How to reset "other account" to zero?

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surf40
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How to reset "other account" to zero?

Postby surf40 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 4:43 pm

I just finished a financial audit of a ward, and as usual, their “Other” account was off. The amount in MLS did not match what the Financial statement said. The clerk said that he and the Bishop inherited the bad numbers in MLS Other account from the previous administration, and he couldn’t figure out how to change them

So, how does a ward “start fresh” and reset the numbers in the other account (and any sub categories) to zero, or to some other value that is correct? I can’t find an “edit” button to let them change the numbers. There has go to be a better way than to enter a fake expense!

Thanks,
Danny

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 20, 2011 7:33 pm

surf40 wrote:I just finished a financial audit of a ward, and as usual, their “Other” account was off. The amount in MLS did not match what the Financial statement said. The clerk said that he and the Bishop inherited the bad numbers in MLS Other account from the previous administration, and he couldn’t figure out how to change them

So, how does a ward “start fresh” and reset the numbers in the other account (and any sub categories) to zero, or to some other value that is correct? I can’t find an “edit” button to let them change the numbers. There has go to be a better way than to enter a fake expense!

You may want to read the thread UFS verses CUBS Other account total not adding up POST CUBS conversion which discusses a known MLS CUBS conversion bug. There also appears to be a solution if you go to the thread linked to in the last post of that thread.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:08 pm

If the balance issues are not related to the CUBS conversion there is more information at the wiki article Other category that addresses the Other account and how to handle deficits and surpluses. The subsections How to deal with surpluses and How to deal with deficits provide the steps to get accounts to zero.
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 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 8:19 pm

surf40 wrote:So, how does a ward “start fresh” and reset the numbers in the other account (and any sub categories) to zero, or to some other value that is correct? I can’t find an “edit” button to let them change the numbers. There has go to be a better way than to enter a fake expense!


The whole purpose of an accounting system is to account for money, not make it vanish when the numbers don't match. The function you seek does not exist by design. Nor is creating a fake expense likely to deal with it in the long run. If the resources that jdlessley pointed out doesn't do it, then we'd need some more details on what exactly is wrong. Is it a sub-account to other that's out of balance but the "other" account as a whole is OK?
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crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:47 pm

surf40 wrote:I just finished a financial audit of a ward, and as usual, their “Other” account was off. The amount in MLS did not match what the Financial statement said. The clerk said that he and the Bishop inherited the bad numbers in MLS Other account from the previous administration, and he couldn’t figure out how to change them

No edit or reset option, as was stated. You're dealing with real money so you'll have to track down what is causing the problem. However, the fact that your statement and MLS do not match does indicate at least in part you are affected by the CUBS transition error, especially if MLS shows a balance that is more negative than the statement. However, the biggest problem to tracking down the problem, especially if it was pre-CUBS, is that your information has now been overwritten.

I would start by seeing what the Other balance was like pre and post CUBS conversion. If the error was indeed there before, I would start going through the old reconciliations. They will show what the MLS and statement balances were so you should be able to track the problem back to the original error. Once you've identified it, you should see what needs to be corrected. If you have questions, just ask back here.

eblood66
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Postby eblood66 » Sun Mar 20, 2011 9:58 pm

crislapi wrote:However, the biggest problem to tracking down the problem, especially if it was pre-CUBS, is that you information has now been overwritten.


Since all MLS financial information was overwritten with CUBS data, is it even possible for a pre-CUBS problem to cause a mismatch between MLS and CUBS? Since there is no longer any kind of reconciliation process (it's all supposed to be handled automatically by MLS and CUBS) isn't any mismatch either a short term/temporary timing issue (MLS transaction that hasn't been processed by CHQ or a CHQ charge that hasn't come down to MLS) or a bug in either MLS or CUBS? I don't really see how a clerk could fix any long-term mismatch. Am I missing some possibility for how they would be out of sync and could be fixed locally?

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Sun Mar 20, 2011 10:44 pm

eblood66 wrote:Since all MLS financial information was overwritten with CUBS data, is it even possible for a pre-CUBS problem to cause a mismatch between MLS and CUBS? Since there is no longer any kind of reconciliation process (it's all supposed to be handled automatically by MLS and CUBS) isn't any mismatch either a short term/temporary timing issue (MLS transaction that hasn't been processed by CHQ or a CHQ charge that hasn't come down to MLS) or a bug in either MLS or CUBS? I don't really see how a clerk could fix any long-term mismatch. Am I missing some possibility for how they would be out of sync and could be fixed locally?

You are correct. Thank you for fixing my logic. We were supposed to fix any old issues before the conversion so that our pre and post balances would match. Therefore, the only differences now should be related to 1) transactions that were made since the statement was printed or 2) the CUBS conversion bug. The appropriate discussion on #2 is linked above. #1 can be checked by adjusting the date of your I&E report.

surf40
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Postby surf40 » Mon Mar 21, 2011 8:58 am

Thanks for all the replies

This is a ward with a long history of not keeping the other account in check. The new bishop and clerk now have to deal with it. This has nothing to do with CUBS, but everything to do with poor recordkeeping. But CUBS does make it harder since we can't go back. The clerk has in a hand written ledger the exact amount in Other that does match the monthly report. So now we just need to get the computer to match. I'll try the above ideas. Like I said, this is a several year problem, and I'm also new to this, so I'm trying to fix it once and for all, instead of passing it on to the next auditor.

Danny

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Mon Mar 21, 2011 9:07 am

surf40 wrote:This is a ward with a long history of not keeping the other account in check. The new bishop and clerk now have to deal with it. This has nothing to do with CUBS, but everything to do with poor recordkeeping. But CUBS does make it harder since we can't go back. The clerk has in a hand written ledger the exact amount in Other that does match the monthly report. So now we just need to get the computer to match. I'll try the above ideas. Like I said, this is a several year problem, and I'm also new to this, so I'm trying to fix it once and for all, instead of passing it on to the next auditor.

The next auditor will appreciate your efforts. If I were you, once I got it straightened out, I would confiscate that ledger. It makes no sense to me why they are not using MLS to log their income and expenses in Other. I would also require all their bishopric members and clerks to go through the online training on using the Other account. Perhaps once a week until it sinks in...

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Mon Mar 21, 2011 10:39 am

surf40 wrote:I just finished a financial audit of a ward, and as usual, their “Other” account was off. The amount in MLS did not match what the Financial statement said.


Let's go back to the top. The "Other" account can be a problem. It's certainly possible that poor record keeping as resulted in a balance whose purpose is unknown. However, with the change over to CUBS, all of the ward's records were overwritten by what CHQ has. So as scrambled as "Other" may be, it should match what CHQ has. But your first post suggests that it does not match.

Now, one of the quirks of the CUBS change-over was that all debits and balances in the "Other" sub account was rolled up to the top level, but any deposits remained credited to the sub-accounts. This resulted in the sub-accounts having balances (some quite large), but the top-level "Other" account as a whole having the correct balance.

On top of that, there were/are some bugs that may be showing up. This would cause things to not match though no fault of the ward.

Some options for dealing with this: Have the clerk work with the Stake Clerk. The Stake Clerk is responsible for clerk training, so this is appropriate. Another is to have them call CHQ and work though the issues there. This may be necessary if it's found that they are affected by a bug. Only CHQ can enter an adjustment to get things to balance if that's what's required. You could also suggest sending the clerk to this forum. We have users experienced in locating problems. We can't discuss specific transactions, but I think we can successfully aid them in locating the problem and what needs to be done to fix it.
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