CUBS: Budget subcategory strategies

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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aebrown
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CUBS: Budget subcategory strategies

Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:34 pm

With the new limitations on Budget subcategories under CUBS, we will all have to make some adjustments in how we organize our subcategories. So I thought I'd share my current thinking about how we will approach it in my stake, and perhaps others could offer their thoughts as well.

  1. We have had categories for shared youth activities, such as "Budget:Youth Conference" and "Budget:YM-YW Combined Activities." We can't have those same names anymore, but we really wanted to retain these categories. It didn't seem to make sense to divide every single expense for such activities half and half between "Budget:Young Men" and "Budget:Young Women." So we created subcategories of "Budget:Other" for each of these.
  2. We also have a variety of odds and ends categories (such as "Music" or "Cultural Arts" or "Emergency Preparedness"). We put all these as subcategories of "Budget:Other" as well.
  3. Categories that seem to be related to stake administration (such as "Copier Expenses" or "Internet Connection") we created as subcategories of "Budget:Administration".
  4. For wards, it seems like a category such as "Boy Scouts" could be a subcategory of "Budget:Young Men"; "Cub Scouts" a subcategory of "Budget:Primary"; etc.
  5. There are some categories we don't plan to use at all: "Curriculum" doesn't seem very useful, and any expenses in that area would be charged to the appropriate auxiliary's budget. "Distribution Center Charges" will probably be used automatically for items ordered from a Distribution Center, but we'll move those into the appropriate axuiliary's subcategory. At the stake level "Elders Quorum" makes little sense, and I doubt we'll use "High Priests Group," either.
We'll end up with quite a few subcategories of "Budget:Other," but I don't see a better alternative. What are other wards and stakes doing?
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stanstrad
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Postby stanstrad » Mon Oct 25, 2010 1:48 pm

Thanks for the ideas...have been trying to figure out the best way to proceed when recreating categories.
What would the "Budget Allocation" category be used for, that now has some of the "old" categories under it? Or is it best not used and just a place they put old categories they couldn't delete?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:27 pm

sls wrote:Thanks for the ideas...have been trying to figure out the best way to proceed when recreating categories.
What would the "Budget Allocation" category be used for, that now has some of the "old" categories under it? Or is it best not used and just a place they put old categories they couldn't delete?


The "Budget:Budget Allocations" category is used for receiving your quarterly budget allocations. The first automatic allocation will occur around 1 Jan 2011. Stakes have already received funds into that category and will be writing checks to wards from it once they determine what each ward's remaining 2010 allocation is. Once you receive funds in that holding category, you can transfer to other subcategories of Budget as each unit sees fit.

During the transition, some deposits to various Budget subcategories were recategorized as "Budget:Budget Allocations:<old category name>". I don't see any good use for those, so I zeroed them out by transferring from those categories to "Budget:Budget Allocations".
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mlh78
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Postby mlh78 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 2:31 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:Stakes have already received funds into that category and will be writing checks to wards from it once they determine what each ward's remaining 2010 allocation is.


Does anyone know if the Final Stake Financial Summary has been mailed yet? I assume that it would be closed out as of 10/17 and mailed shortly thereafter.

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Postby crislapi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:31 pm

We did something very similar with our budget categories. I find that I am making a lot of subcategories in Budget:Other as well.

The only thing I did that you didn't mention was create sub-accounts for each ward under Budget:Budget Allocations. I caution, however, that I don't think these categories will be used outside of 2010 since ward budgets will automatically be given directly to the ward and the stake will just see their own portion show up in Budget:Budget Allocations.

The rationale behind doing it for 2010 was 1) All budget money for 2010 was given to the stake and then split out to the wards and I wanted to document this, 2) I wanted a record of how much each ward had spent pre-CUBS in MLS and 3) when I cut checks for them, I can cut it against their specific category and see that they did in fact receive 100% of their budget for 2010, zeroing out their subcategory.

I thought I'd understood that the stake MLS would show ward expenses in real time (see here), but now I don't see how that would work or even be possible. If it is, I will continue to use these sub-categories. If not, I will deactivate them in 2011.

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Postby crislapi » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:33 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:During the transition, some deposits to various Budget subcategories were recategorized as "Budget:Budget Allocations:<old category name>". I don't see any good use for those, so I zeroed them out by transferring from those categories to "Budget:Budget Allocations".


I did the same.

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Postby edwardlalone » Mon Oct 25, 2010 3:59 pm

Is it appropriate if we create sub-categories under Budget:Administration for:

Budget:Administration:Activities
Budget:Administration:Munch and Mingle
Budget:Administration:Ward Supplies

Is this the appropriate use for the Administration Category or should we use another category?

It seems some people are using Budget Allocation, Other and Administration for this purpose. What is the position of the church on this? Several wards in our stake aren't writing checks because they think it may cause problems with our budgeting.

Should we use the default Relief Society and Elders Quorum categories for those or should we create a sub-category under Budget:Administration or another Category for those?

Is it possible to point me in the direction of a document that provides clear instruction on how to update/edit categories and what the official policy is so that we don't make more mistakes.

We already have a lot of work cut out for us because of a problem with our computer date and I would like not having to undo more mistakes. :)

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Postby mfmohlma » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:14 pm

Edward Lalone wrote:It seems some people are using Budget Allocation, Other and Administration for this purpose. What is the position of the church on this? Several wards in our stake aren't writing checks because they think it may cause problems with our budgeting.


My (not-so-educated) guess is that the main subcategories will be called out separately on your new and improved financial statement (as seen on page 7 of the example statement here). As long as your priesthood leader is comfortable tracking the balances under the (predefined) subcategories, it's probably just for your reference only what you call the sub-subcategories and where they go.

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Postby Freedom55 » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:23 pm

Since most of the old subcategories I was using came across under Budget Allocations, and since I don't have much use (at the stake level) for the set subcategories under Budget (Elders Quorum, etc.), I've reset all my subcategories under Budget:Budget Allocations. I'm not sure how critical it is to use any particular subcategory of Budget since a) it all rolls up to Budget, and b) it's just used for our local stake budget information. :confused:

I would be pleased to take correction if I'm off base on this.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 25, 2010 4:48 pm

Edward Lalone wrote:Is it appropriate if we create sub-categories under Budget:Administration for:

Budget:Administration:Activities
Budget:Administration:Munch and Mingle
Budget:Administration:Ward Supplies

Is this the appropriate use for the Administration Category or should we use another category?


That's a local decision. Personally, I plan to use Budget:Administration for expenses that feel like administration. Expenses related to the Activities committee don't feel like that, but Ward Supplies do. But that's just my opinion.

Edward Lalone wrote:It seems some people are using Budget Allocation, Other and Administration for this purpose. What is the position of the church on this? Several wards in our stake aren't writing checks because they think it may cause problems with our budgeting.


I definitely think it is wrong to stop writing checks. When members have put out money and requested reimbursement, it is our responsibility to deliver that reimbursement promptly. If you later decide that a check was written from the wrong subcategory, it's easy enough to change the category.
Edward Lalone wrote:Should we use the default Relief Society and Elders Quorum categories for those or should we create a sub-category under Budget:Administration or another Category for those?

I can only assume that those categories were created for a purpose. When an expense is obviously related to the Relief Society, I can't see any good reason to use any category other than the built-in Budget:Relief Society category.

Edward Lalone wrote:Is it possible to point me in the direction of a document that provides clear instruction on how to update/edit categories and what the official policy is so that we don't make more mistakes.


It's easy enough to add or update categories. The MLS help file has instructions, or you can look on the wiki at Add or update categories (MLS).

But I think you're going to be disappointed if you're looking for an official policy statement on how to use categories. None has been released at this point, and I really doubt that any will be. Each unit needs to make its best judgment, based on its own situation. I started this thread so that various clerks can share ideas of what works for them. That may give you some ideas.
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