MLS Suggestion: Entering a purpose note for "other" income/receipts

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
thadzik
New Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Germany

MLS Suggestion: Entering a purpose note for "other" income/receipts

Postby thadzik » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:07 pm

[font=Arial]HERE ANOTHER SUGGESTION: "Entering a purpose note for "other" income/receipts"[/font]

Currently[font=Arial] the finance clerk is only able to enter a purpose note in MLS for expenses. For incomings/receipts there is no field available where you could add this comment. I understand that this is not a problem as long as we talk about incomings like tithing, fast offering or missionary funds.[/font] [font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]It would be very helpful, if the finance clerk will be asked by the MLS system automatically to mention the purpose of any income amounts which will be reported in the "other" account.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]Because we are not able to create new sub-categories by ourselves in MLS, we have to book incomings in those categories which might not fit exactly. If you then ask the finance clerk a half year or year later for which that income was, he might not remember it. In that case it would be helpful to have also for those “other” incomings a purpose note in MLS.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]Another advantage of this would be that the finance clerk can clean up quicker those other sub-categories, because he knows for what purpose the incomings and the expenses were.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]Please let me know what you think of this suggestion.[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]Kind regards[/font]
[font=Arial][/font]
[font=Arial]Thorsten[/font]

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:25 pm

thorsten_GER wrote:[font=Arial]Because we are not able to create new sub-categories by ourselves in MLS, we have to book incomings in those categories which might not fit exactly. If you then ask the finance clerk a half year or year later for which that income was, he might not remember it. In that case it would be helpful to have also for those "other" incomings a purpose note in MLS.[/font]


You can certainly create new subcategories in MLS for Budget and Other. You cannot create subcategories for Ward Missionary, but for all currently called and serving missionaries, a subcategory is automatically created.

There are some restrictions for Budget and Other. For Budget, you can only create subcategories of existing built-in subcategories (not of Budget itself, and no more than one level of subcategories). For Other, you can only create subcategories of Authorized Member Financed Activities.

But those restrictions are relatively minor -- you should be able to create meaningful names for these subcategories, which should document the reason for donations pretty well.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

thadzik
New Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Germany

Postby thadzik » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:32 pm

In Europe, the administration office told us not to create any new categories, and in MLS we are blocked for creating new sub-categories.

And I have to agree that this regulation makes sense. I accompany also a US militaray stake and I could see that inside one stake were so many sub-categories created, even for one-time events. Those categories will exist for ever.

It makes it also difficult for the bishop or clerk to overview so many self created categories.

Kind regards Thorsten

thadzik
New Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Germany

Postby thadzik » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:33 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:You can certainly create new subcategories in MLS for Budget and Other. You cannot create subcategories for Ward Missionary, but for all currently called and serving missionaries, a subcategory is automatically created.

There are some restrictions for Budget and Other. For Budget, you can only create subcategories of existing built-in subcategories (not of Budget itself, and no more than one level of subcategories). For Other, you can only create subcategories of Authorized Member Financed Activities.

But those restrictions are relatively minor -- you should be able to create meaningful names for these subcategories, which should document the reason for donations pretty well.


In Europe, the administration office told us not to create any new categories, and in MLS we are blocked for creating new sub-categories.

And I have to agree that this regulation makes sense. I accompany also a US militaray stake and I could see that inside one stake were so many sub-categories created, even for one-time events. Those categories will exist for ever.

It makes it also difficult for the bishop or clerk to overview so many self created categories.

Kind regards Thorsten

User avatar
aebrown
Community Administrator
Posts: 14693
Joined: Tue Nov 27, 2007 8:48 pm
Location: Sandy, Utah

Postby aebrown » Sat Nov 27, 2010 12:51 pm

thorsten_GER wrote:In Europe, the administration office told us not to create any new categories, and in MLS we are blocked for creating new sub-categories.


I was not aware of that restriction on European units. Given that restriction, I can see why you would want to have some flexibility in documenting the purpose for donations to such categories.

thorsten_GER wrote:And I have to agree that this regulation makes sense. I accompany also a US militaray stake and I could see that inside one stake were so many sub-categories created, even for one-time events.


I disagree. The purpose of subcategories is to allow a unit to track expenses by function. If the built-in categories are inadequate (and the ones provided in the US most certainly are), and units are not allowed to create their own subcategories, then they will be forced to lump many unrelated expenses in some category such as "Budget:Other". Such a practice makes it impossible to set budgets for those categories and generate reports against those categories.

Of course, a unit has to be prudent in creating subcategories. It is certainly possible to create too many subcategories. But that should be a unit's judgment, not an artificial constraint -- the unit will have to live with the consequences of creating inappropriate categories.

That said, if the European Administration Office has set this restriction, you'll have to work within your constraints as well as you can. I sincerely hope that no such constraints are placed upon us in the US.

thorsten_GER wrote:Those categories will exist for ever.


No, they will not. Categories which have zero balances and no activity for the retention period (3 years in the US, different periods in other countries) will automatically be deleted when the retention period expires.

thorsten_GER wrote:It makes it also difficult for the bishop or clerk to overview so many self created categories.


As I mentioned before, the number of categories created is up to the bishop. Units are certainly not forced to have too many categories. Having no self-created categories is an even greater impediment to adequate review, since there is no way to see in a Budget Summary Report what the breakdown would be for a generic category such as "Budget:Other".
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

nbllds-p40
New Member
Posts: 18
Joined: Wed Apr 01, 2009 9:37 pm
Location: Sahuarita, AZ, USA

Postby nbllds-p40 » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:16 pm

I can see this from two different perspectives.

While it is true that you can choose meaningful names for subcategories, I've sometimes thought it would be helpful to have a reason line as well. The example that comes to mind is for a Budget income, though. I've been asked in financial audits before "What was this $xx.xx deposit into Budget for?" Without digging into all the paperwork, all I can say is "Well, it was deposited into Budget: Agent Ward Expenses, so it must have been some supplies for the library or something." In addition, the white slip doesn't always get filled out with as much detail as it should for such things, and perhaps having a reason would make it easy to document right then and there, making things a little easier to research in the future.

On the other hand, there are some categories that are abundantly clear by their name alone, and you don't want to have to fill out yet another line item (reason) saying exactly the same thing as the category name, particularly when you're entering a large number of donations. In the example above, perhaps the name alone on the Budget:Agent Ward Expenses category should have been enough for the auditor. But telling the auditor that you've told him all he really needs to know doesn't always go over very well!

atticusewig
Member
Posts: 308
Joined: Fri Jan 19, 2007 9:48 am

Great Idea

Postby atticusewig » Sat Nov 27, 2010 7:49 pm

I think having a reason/purpose line for all financial transactions
can solve many financial questions later.

I would also like to see a Chart of Accounts portion of MLS where you could provide more lengthy descriptions of user-created accounts. I sometimes have to give accounts cryptic names to fit in the string length limit.

Sometimes, I think the confidentiality of records causes poor communication practices in software and policy - but since this is a tech forum, let's just
stick to the software.

- Atticus

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20780
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Sat Nov 27, 2010 10:01 pm

nbllds wrote:While it is true that you can choose meaningful names for subcategories, I've sometimes thought it would be helpful to have a reason line as well.


Maybe we're talking about the same thing, but what about an optional "memo" line?

When you deposit to "Budget: Agent Ward Expenses", you could put a memo of "Photo copies: Jan-Mar".

Since it's optional, you can use it or not use it as you wish.

That's the way Quicken (which I use for my personal finances) works.

This would be just a line of text that appears in detail reports. It's not a category, a sort item or anything else.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

thadzik
New Member
Posts: 23
Joined: Wed Nov 10, 2010 2:05 pm
Location: Germany

Postby thadzik » Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:50 pm

RussellHltn wrote:Maybe we're talking about the same thing, but what about an optional "memo" line?

When you deposit to "Budget: Agent Ward Expenses", you could put a memo of "Photo copies: Jan-Mar".

Since it's optional, you can use it or not use it as you wish.

That's the way Quicken (which I use for my personal finances) works.

This would be just a line of text that appears in detail reports. It's not a category, a sort item or anything else.

Well, this would be at least an improvement. I would go for it.


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: Bing [Bot] and 1 guest