Fast Offering Report Disparities

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
User avatar
ffrsqpilot
Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Montrose, Colorado

Fast Offering Report Disparities

Postby ffrsqpilot » Tue Apr 26, 2011 5:22 pm

Hope this doesn't take too long to describe but hopefully I can elaborate enough to see if any of the rest of you are seeing something similar and know what may be causing it.

Last weekend we had a Bishop's Welfare Council. One of the agenda items is to discuss how the units in general are doing on fast offering donations and expenses. One of our stake counselors developed a spreadsheet that shows each units fast offering donation totals ytd, expenses ytd, and budget expenditures ytd. It also shows which categories of fast offering disbursements are highest (for our stake it is usually housing and utilities where most fast offering funds are used). It is this stake generated report that is used for the discussion.

During the discussion one of the Bishops mentioned that the DONATION data for his ward didn't look right. I went back and looked at his Unit Financial Reports, the Stake Consolidated Finance Reports and what the spreadsheet report developed by the stake counselor shows for January, February and March. For the unit in question their January Unit Finance Report, Stake Consolidated Report and the stake developed report all show donation total to be the same amount. However when looking at the Batch Summary Reports in MLS the total is $580 less than what the Church supplied reports show.

The February reports and Batch Summary reports all show the same donation total amount but the March report shows another discrepancy - this time in the amount of $1200 less in the Batch Reports than the Church supplied reports.

I called LUS and asked them why the Unit and Consolidated Reports would show more in donations than the batch reports show. They were unable to explain why there would be a discrepancy between the Unit Finance Report (and the Consolidated Finance Report) and what the monthly batch summary reports show. One idea was that there were returned checks or such but none of the monthly reports show any shortages or "action items" that would explain differences as great as $580 in Jaunary or $1200 in the March case. (Likewise, neither the Unit Finance Report nor the Stake Consolidated Finance Report show any fast offering "returns/reimbursements"). LUS suggested ensuring fast offering donations are being entered correctly but even that would not explain the disparity as far as I can see.

Anyone out there have any ideas?

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6139
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Postby lajackson » Wed Apr 27, 2011 11:44 am

FFRsqpilot wrote:However when looking at the [January] Batch Summary Reports in MLS the total is $580 less than what the Church supplied reports show.

. . . the March report shows . . . $1200 less in the Batch Reports than the Church supplied reports.


I would suspect a database error in MLS, and I would begin by carefully checking to see that every batch that was entered into MLS is still there and matches the original paperwork that was used to enter the batch. I would suspect that possibly one batch is missing in MLS from each month of January and March. Look first for missing batches, and then for batches where the total in MLS does not equal the paperwork total.

I would then identify the batch discrepancies to LUS and ask them to fix them.

User avatar
ffrsqpilot
Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Montrose, Colorado

Postby ffrsqpilot » Thu Apr 28, 2011 3:36 pm

This turns out to be a really interesting find.....After following lajackson's advice I found that there were no missing batches. Likewise I found no totals that were incorrect. The next step I took was to look closely at the January and March Unit Financial reports to see if there was anything that might have been changed and low and behold I found the answer on page 3 of the report. On both the January and March finance report there was a line showing a "Donation In Kind" that matched the $580 in January and $1200 in March. No where does it show up in MLS. It only shows up in the indivdual Unit's Finance Report - but you need to look for it as it isn't obvious.

I called Local Unit Support to ask them about how to find the donation in MLS and they related that it won't be in MLS. The only place you will find that a Donation In Kind has been made is on the finance report. The report shows a Reference Number for the donation but that is all - no name, no type of donation, etc. The total of the donation however is added to the Unit's as well as the Stakes Consolidated Finance Reports but only on the unit Finance Report will the clerk/bishop find the donation if they know to look for it.

I didn't ask the question but perhaps I should have - who made the donation and/or does the Bishop of the unit even know about it?

Never would have guessed this was the reason for the disparity.

lajackson
Community Moderators
Posts: 6139
Joined: Mon Mar 17, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: US

Postby lajackson » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:24 am

FFRsqpilot wrote:On both the January and March finance report there was a line showing a "Donation In Kind" that matched the $580 in January and $1200 in March. No where does it show up in MLS. It only shows up in the indivdual Unit's Finance Report - but you need to look for it as it isn't obvious.

I called Local Unit Support to ask them about how to find the donation in MLS and they related that it won't be in MLS.


Wow. Great job of researching. Thanks.

This brings up a question. Once a member donates in kind, will your reports always be out of sync with MLS? And do we just make a mental note that things do not add up any more and move on?

User avatar
ffrsqpilot
Member
Posts: 247
Joined: Fri May 09, 2008 7:51 am
Location: Montrose, Colorado

Postby ffrsqpilot » Sat Apr 30, 2011 9:43 am

My guess is that there will be a continuing difference in what MLS shows and what shows up on both the Unit Financial report and the Consolidated Stake Finance Report. The first "out of sync" showed up with the January totals. Nothing showed up in either the February or March report about an "in-kind" donation in January. If I were a betting man :rolleyes: I don't think the March "in-kind" donation will show up in the April report either.

However, this all may be a moot point. While trying to research this and talking to the LUS folks I think there may be some changes coming in the near future with the Finance Reports. I would elaborate but I have to think I heard wrong so I'll wait and see what the next few month's reports are (both the UFR and the CSFR).

Jim


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest