax that was actually paid, which is clearly not the correct thing to do.

Yes, this means that the agent ward will get the full sales tax reimbursement, even though that ward only paid 1/3 of the expense (net, after the other wards pay their share). So the agent ward gets a tiny financial benefit, but agent ward responsibility rotates among the wards, and for the extra work they do, it's no big deal if they get a bit of extra budget funds. It's really not much money, anyway.

slh531977-p40
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Postby slh531977-p40 » Tue Dec 22, 2009 11:30 am

great ideas everyone thank you. Yes we are late in the game(we became a new bishopric and agent ward in October) and have been learning as we go.

greggo
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Postby greggo » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:04 am

I've never had to deal with agent ward issues (our ward does share a building with another ward, but since the building is well within the other ward's boundaries, it could be that they handle everything).

I'm curious what kinds of expenses would be large enough to need to be shared between the wards. My idea of agent ward expenses would mostly be for transient members or others who might need temporary assistance, but that would come from FO's. Aren't utilities and other building expenses paid directly by the stake or CHQ?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 23, 2009 7:21 am

Greggo wrote:I've never had to deal with agent ward issues (our ward does share a building with another ward, but since the building is well within the other ward's boundaries, it could be that they handle everything).

I'm curious what kinds of expenses would be large enough to need to be shared between the wards. My idea of agent ward expenses would mostly be for transient members or others who might need temporary assistance, but that would come from FO's. Aren't utilities and other building expenses paid directly by the stake or CHQ?


Utilities and most building expenses are paid by the local FM Group. As you said, any expenses for the needy come from Fast Offerings and have nothing to do with agent ward expenses.

But there are still other expenses that do fall in the category of agent ward expenses. In my experience, the vast majority of these are related to the meetinghouse library. There is toner and paper for the copier, pictures, DVDs, manuals, easels, chalk/erasers, etc. that are needed to keep the library functioning. These need to be purchased by someone, but all wards in the building benefit. Thus the agent ward is the logical entity to handle this.

The physical location of the ward building really has nothing to do with it. Your ward is pretty fortunate if you haven't had to pay a share of the library and other expenses -- that other ward is pretty generous to you!

greggo
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Postby greggo » Thu Dec 24, 2009 7:55 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:The physical location of the ward building really has nothing to do with it. Your ward is pretty fortunate if you haven't had to pay a share of the library and other expenses -- that other ward is pretty generous to you!


In the 2-3 years I was the financial clerk, the only shared expenses we had with the other ward was for a replacement basketball hoop and a pinewood derby track. For the printer and copier, one ward took care of the paper; the other took care of the toner (and this may have switched year to year). None of this had anything to do with which was the agent ward (maybe we only had agent bishops).

I guess for any other shared library items, the expense was small enough that the ward that wanted them most just paid for them without reimbursement.


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