Obsolete check writting procedure?

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jonbird
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Obsolete check writting procedure?

Postby jonbird » Sun Mar 13, 2011 8:37 pm

Can anyone refer me an official source that supports the continued requirement to include the FO recipients name on the purpose line of the check? I know this requirement goes back to at least '99 when I started clerking. And it persisted with the introduction of MLS, even though this data is entered in a dedicated field in the computer. I presumed this was because it was the only way to document the link between the recipient and the check outside of the unit's computer. But with the introduction of CUBS, the FO recipient is copied to the statement automatically. So it is still considered proper procedure to list the recipient in the purpose line of the check or is it now redundant information that I can stop naging and training on? I reviewed the official training information again today and I could not find any reference to it. As an old timer from the handwritten check days this is second nature but to a new clerk it perhaps justifiably seems like a nit-picky and pointless requirement.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 13, 2011 9:22 pm

jonbird wrote:Can anyone refer me an official source that supports the continued requirement to include the FO recipients name on the purpose line of the check?.
While there may have been a need for this in the ancient past (well, maybe not so far back) there is no need now. As you have found there is no requirement since the FO recipient is indeed entered as a seperate field item when completing the expense information. The information that goes in the reason field should include information as to the nature of the expense.
JD Lessley
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jonbird
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Postby jonbird » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:02 pm

Thanks for you response JD. I'm not so sure I would go as far as you to call this a requirement from the "ancient past" since as recently as october of 2010 was still impossible to read an official bank statement and determine who the FO recipient was unless it was entered in to the purpose line of the check. I believe this served a useful purpose, up at least until the CUBS switchover, since it allowed a bishop to get a complete sense of where the money actually went without digging through the filling cabinets or logging in to the computer. I also just noticed that when you complete the most current audit forms, it sill asks the auditor to include the recipients name when listing the "purpose" of the payment.

Some people might argue that since it is no longer specifically testing on the audit it is no loger a requirement. But on the other hand there seems to be a great vastness of official procedure and policy that is not specifically audited anymore. Seems as the years have gone on the scope of audits has got narrower and narrower.

However I am in agrement that with the new statements it does to be fully redundant. But I don't want to assume so if it can be avoided. I have in recent experience (1-2 yrs) seen HQ send corrective actions notices to the wards concerning this omission of recipient from the purpose line of the check(inconsistently). But the new statements are still so new that I imagine even if the policy was still in place the brothers in SLC have their hand full with much more pressing issues. I hope more people will put in their 2 cents on how they are handling it. Were I still in a postion to write the checks I would just keep on doing it. But my roll is as an auditor now and not a check writer and I hate to pointlessly aggravate the green clerks.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 13, 2011 10:53 pm

You are correct that the FO recipient name does not appear on the UFS, or CUFS in the pre-CUBS days. But it should be on the check stub and the payment approval form. In the US, local units do not get a bank statement. So if you are somewhere else in the world your situation may be different.

I was a stake finance auditor for 9 cycles beginning in 2006 (ancient past to me). Whenever I wanted to know who the FO recipient was I looked at the disursement/reimbursement request form (payment approval form) and the check stub. That is where I expected to see the FO recipient name as well as the payee. Since there was, and still is, the requirement to see the payment approval form, the check stub, and the receipt/invoice during an audit, it was not that hard to see who the FO recipient was. No further digging through cabinets was required. If there was no information about the FO recipient on any of those documents, which never happened, then my plan was to see the expense transaction detail in MLS.

In our last audit in February (I am now a ward finance clerk for one of my callings.) there still was the requirement to see the FO recipient name, which should still be found on the check stub and the payment approval form. While the current audit checklist requires the FO recipient to be included in the same box on the form as the purpose of of the payment, the information does not need to be entered into the MLS purpose text box that way. I do not know how the on-line audit works so I cannot speak to that. Our audit in February was still on paper.
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russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Sun Mar 13, 2011 11:24 pm

jonbird wrote:So it is still considered proper procedure to list the recipient in the purpose line of the check or is it now redundant information that I can stop naging and training on?


In addition to clerical reasons, there may be other reasons for including the purpose line. It provides guidance to the payee as to the purpose of the check. It may become important if at some later time there is a dispute as to how the payment was used.
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jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Mon Mar 14, 2011 12:33 am

RussellHltn wrote:
jonbird wrote:So it is still considered proper procedure to list the recipient in the purpose line of the check or is it now redundant information that I can stop naging and training on?

In addition to clerical reasons, there may be other reasons for including the purpose line. It provides guidance to the payee as to the purpose of the check. It may become important if at some later time there is a dispute as to how the payment was used.
Just to make sure we're clear here. Poster jonbird thinks it may be necessary to include the FO recipient's name in the purpose box. I don't know if he is also including the purpose for the FO payment. Since I have never tested the character string length I am not certain both can be included at the same time. If there is a character string limit that doesn't permit both the name and the purpose of the payment in the purpose box then most definitely RussellHltn's comment makes sense.

I just don't know what you are supporting Russell - only the purpose of the FO payment or both the name and the purpose in the box.

Edit: The character string limit is 50 characters. Enough to state a purpose and a name, albeit both would have to be shortened to get both in the box. But as I posted earlier, the FO recipient name already apears on the check stub and should also be on the payment approval form. Putting the name along with a payment purpose in the purpose box is redundant and wastes character space.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 14, 2011 2:37 am

jdlessley wrote:Just to make sure we're clear here. Poster jonbird thinks it may be necessary to include the FO recipient's name in the purpose box. I don't know if he is also including the purpose for the FO payment.


Poor choice of words. Depending on the payee, the "recipient's name" may indicate the account that is to be credited. For example, in the case of rent, landlords usually receive a rent check drawn on the tenant's account. But in this case, it would be the church making it out to the landlord. But if the landlord has multiple properties, which one does this get applied to? What if the church is assisting another tenant of the same landlord? It seems a few words on the memo line could help prevent confusion and make sorting out any issues that much easier.

My point is that just because there's no apparent need for reporting purposes doesn't mean that it's no longer needed. There may be other less obvious reasons.

But the original question was "does the church require it". It seems to have been side-tracked into "do we need it". We can't disprove requirement simply because we can't think of a need.
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RossEvans
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Postby RossEvans » Mon Mar 14, 2011 6:39 am

RussellHltn wrote:Poor choice of words. Depending on the payee, the "recipient's name" may indicate the account that is to be credited. For example, in the case of rent, landlords usually receive a rent check drawn on the tenant's account. But in this case, it would be the church making it out to the landlord. But if the landlord has multiple properties, which one does this get applied to? What if the church is assisting another tenant of the same landlord? It seems a few words on the memo line could help prevent confusion and make sorting out any issues that much easier.


Good point. I usually try to include the name and apartment number, if any, on the memo line, as well as the month the rent is intended for. (This is handy when browsing the expenses in MLS later.) If the payment is for a utility bill or other vendor invoice I try to include the account number, which might be long. I wish there were more characters allowed.


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