Current Bank Account Balance

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
paulkguerra
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Current Bank Account Balance

Postby paulkguerra » Sun Oct 09, 2011 2:51 pm

Hello everyone! I and my fellow clerks are wondering how to view our actual account balance. Maybe we just don't fully understand how the budgeting works, but we need to know how much we actually have from somewhere other than MLS. What can we do?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Oct 09, 2011 3:38 pm

pguerra0427 wrote:Hello everyone! I and my fellow clerks are wondering how to view our actual account balance. Maybe we just don't fully understand how the budgeting works, but we need to know how much we actually have from somewhere other than MLS. What can we do?


Your monthly unit financial statement will tell you what your balance is in Budget, Ward Missionary, and Authorized Member Financed Activities. These three major categories contain the funds that your ward has as of the end of the month.

For a current balance, you can always use MLS to run a Budget summary report for Budget, and an Income and Expense summary report for the other two categories.

I'm not sure why you want to look somewhere other than MLS, since it will always have the most current, up to date information.
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dlcampnell
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Current Bank Account Balance

Postby dlcampnell » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:43 pm

After doing the upgrade to MLS 3.4.1, our "Ward Budget Balance forward from CY 2010" dropped by $201. I haven't had the opportunity to research why this has happened yet. However, it is an illustration, I think, of why people don't feel confident of data in MLS: it changes suddenly for no reason obvious to the average clerk trying to simply use this system.

In our specific case, I will predict it is related to possible changes in how the dates of certain transactions (perhaps adjustment in one Fiscal year applicable to a prior fiscal year transaction) are handled in MLS 3.4.1 vs previous releases.

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Postby fernsten » Mon Oct 10, 2011 12:47 am

dlcampnell wrote:After doing the upgrade to MLS 3.4.1, our "Ward Budget Balance forward from CY 2010" dropped by $201. I haven't had the opportunity to research why this has happened yet. However, it is an illustration, I think, of why people don't feel confident of data in MLS: it changes suddenly for no reason obvious to the average clerk trying to simply use this system.

In our specific case, I will predict it is related to possible changes in how the dates of certain transactions (perhaps adjustment in one Fiscal year applicable to a prior fiscal year transaction) are handled in MLS 3.4.1 vs previous releases.


I just checked today and we have some HUGE issues with the same problem. The stake financial clerk and I were on the phone with LUS for a considerable amount of time in May fixing countless transactions that had been improperly recorded in previous years. 3.4.1 botched all of our work. Just thinking about this mess has me not wanting to ever log in to MLS again.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 10, 2011 5:07 am

dlcampnell wrote:After doing the upgrade to MLS 3.4.1, our "Ward Budget Balance forward from CY 2010" dropped by $201. I haven't had the opportunity to research why this has happened yet. However, it is an illustration, I think, of why people don't feel confident of data in MLS: it changes suddenly for no reason obvious to the average clerk trying to simply use this system.


Once the setup file is processed after October 17, the integration between MLS and CUBS will be even tighter, and there should be no differences. That doesn't mean there will never be problems such as the ones you describe, but they will be the same on both ends, so there will be no reason to trust MLS over CUBS or vice versa.
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atticusewig
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Postby atticusewig » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:50 am

dlcampnell wrote:... I think, of why people don't feel confident of data in MLS: it changes suddenly for no reason obvious to the average clerk trying to simply use this system.


I think part of this is because CUBS produces no log or transaction report. If a person changes their phone number on lds.org, I get a report saying so.
If CHQ "fixes" a financial transaction - it does so invisible to the clerk. If we still could export financial data, we could create snapshots of the data
in a spreadsheet and then automatically compare them to find differences, but that option is off the table. Almost convinces clerks to keep multiple
sets of books.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 10, 2011 7:38 am

atticusewig wrote:I think part of this is because CUBS produces no log or transaction report.


I agree that this makes changes difficult to see. But the good news is that once we complete the MLS 3.4.1 upgrade, all new changes that come down from CUBS will be posted with the transaction date. Thus when you do a Send/Receive you will be guaranteed not to receive any transactions prior to the date you last did a Send/Receive. So you can do a quick look at the recent expenses and transfers and know exactly what changed.

This will be much better than before -- until now, CUBS could download a transaction to our MLS dated any time in the past, and there was no practical way to find it. Now the date range will be extremely narrow.
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fernsten
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Postby fernsten » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:02 pm

aebrown wrote:Once the setup file is processed after October 17, the integration between MLS and CUBS will be even tighter, and there should be no differences. That doesn't mean there will never be problems such as the ones you describe, but they will be the same on both ends, so there will be no reason to trust MLS over CUBS or vice versa.


aebrown, as mentioned above, LUS had our Stake Financial Clerk and I make several adjustments to prior years' transactions. Since the 3.4.1 update our budget numbers are completely out of whack again. Do you know if the October 17th update will do anything to remedy this situation or should I schedule a day to spend on the phone with LUS?

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:01 pm

fernsten wrote:aebrown, as mentioned above, LUS had our Stake Financial Clerk and I make several adjustments to prior years' transactions. Since the 3.4.1 update our budget numbers are completely out of whack again. Do you know if the October 17th update will do anything to remedy this situation or should I schedule a day to spend on the phone with LUS?


I don't know. But since the clear intent of the setup file is to make MLS match CUBS, I would certainly hope that you would not be required to make adjustments in MLS to match CUBS again (except that if CUBS doesn't have knowledge of the specific categories for some transactions, we may need to supply it -- but that's just speculation on my part).

In any case, it seems premature to schedule a day with LUS, when you have no idea if there will be any such problems, or how big they might be.
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fernsten
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Postby fernsten » Mon Oct 10, 2011 6:07 pm

aebrown wrote:I don't know. But since the clear intent of the setup file is to make MLS match CUBS, I would certainly hope that you would not be required to make adjustments in MLS to match CUBS again (except that if CUBS doesn't have knowledge of the specific categories for some transactions, we may need to supply it -- but that's just speculation on my part).

In any case, it seems premature to schedule a day with LUS, when you have no idea if there will be any such problems, or how big they might be.


Alright, I guess I'll hold tight for a few weeks and see what happens. I just desperately need our budget to be fixed before we go into the new year. The current year's was an absolute disaster before our marathon adjustment session.


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