Reimbursing members for expenses

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
waynecooke
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Reimbursing members for expenses

Postby waynecooke » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:18 pm

kh_design wrote: The weight I feel is for the leaders who will dig more deeply, sacrifice even more of their own monies to buy the items they need for the service of their auxiliary members, and never admit to spending their own money giving us a chance to reimburse them. I do feel this in my heart, I know we will grow stronger through this.


This brings up an interesting point. I was just having this discussion with the Bishop and the Activities Committee Chairman. Both having mentioned that they have often paid for things of their own pockets, and not submitted "Reimbursement" slips. The CHI says that ward members WILL, not may or should or could turn in these expenses, but WILL.

Interesting.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Nov 09, 2010 1:27 pm

wcooke wrote:This brings up an interesting point. I was just having this discussion with the Bishop and the Activities Committee Chairman. Both having mentioned that they have often paid for things of their own pockets, and not submitted "Reimbursement" slips. The CHI says that ward members WILL, not may or should or could turn in these expenses, but WILL.

Interesting.

I think the handbook also says something along the lines that only budget funds can be used for activities, with the rare exception(s) w/ Other account. Members are not to donate to the budget account, etc. All units are to operate within the budget funds provided by the church. I think the intention was to make it so there were not "rich" wards and "poor" wards. All wards, regardless of income level, were to operate on the same budget calculations.

Although they do it with the best intentions, members who do not submit reimbursement requests are essentially circumventing this system and, to a degree, the equity it was meant to provide for all units.

jim.knox
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Postby jim.knox » Wed Nov 10, 2010 4:55 am

I have seen several cases where someone paying expenses without reimbursement caused a lot of damage when s/he is replaced. Suddenly the program has to live within the budget, and people blame the new person for the program reductions. I have told many people it is better to know the actual expense of a program rather than trying to artifically support it with private funds and have it fail later because the private funds go away.
James Knox
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ggllbb
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Postby ggllbb » Wed Nov 10, 2010 9:48 am

One special case example:

Although we can ask and encourage, there is no way to force anyone to submit for reimbursement. We have one faithful sister whose somewhat atagonistic, non member husband won't let her directly donate money to the church. She spends money on things for activities for which she refuses to be reimbursed. I'm not talking about a lot, and it is unlikely to cause any of the problems mentioned, but, she considers this her donation. When caring for her ill mother, each month, she would write a check and submit her mother's tithing until her mother passed to the other side. I have been seeking a way for her to participate more openly.

I would also like to get her to the temple, but that is another topic.

techgy
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Postby techgy » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:31 am

knoxj wrote:I have seen several cases where someone paying expenses without reimbursement caused a lot of damage when s/he is replaced. Suddenly the program has to live within the budget, and people blame the new person for the program reductions. I have told many people it is better to know the actual expense of a program rather than trying to artificially support it with private funds and have it fail later because the private funds go away.


I had a similar experience years ago while serving in a Bishopric. We had called a sister to be RS Pres. When she was faced with putting together a budget the person whom she replaced had been paying for much of the expenses out of her own pocket and turned very little in for reimbursement. The new RS Pres had nothing to go on.

It's much better to always ask for a reimbursement and then, if you desire to be generous, you can always donate the reimbursement back to the ward. This way there's a track record of the expenses for your replacement to follow.
Have you read the Code of Conduct?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Nov 10, 2010 10:36 am

GBarton wrote:One special case example:

Although we can ask and encourage, there is no way to force anyone to submit for reimbursement.


As we are asking and encouraging, I think it is also an opportunity to teach correct principles. The fact is that Church policy requires members to submit expenses for reimbursement and prohibits members from providing materials or fees at their own expense. Although that is indeed true, it can sound rather harsh to kind, generous souls who are trying to help in any way they can.

However, Church policy definitely allows members who have received a reimbursement check to decide to donate it back to the Church. This scenario is explicitly mentioned on the Outstanding Checks Report form, which says:
If the payee wants to donate the check back to the Church, have the payee endorse the check, fill out a donation slip, and follow normal donation procedures.
In the scenario of the sister who cannot make donations directly to the Church, this seems to be an opportunity for her to make charitable contributions without using her own money directly. She follows Church policy and submits her receipts for reimbursement. But then she endorses the check back to the ward and prepares a regular donation slip, selecting Fast Offering or General Missionary or Humanitarian Aid or some other charitable category, where the money can truly help those in need. If you take the opportunity to teach about this option, she may gain an understanding of how she can be even more helpful than she is now, without ever writing a check to the Church. Plus she helps the ward to understand the true cost of running the ward, and follows Church policy -- it's a win-win-win!
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

ggllbb
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Postby ggllbb » Wed Nov 10, 2010 12:14 pm

Thank you for your replies, they are very helpful. Still learning here. I will be discussing this with my branch president (I am a new 2nd councilor, previous clerk).

waynecooke
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Postby waynecooke » Thu Nov 11, 2010 11:30 pm

I would also like to say "Thank You" for your input. It has been most instructional and valuable and will be used.

I hope none of you have any objections, but I "cut and pasted" your comments (anonymously) and will talk to the Bishop Sunday about your points.

Thanks again.


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