Cleanup of Budget accounts

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thadzik
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Cleanup of Budget accounts

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

HERE ANOTHER TOPIC TO BE DISCUSSED: "Clean up of Budget- Accounts"

Since several years now, we (in Europe) are able to carry forward any unused Budget money into the next year (on a ward and on a stake level).

Lets assume that you, as a finance clerk, start booking your expenses in the different budget sub-categries over one year and at the end of the year (e.g.) 2010 you see a balance of e.g. "Budget:young man" a total balance of USD -200.00.

When you start into the new year 2011, you will carry forward that negative balance of USD -200.00, unless you do an internal transition at year end clear to clear that account to zero (booking USD 200 from Budget:LUBA -> into Budget: YM).

If you do not this, you may see in the middle of 2011 e.g. a balance of USD -330.00, but this amount does not tell you anything, because this amount could be accumaltive over more than one year.

In this sense we train our clerks in Europe to clean up their Budget accounts at the end of the year (around 31.12. or 01.01.) so that the balance will not be carry forward (we book all remaining money into Budget:LUBA account).

In the second step, we advise them to book from Budget:LUBA all their money into the other Budget sub-categories as they have budgeted for the whole year.

In this sense the ward starts e.g. in Budget:YM with a balance of USD 150. When the clerk starts then to book the expenses, he can see right away, how much budget that organisation has left over.

I hope this explanation was helpful.

Kind regards

Thorsten

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:21 pm

That's a really good point and something I have been thinking about recently. In my stake, there is so much transition that no committee plans out there expenses multiple years (minimize expenses one year to have more money next year). It therefore seems to make most logical sense for them to budget based on a single year, and to have the ward absorb all remaining balances, positive or negative, at the end of the year. This way, all budget categories start each year fresh.

To this end, I was thinking of leaving all budget allocations in the Budget Allocations subcategory (not transferring it to sub-categories) and using the view/update budget to manually enter yearly allocations to each subcategory. When running budget reports, I would not include the Budget Allocations subcategory (because that would count by allocation 2X - once in the allocations column and again as income in the budget allocations row).

Do you see any limitations to this? CHQ only cares about the overall status of budget, which would make this work. However, I am concerned with expenses adding up year-to-year. However, a transfer at the end each year to each category equal to the total expenses would solve that.

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Postby russellhltn » Sun Nov 28, 2010 4:30 pm

crislapi wrote:Do you see any limitations to this? CHQ only cares about the overall status of budget, which would make this work. However, I am concerned with expenses adding up year-to-year. However, a transfer at the end each year to each category equal to the total expenses would solve that.


Something else to consider is when the oldest year is purged. Hopefully the balance doesn't change.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:05 am

crislapi wrote:Do you see any limitations to this? CHQ only cares about the overall status of budget, which would make this work. However, I am concerned with expenses adding up year-to-year. However, a transfer at the end each year to each category equal to the total expenses would solve that.


I have been thinking that way, too. I have a bit of concern, since the CUBS documentation recommends actual transfers. But the recommended way involves quarterly transfers of amounts that only approximate the budgeted amount, and you still have to deal with year-end balances.

Using the View/Edit Budget feature to set the budgets and then running Budget Reports as we always have seems a lot simpler for both clerks and auxiliaries. Then at the end of the year, we make one transfer for each Budget subcategory to zero it out, leaving the balance forward in Budget:Budget Allocations. The only challenge I see is adjusting for the difference between budgeted expenses and actual budget allocations -- but we have to deal with that issue no matter what.
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 29, 2010 6:32 am

RussellHltn wrote:Something else to consider is when the oldest year is purged. Hopefully the balance doesn't change.


This should work just as it has for many years in MLS for Missionary and Other categories. When we move to 2011, the 2007 balance forward will be combined with all income and expenses for 2007 to create the new balance forward as of 1 Jan 2008. Thus the balance does not change. Since this is a long-established pattern for other categories, I don't anticipate any issues at all for Budget categories.
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crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:14 am

RussellHltn wrote:Something else to consider is when the oldest year is purged. Hopefully the balance doesn't change.

This does raise a question, though. What should the date of the transfer be? In the past there has been a cutoff date - 30 Dec at noon or something like that. Any expenses transmitted after that were considered part of the next year. To work correctly, you'd have to know.

I'm not so worried about losing balance info. The ending balance will carry forward year to year. So if I date my transfer the first week of Jan instead of the last day of Dec, a negative balance will carry forward. The transfer, however, will still be there to zero it out. If the transfer is dated part of the last year, then it will be purged along with all the expenses it was canceling out and a $0 balance will carry forward (for sub-categories).

I notice I have a balance forward from 31 Dec 2006.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:23 am

crislapi wrote:This does raise a question, though. What should the date of the transfer be? In the past there has been a cutoff date - 30 Dec at noon or something like that. Any expenses transmitted after that were considered part of the next year. To work correctly, you'd have to know.


I would definitely want the zeroing transfer to be in the previous year so that the new year starts out with a zero balance. However, transfers allow you to specify the date. Many of the transfers I created to fix CUBS balances I dated 31 Dec 2009 so that I would have an accurate starting balance for any 2010 reports. I don't see any reason we couldn't do the same with this issue, so the cutoff date doesn't matter much -- it's the date specified for the transfer transaction that really matters.
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:29 am

Question: what method would make it easiest for a clerk to see that writing a check would over draw the account? Or would all methods require running a report first?
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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Nov 29, 2010 10:56 am

RussellHltn wrote:Question: what method would make it easiest for a clerk to see that writing a check would over draw the account? Or would all methods require running a report first?


All methods require running a report, so I don't see much difference. A Budget Report has a decent chance of showing the balance right off the bat, or simply by scrolling, since it defaults to showing the current year's Budget Summary report. An Income and Expense Report would require selection of "Summary by Subcategory" from the dropdown, but then it would have a pretty similar chance of showing the remaining balance, with perhaps some scrolling necessary.

However, there's the question of what "overdraw" means. If you use the approach of specifying annual budget allocations using the "View/Edit Budget" screen, the Budget Report will show you where you stand on YTD expenses against the annual budget. That is certainly a very helpful piece of information.

On the other hand, if you use the approach of transferring each quarter's budget allocation into each Budget subcategory (essentially giving each organization a fourth of their money each quarter), then an Income and Expense report will show where you stand on YTD expenses against YTD budget allocation transfers. That is also a very helpful piece of information, but is certainly different.

I guess it comes down to whether a ward/stake wants its auxiliaries to try to stay in the black on a quarterly basis, or simply do annual budgeting as they always have.
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Postby eblood66 » Mon Nov 29, 2010 11:31 am

Alan_Brown wrote:Using the View/Edit Budget feature to set the budgets and then running Budget Reports as we always have seems a lot simpler for both clerks and auxiliaries. Then at the end of the year, we make one transfer for each Budget subcategory to zero it out, leaving the balance forward in Budget:Budget Allocations. The only challenge I see is adjusting for the difference between budgeted expenses and actual budget allocations -- but we have to deal with that issue no matter what.


Another advantage of the budget report is that it's easier to batch print detailed reports for multiple categories. Detailed income/expense reports can only be printed for one category at a time. I usually print detailed budget reports to pass out in ward council each month. If the preferred method to handle the budget is through transfers they should really make it easier to print multiple detailed income/expense reports.

I haven't looked at the new monthly financial statement but from what I understood it provided summaries and graphs of certain information. Would using the View/Edit Budget method rather than the transfer method make the financial statement less useful? As I said, I haven't looked at it yet so I'm not sure if that's an issue or not.


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