Helping Bishopric Follow Procedure

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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Helping Bishopric Follow Procedure

Postby morganvan » Sun May 30, 2010 8:46 pm

I'm a new ward clerk and only recently had the opportunity to process donations for the first time while the financial clerk was out of town.

I was somewhat distressed to learn that the "standard procedure" in my ward involves the clerk and the bishopric counselor working separately (though in the same room) while processing weekly donations. The counselor opens the envelopes while the clerk, with his back turned, enters the donations into MLS.

I'm aware that this is a violation of the companionship principle, as outlined in the online trainings. I encountered resistance in my attempts to educate the counselor, however. He gently corrected me each time and suggested that I do not understand the process.

We just underwent a financial audit (which I was told I didn't need to attend) and passed with flying colors. I don't know what was said during the audit, but no change in procedure resulted.

It bears noting that each member of the bishopric, along with the financial clerk, are much older than I am. Each has served for a significant period of time in his present calling. They are good men and are highly dedicated to the gospel, but I am certain that they are in error in this instance.

Surely, some who frequent these forums have encountered similar situations. What counsel would you offer me regarding this situation?

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Postby russellhltn » Sun May 30, 2010 10:53 pm

The stake clerk is responsible for your training. The next opportunity that presents itself, you may wish to talk to him about procedure and what you are experiencing. If he feels it a problem, he has the means to get the word back to those who need to hear it.

That's what I've done when I've run into situations that didn't seem right.
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Auditors to the rescue

Postby ecawley1 » Mon May 31, 2010 8:59 am

I would quietly speak with one of your stake auditors about this. If they're smart, they'll conduct unofficial pre-audits in June and the official audits starting around mid-July. After the audit is completed, they should sit down with the Bishop to have him sign the audit and review any errors in it. At that time, I would have the auditor explain this situation to the Bishop and actually explain his concerns on the last page of the audit (that way, it's written down). Doing this also ensures the ward will be in full compliance within a certain time period. If there are any glitches to this, then notify the chairman of your audit committee (usually a stake counselor).

Eric Cawley
Meridian Idaho Paramount Stake Clerk

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Postby aebrown » Mon May 31, 2010 9:23 am

Nags wrote:We just underwent a financial audit (which I was told I didn't need to attend) and passed with flying colors. I don't know what was said during the audit, but no change in procedure resulted.

Although it's true that you don't have to attend a financial audit, the fact remains that you as ward clerk have responsibility for the finances of the ward, and so you have every right to be at the audit. If I were you, I'd just mention to whoever schedules the audits (the stake clerk can tell you who that is), "I'm new in this calling, and since I have responsibility for finances, I'd appreciate it if you would include me in the scheduling of the next audit."

Then during the audit, you can ask questions and make sure the right issues are raised.
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Postby morganvan » Mon May 31, 2010 9:43 am

I really like the idea of leveraging the audit process to bring things into line. Thanks for your thoughts and comments.

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Postby mamadsen » Mon May 31, 2010 12:10 pm

RussellHltn wrote:...The next opportunity that presents itself...

Could be as soon as you contact the stake clerk for additional training. If you have any questions, any time, you should be able to get them answered fairly quickly. You don't need to wait for a scheduled training. Training can be as quick and simple as a phone call to answer one question.

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Postby mlh78 » Mon May 31, 2010 2:01 pm

If I were in this situation, I would explain the issue to the Bishop. He is ultimately responsible for the ward's financial procedures. In addition, he hopefully has a better feel for how to address the issue with the counselor. It makes little sense to me to continue violating policy until the next audit. I also think you owe him an explanation and a chance to intervene before you start telling stake officials you are out of compliance.

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your responsibility as ward clerk...

Postby kisaac » Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:00 pm

Nags wrote:I'm a new ward clerk...
....What counsel would you offer me regarding this situation?

In the church produced "ward clerk" online training, I find both courage and perspective.

I quote from this training:
"The role of Ward Clerk: Financial Records: In this capacity, you serve as the financial officer of the ward. An assistant clerk may be called to assist with many of the financial tasks. However, as ward clerk you retain the responsibility to make sure the finances are properly transacted and recorded."

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