Tracking stake budget and expenses and allotment

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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opee
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Tracking stake budget and expenses and allotment

Postby opee » Sun Dec 09, 2007 8:29 pm

Does anyone have a form or spreadsheet that allows a Stake Clerk to track the status of the Budget, Expenses, and Allotment for the Stake?

I am looking for a "simple" way to track what the Stake budget expenses are, what the units have spent in a month, and compare those numbers to the annual budget allocations, and the future allotments based on Quarterly Attendance...

The Financial Clerk in my Stake is putting one together, but I wondered if anyone already had something put together that they would like to share.

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Stake Budget and Allotment

Postby wadeburt » Mon Dec 10, 2007 7:47 am

I am doing it inside the Stake MLS. Very tedious, but it does work.

I enter the allotment as well as the information from the Stake President's report. Same info that would go in a spreadsheet.

We are purely experimental at this point, but so far so good.
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Postby vernondcole » Tue Dec 11, 2007 7:50 pm

Can we make this a Feature Request for MLS? By the time the Stake President's report comes in, the information is getting pretty stale. Then I would have to hand-enter the data into a spreadsheet to make much use of it. It would be wonderful if each unit budget showed as a line item on the Stake budget, with MLS making the adjustments as Ward financial data is sent to Salt Lake City. The Stake Budget in MLS would then be much more meaningful.

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Postby wadeburt » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:05 am

It is definitely a feature that could be used. I am doing it, but it is terribly time consuming the way it is.....
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aebrown
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Stake expenses and allocations

Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 12, 2007 3:15 pm

wadeburt wrote:I am doing it [tracking ward expenses] inside the Stake MLS. Very tedious, but it does work.


Could you please clarify what you are doing? I suppose one option is that you are entering expense and income records for each ward by category into Stake MLS. However, that not only sounds tedious, but it would also make it impossible to track the stake budget (by that, I mean the portion of the total allocation that is allocated to the stake unit), because ward expenses would be jumbled in with the stake expenses. But perhaps you have a clever way to handle that issue I haven't thought of.

I personally use a spreadsheet. It was a bit of a challenge to set up, but the work each month, quarter, and year is very minimal now. Each month I enter the expenses for each ward and the stake account. Each quarter I enter the attendance figures for each quarter into one worksheet, which automatically calculates the budget allocation for each ward and for the stake account. The spreadsheet also automatically creates the letters that I send to each bishop each quarter letting them know what their quarterly budget allocation is, detailing the source of those allocations (general, youth, primary, YSA). Each year I create a new spreadsheet and clear out the values I entered, calculating any carryforward of unsued allocations.

I see no reason to do any of this in MLS, since I would still have to create a summary page for my stake president each month, and generate budget allocation letters for the bishops each quarter. If MLS had separate accounting for each ward where the financial summary data was automatically downloaded to Stake MLS, it would save me a minute or two per month. But there is no way that MLS would implement our stake's particular method for dividing the budget allocation among the wards and the stake account, so I would still have to do the vast majority of this work in a spreadsheet anyway.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Dec 12, 2007 5:37 pm

I don't see why we shouldn't ask for features in MLS so that the work can be done within it. It's going to take multiple features to do it all, but that's no reason not to ask for it.

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opee
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Postby opee » Wed Dec 12, 2007 6:25 pm

Alan_Brown wrote:I personally use a spreadsheet.



Would you mind sharing your spreadsheet template here on the forum for others to use? (Taking all data out...)

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Postby jeromer7 » Thu Dec 13, 2007 11:30 am

RussellHltn wrote:I don't see why we shouldn't ask for features in MLS so that the work can be done within it. It's going to take multiple features to do it all, but that's no reason not to ask for it.


I agree with Russell. MLS is a tool. It is not a fully useful tool if it does not provide the functionality the users (that would be most of us) need from it.

Alan_Brown wrote: But there is no way that MLS would implement our stake's particular method...


Granted stakes have flexibility in handling the allocations. Our stake doesn't do monthly allocations to units. Rather the presidency sets an annual allocation based on 3Q numbers. Some units grow or shrink during the year, but it tends to even out somewhat and there is a mechanism in place to accommodate a unit that might need an increase in allocation mid way through the year due to growth. And, no, we don't take back money if a unit shrinks; at least we haven't so far.

MLS is software. It can be programmed to deal with flexibility. Might not be easy or the highest priority, but it is reasonable to have it on the list, wherever that list is.
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opee
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Postby opee » Thu Dec 13, 2007 4:21 pm

JLRose wrote:MLS is software. It can be programmed to deal with flexibility. Might not be easy or the highest priority, but it is reasonable to have it on the list, wherever that list is.


MLS used to be a Planning section on the Stake side of MLS for deciding unit budget amounts (by attendance and a "fudge" factor). Unfortunately it (1) does not use the same formula for attendance as the reports we get from SLC, (2) does not link to the budget numbers created in the form to the budget, and (3) does not pull expense totals from the units for Stake Financial clerks to see what the % of expenses are for each unit on a monthly basis. I did not see the function in the 2.7.2 version of the TEST STAKE 2224445.

Was this taken away? If it is still there, the functionality seems to be programmed into MLS, it just isn't "there yet".

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Sample Spreadsheet for Stake Budget

Postby aebrown » Mon Dec 17, 2007 9:14 am

opee wrote:Would you mind sharing your spreadsheet template here on the forum for others to use? (Taking all data out...)


Here is the spreadsheet I use. It certainly assumes certain practices unique to our stake. For instance, our stake president has a standard practice of allowing wards to carry forward a maximum of $x (I set this to $1500 in the sample spreadsheet) of unused budget funds into the next year. The stake takes a standard percentage of the total allocation for stake purposes (I set this to 25% in the sample).

This has been helpful for me -- it takes just a few minutes each month to maintain, and sending out letters to the bishops for new quarterly allocations is a breeze. Maybe others will find it helpful, too.
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Stake Budget.xls
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