Internal Record of Purchase - what do you use them for?

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wrigjef
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Internal Record of Purchase - what do you use them for?

Postby wrigjef » Thu Apr 28, 2011 4:16 pm

Even when we reconciled, I never used the Internal Records of Purchase. I am just curious what others use them for. Mine usually go from the Stake Presidents hand to my hand to a file and not touched.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Apr 28, 2011 7:52 pm

wrigjef wrote:Even when we reconciled, I never used the Internal Records of Purchase. I am just curious what others use them for. Mine usually go from the Stake Presidents hand to my hand to a file and not touched.


Back before CUBS, it was very important to enter the transactions from the Internal Records of Purchased into MLS; otherwise the Budget balance would be wrong. But now all such charges (primarily Distribution Services) are downloaded automatically into MLS, so that is no longer a concern. But they are still important:

  • You may want to change the category of such purchases from Budget: Distribution Center Charges to another category (e.g., Budget:Young Women for YW medallions).
  • Be aware that not all charges are correct; I've had a couple of cases where a ward charged the stake, or even someone from another stake entirely charged something to our stake. So you need to double check them against MLS and/or the UFS.
  • Finally, all expenses need to be approved by the bishop or stake president. Many people believe (and I completely agree) that this includes DC charges as well.
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Postby idjeeper2 » Thu Apr 28, 2011 9:27 pm

aebrown wrote:Finally, all expenses need to be improved by the bishop or stake president. Many people believe (and I completely agree) that this includes DC charges as well.


I assume you meant approved, not improved. This actually came up during my mid-year audit last year. The stake auditor said I needed to have a paper trail with approvals for all expenses, including the DC orders.

The other issue that arises is you need to know who made the order. We used to get charged occasionally for things a family or individual ordered.

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Postby aebrown » Fri Apr 29, 2011 5:27 am

idjeeper2 wrote:I assume you meant approved, not improved.


Yep, the fingers were going faster than the brain. Thanks for the clarification -- I edited my post to avoid confusion.

idjeeper2 wrote:This actually came up during my mid-year audit last year. The stake auditor said I needed to have a paper trail with approvals for all expenses, including the DC orders.


Not all auditors make this interpretation, but the audit instructions do refer simply to "expenses" (not checks), so it's appropriate to include DC charges.

idjeeper2 wrote:The other issue that arises is you need to know who made the order. We used to get charged occasionally for things a family or individual ordered.


The record of purchase usually says who placed the order, but sometimes it's just a first name, so unfortunately this can require a bit of detective work to find out just who made the purchase.
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Postby jdlessley » Fri Apr 29, 2011 12:56 pm

idjeeper2 wrote:This actually came up during my mid-year audit last year. The stake auditor said I needed to have a paper trail with approvals for all expenses, including the DC orders.
An approval from the bishop only requires his signature on a minimum of one of the documents as stated in the audit checklist.
16. Did the bishop approve all payments?
Look at the payment documents. Make sure the bishop has approved the payments by signing at least one of the following: invoice, bill, receipt, or payment request. The bishop’s signature on the MLS Detail Expense Report is adequate proof of his approval.
For a DC order there are only two documents the bishop can sign, the payment request and the invoice. The invoice is an after-the-fact approval. Some see this as not adequate management of the ward's funds. I am one of those. As our ward finance clerk I am pushing to make sure all DC orders are preceded by a payment request.
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davesudweeks
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Postby davesudweeks » Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:50 pm

Unfortunately, the new LDS.org site makes managing this a bit more difficult. For the old DC site, the Ward had a specific Login for Ward purchases. We controlled it by not giving the password to anyone outside of the Bishopric. Leaders could purchase online, but would then have to submit a reimbursement request which received the bishop's signature. Otherwise they would have to go through the Clerk and I would clear it with the Bishop before ordering. Now we are seeing ward leaders order DC items and charging them to the ward without any knowledge by the bishopric until after the expense invoice shows up in the mail.

I've been trying to come up with a recommendation to the bishop without going draconian about it - anyone have anything that seems to work well in your units?

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Postby aebrown » Fri Apr 29, 2011 2:07 pm

jdlessley wrote:The invoice is an after-the-fact approval. Some see this as not adequate management of the ward's funds. I am one of those. As our ward finance clerk I am pushing to make sure all DC orders are preceded by a payment request.


That's certainly a choice the bishop could make, and if that works for your ward, then I'm happy for you. I have a different opinion, and our stake president and (as far as I know) all the bishops in our stake are in agreement -- approval after the fact is just fine. Ward leaders have been given a budget and discretion to spend funds within that budget. It really doesn't matter much whether someone has purchased an item with their own money and then seeks reimbursement, or if they have charged the ward directly through Distribution Services. If they seek reimbursement, we're almost always going to reimburse them, so either way they have incurred the cost and the ward will pay.

davesudweeks wrote:Unfortunately, the new LDS.org site makes managing this a bit more difficult. For the old DC site, the Ward had a specific Login for Ward purchases. We controlled it by not giving the password to anyone outside of the Bishopric. Leaders could purchase online, but would then have to submit a reimbursement request which received the bishop's signature. Otherwise they would have to go through the Clerk and I would clear it with the Bishop before ordering. Now we are seeing ward leaders order DC items and charging them to the ward without any knowledge by the bishopric until after the expense invoice shows up in the mail.

I've been trying to come up with a recommendation to the bishop without going draconian about it - anyone have anything that seems to work well in your units?


For our stake, how the new store.lds.org works really doesn't make much difference. We have multiple Distribution Centers here in the Salt Lake Valley, so people are more likely to drop by a DC and pick up an item than to order it online. So controlling access to online purchases wouldn't help much.

In our stake, we charge DC orders to the auxiliary or other appropriate subcategory. As long as we can track the expense back to the correct organization, we just don't worry about having knowledge ahead of time. When the expense comes in, if there is any question, we follow up with the organization leader, but otherwise, we simply charge the expense to the organization and the bishop or stake president reviews the paperwork and approves the expense. As I said above, we don't consider it to be substantially different from a request for reimbursement. We give organization leaders a budget and expect them to manage that budget; exactly what technique they use to expend those approved funds is a minor detail.

Of course, I'm not saying that our way is the only way to do this -- I'm just sharing what works for us.
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Postby davesudweeks » Sat Apr 30, 2011 6:36 am

Since we are in Oklahoma, everything that comes from the DC is online unless someone happens to take a trip out West. To me, the handbook is very clear that purchases are to be approved in advance by the Bishop. However, my advice to the Bishopric so far is to ask the Ward Leaders to at least keep the Bishopric member they work with posted on significant spending. Unfortunately, we have had a couple of instances were fairly large purchases were made without any member of the Bishopric knowing about it until after the fact. In most of those cases, had the Bishop known beforehand, he would have counseled the Leader to not incur the expense.

Obviously it is not reasonable to ask them to "clear" each individual purchase in advance for small purchases that happen as a normal part of the organization's activities (especially when they are within budget) but for significant items I believe it is. If they are planning to a calendar like they are supposed to, the bishopric member should be aware of activities that will likey incurr some expense anyway.

I do agree that having the Bishop "sign" a document before each expense is incurred is definately not in the spirit of the matter, as long as he reviews and approves each expense at some point. For our Ward, the Clerks do not generate a check without the Bishop's signature on the form (we have occasionally had to obtain verbal authorization over the telephone when the bishop was out of town and an urgent need came up - he would then sign the check request when he got back).

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Postby williamjackson » Sun May 01, 2011 3:06 pm

davesudweeks wrote:Now we are seeing ward leaders order DC items and charging them to the ward without any knowledge by the bishopric until after the expense invoice shows up in the mail.

I was under the impression that only members of the bishopric and clerks (including assistant clerks) could bill the ward at http://store.lds.org. What other ward leaders have this privilege?

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Postby jdlessley » Sun May 01, 2011 5:17 pm

subtlecoolness wrote:I was under the impression that only members of the bishopric and clerks (including assistant clerks) could bill the ward at http://store.lds.org. What other ward leaders have this privilege?
In our ward only the bishop and clerk can bill the ward using the website. I don't know if there is a problem but no assistant clerk or either counselor can can bill an order to the ward using the website. We can place telephone orders, however, and have them billed to the ward. I don't know if any other ward leader can even do it by phone. We have never tried.
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