Missing Check in MLS

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mlh78
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Missing Check in MLS

Postby mlh78 » Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:57 am

I was helping a ward in my stake get caught up on their reconciliations. While reconciling a month, we found a check that had cleared the bank, but there was no record of it in MLS. My first thought was that someone had handwritten the check and forgot to input it in MLS. We sifted through their files, however, and found the check stub for this check. The clerk and bishop tell me that around this check number they had had printing problems, but I cannot figure out how they could have produced a printed check without leaving a trace of it in MLS. Any ideas? To solve the problem, I entered the check in MLS as "not a check," which I think is about the only way to solve the problem.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 11, 2010 4:54 am

mlh78 wrote:I was helping a ward in my stake get caught up on their reconciliations. While reconciling a month, we found a check that had cleared the bank, but there was no record of it in MLS. My first thought was that someone had handwritten the check and forgot to input it in MLS. We sifted through their files, however, and found the check stub for this check. The clerk and bishop tell me that around this check number they had had printing problems, but I cannot figure out how they could have produced a printed check without leaving a trace of it in MLS. Any ideas? To solve the problem, I entered the check in MLS as "not a check," which I think is about the only way to solve the problem.


Certainly one way this can happen is if a backup is restored, where the backup was made sometime prior to the the check being written, but then restored after the check was written. Depending on how many checks were written at the same time, you might have more than one check in the same situation, which might give you some hints as to what happened.

Also, I'm not sure what happens when the MLS check number and the check on the check stock are mismatched. Clearly the clerk should have noticed and answered "no" to the "Did the check print correctly?" question. But if not, I'm thinking that if the check were printed in MLS with #1002 on check stock #1001, the bank would probably report it as #1001 (that's what the MICR on the check would indicate). Theoretically, the Positive Pay system should have caught the mismatch and reported it, but I've seen checks with other Positive Pay issues quietly clear the bank, so I'm not convinced you would always be notified.

For this latter case, you should be able to check your check stubs on file to see if this is actually what happened.
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atticusewig
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Mismatched Check matches MLS number on CUFS

Postby atticusewig » Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:01 am

We just had an issue of mismatch between checkstock # and MLS check # and here is what happened. Check numbers are not real.

Check 394 was written but printed on stock 395
Check 395 was written but printed on stock 394

When posted as cleared on the CUFS, 394 (as reported by the bank)
matches MLS 394 not 395.

I guess positive-pay isn't concerned so much with what number is on
the check, but rather that the Payee and Amount appear on the list of
transmitted checks.

- Atticus

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Mon Oct 11, 2010 5:05 pm

My first instinct is to look under View/update expenses. If the only spot it is not listing is in the Reconcile screen, that could simply be because a clerk incorrectly checked it as having cleared in a previous reconcile. It sounds like you see it on your CUFS as having cleared, so it definitely got transmitted and was covered. Sort by check number or date first and see if you can find it. If not, sort by amount and try to identify it that way.

If you do find that it was incorrectly checked off in a previous reconcile, go back through your previous reconciles (most recent and work your way back) until you see it listed again. Uncheck it, save and close, and then go back to the reconcile you were working on. It should now show up.

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Postby crislapi » Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:40 pm

Just a little more follow-up. If the check does in fact show under your view/update expenses window, look at its status. If it says "cleared" then don't even bother hunting it down in your old reconciles to uncheck it. The only point of this step in the reconcile is update the status of the check. If it already shows as cleared then great, that's what you want. Now it doesn't really matter that it might have been checked previously by accident.

If it does not show in your view/update expenses, however, that's an entirely different problem. Some of the other replies deal with that scenario.

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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:15 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Certainly one way this can happen is if a backup is restored, where the backup was made sometime prior to the the check being written, but then restored after the check was written.

No restorations have been done on this computer.
 
Alan_Brown wrote: I'm thinking that if the check were printed in MLS with #1002 on check stock #1001, the bank would probably report it as #1001 (that's what the MICR on the check would indicate). Theoretically, the Positive Pay system should have caught the mismatch and reported it, but I've seen checks with other Positive Pay issues quietly clear the bank, so I'm not convinced you would always be notified.

 
In this case MLS printed #1001 on check #1002 and the check cleared as #1001 - the positive pay system did not catch it.
 
crislapi wrote:My first instinct is to look under View/update expenses. If the only spot it is not listing is in the Reconcile screen, that could simply be because a clerk incorrectly checked it as having cleared in a previous reconcile.

 
The check does not show up anywhere in MLS—there is no history of the payee or the amount and there is another check #1001 (which also cleared the bank as check #1001). This is what is so odd to me, it seems that it is impossible (or should be) to print a check from MLS but have no record of it in MLS. I am not too concerned—we simply entered the check as not a check and completed the reconciliation. I am just baffled by how this happened.

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Postby crislapi » Tue Oct 12, 2010 8:35 am

mlh78 wrote:In this case MLS printed #1001 on check #1002 and the check cleared as #1001 - the positive pay system did not catch it.
...
there is another check #1001 (which also cleared the bank as check #1001).


Wait, you had two checks, both #1001, that cleared the bank? As far as the database goes, then, I can see a problem. You can't have two checks with the same number in the system. MLS shouldn't have let you print the second check as #1001.

I'm going to guess the check w/ the missing info in MLS was the first check cut for #1001. The second check probably overwrote/erased the record for the first #1001.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:19 am

crislapi wrote:
MLS shouldn't have let you print the second check as #1001.


Just checked this on the test database and I couldn't get a second check entered reusing a previous check number. I have two follow-up questions:
1) Do you have expense reports for both checks (#1001 printed on #1002, and #1001 printed on #1001)?
2) Did one of the checks clear as 99991001 on your CUFS?

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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Tue Oct 12, 2010 9:36 am

crislapi wrote:
Just checked this on the test database and I couldn't get a second check entered reusing a previous check number. I have two follow-up questions:



1) Do you have expense reports for both checks (#1001 printed on #1002, and #1001 printed on #1001)?
2) Did one of the checks clear as 99991001 on your CUFS?



I will follow up with the ward's finance clerk to get this information - all I remember seeing is two check stubs, both with 1001 and a CUFS both showing two 1001 checks clearing.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Oct 12, 2010 10:09 am

Let me explain a little what I'm thinking so you can get an idea of what to look for.
crislapi wrote:1) Do you have expense reports for both checks (#1001 printed on #1002, and #1001 printed on #1001)?
The only way I was able to get MLS to print 2 checks with the same check number was to tell MLS the first check did not print correctly. This is a reasonable assumption to me: He printed #1001 on check #1002, noticed it after it printed, and said no. It would have printed fine except that the check numbers didn't match.

I could then close my expense screen, reopen it, enter a second check, print it as #1001 on #1001 as well, and this time say yes.

However, this approach only printed an expense report for the second check. The first one still sits there waiting to be reprinted. I can remove it by going to my view/update expenses screen. The "misprinted" check appears w/ ref # "not printed". If I open it, I can delete it, which removes the expense completely from MLS w/ no trace.

This leaves me with two checks printed as #1001, but only one remaining in MLS. I only have an expense report for just one of them, as well as an expense transmission confirmation report for just that one. If he can't find expense reports and/or transmission reports for both of them, this might be how the error occurred.

I'm not saying this is how it was done, but it's the only way I could duplicate it.

crislapi wrote:
2) Did one of the checks clear as 99991001 on your CUFS?


If the bank cashes a check before it has been transmitted, it will show up on your CUFS with the check number padded with 9's instead of 0's. If you do notice one of your #1001 checks with 9's in front of it, this would add credence to the scenario I mentioned above since it hinges on one of the checks not getting transmitted.

I would also look at the dates of the checks. Granted, when they were cashed is not directly related to when they were cut, but it might be useful info.

I'm also curious if they cut a check #1002 or if that one is skipped.


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