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Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
farwest
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Postby farwest » Sun Oct 31, 2010 4:43 pm

what is the policy of putting money into our local scout office so that our scout people can pickup awards? How do other wards take care of paying for awards when the local scout office will not let you have a account there and pay them at the end of the month?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 31, 2010 5:01 pm

farwest wrote:what is the policy of putting money into our local scout office so that our scout people can pickup awards? How do other wards take care of paying for awards when the local scout office will not let you have a account there and pay them at the end of the month?


Does your scout office accept normal forms of payment (checks, cash, credit cards)? If so, I'm wondering why it would be different from any other merchant. Members can pay for the purchases and submit receipts for reimbursement; in cases where that is a hardship on a member, and advance can be issued.

That's how our wards handle the purchase of scouting awards -- it's no different from any other purchase.

As for the policy towards paying ahead, that does seem a bit problematic. For audit purposes, an expense generally needs to be supported by a receipt. You wouldn't have a receipt or invoice in this case that corresponds to the expense, if I understand you correctly.
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jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Sun Oct 31, 2010 7:12 pm

For a while, our ward had put $100 or so on account at the scout office for this purpose. When items were picked up and charged against this account, the person doing that brought back a receipt, filled out an expense request, and then a check was cut and sent to the scout office for the amount of the receipt to bring that account back up to $100.00.

As for having a receipt for the initial deposit, it seems that the scout office provided a receipt showing the amount used open the account, as well as receipts showing additional deposits that replenished the account.

There are only 2 advantages I can see for doing it this way:

1. It allows someone to pick up items from the scout office that is not in a financial position to pay for it with their own funds and then wait to get reimbursed by the ward. But it is still easier accounting to give them an advance instead, as Alan described above.

2. At some scout shops if distance is a factor, it allows one to mail in the request for items, have them charged to the account at the scout shop and mailed back to the unit, thus saving some travel money, especially in situations where #1 applies.

Otherwise it is much simpler accounting to have the person pay for it out of pocket and then get reimbursed for it later. Also I think it would be complicated to appropriately track this account in MLS, resulting in needing to track it separately in a spreadsheet or something. Since that was another level of complexity I did not want to have to try and train a future ward clerk on, I simplified it by phasing out this charge account, reverting to reimbursements and advances as needed.

allenjpl
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Postby allenjpl » Sun Oct 31, 2010 10:26 pm

I'd suggest consulting with your Stake Clerk. It strikes me that an account like that is very much like a running credit line (or charge account), and it would seem to violate the policy of each ward having a single bank account.


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