Cleaning up Finance categories

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
dukie4lif
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Cleaning up Finance categories

Postby dukie4lif » Thu Nov 03, 2011 2:26 pm

I am trying to clean up my finance categories. First some background info.

Im a clerk of a YSA branch. We had a multistake YSA retreat this past summer. We had the members prepay and put it on tithing slip under Other.

Somehow 5 different categories got created instead of just one. We have the following categories; Budget:Activities:YSA Retreat, Other:YSA Retreat, Other:YSA Retreat, Other:YSA Retreat, Other:YSA Retreat.

Yes you are reading that right and it is not a typo, we have four categories named exactly the same.

I would like to consolidate all the money into one category and disable the others. So that next year, all the money gets assigned to one category.

Is there a way to transfer the money to one category easily or do i need to go into each individual tithing donation and reassign the money to the category i want?

Doug

allenjpl
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Postby allenjpl » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:25 pm

As far as the Other:AMFA accounts are concerned, yes, that's easy. Go into Finance > Transfers, and just transfer all the funds from each of the individual AMFA accounts into a single account. You may want to rename them beforehand, so that it's easy to tell which account is which. Because you can't make transfers across major categories, you can't make that transfer from Budget to Other, so you'd either need to cut a check from the Budget account, or just change the category on the original donation. My guess is that changing the category will be quicker.

Keep in mind that if you make transfers, you won't be able to delete the unneeded Other accounts because there will have been transactions that hit them. You'll have to inactivate them, and they will disappear of their own accord in 2015. On the other hand, if you change the category in the donation, you won't have a problem deleting the extra accounts. It's your call.

eblood66
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Postby eblood66 » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:37 pm

allenjpl wrote:Keep in mind that if you make transfers, you won't be able to delete the unneeded Other accounts because there will have been transactions that hit them. You'll have to inactivate them, and they will disappear of their own accord in 2015. On the other hand, if you change the category in the donation, you won't have a problem deleting the extra accounts. It's your call.


Actually, with MLS 3.4.1 the category adjustments will show up on the day they are posted rather than the original transaction date so there will still be activity in the accounts. As such it's unlikely they can be deleted. So either way the accounts will probably stay around until 2015.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Thu Nov 03, 2011 3:52 pm

One suggestion as well. Go into your Fincances > Add/Update categories screen and first, make sure you have 5 categories listed under Other:AMFA and 2) add something to distinguish each of the duplicate categories. Then, before you start transferring funds, select which one of the categories you will be moving funds into.

My experience has been that the categories can list in different order in the I&E report and the Tranfers drop-down selection menu.

Visit the wiki page on entering and viewing transfers for more details.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Thu Nov 03, 2011 6:56 pm

Also keep in mind that if you change the original donations to the correct category it will create a lot of clutter in the donor statements that you print. Those donors might ask you about it and you'll have to explain why their donations were changed. But if you correct the problem using transfers between the categories then you will create "clutter" that will only be seen by MLS users.

Along the same lines, I agree that you should change the category names before doing the transfers, but you should make sure the new names don't seem too strange to the donors who still might see them on their statements. For example, instead of calling the categories "YSA Retreat Discarded 1" and "YSA Retreat Discarded 2" call them something like "YSA Retreat July" and "YSA Retreat 2011" and then leave the original name of "YSA Retreat" on the category you'll be keeping.

dukie4lif
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Postby dukie4lif » Sun Nov 06, 2011 8:45 am

Ok thank you everyone. I have a good handle now on what I need to do. I appreciate the quick responses.

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shawndowler
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Postby shawndowler » Sun Nov 06, 2011 1:50 pm

mrrad wrote:...[Y]ou should change the category names before doing the transfers, but you should make sure the new names don't seem too strange to the donors who still might see them on their statements.

I believe the statement will not itemize amounts in the AMFA category and they will simply show up as "Other" so it shouldn't matter to the members what you call the categories. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Sun Nov 06, 2011 5:58 pm

mailman0 wrote:I believe the statement will not itemize amounts in the AMFA category and they will simply show up as "Other" so it shouldn't matter to the members what you call the categories. Please correct me if I'm wrong.


The Year-to-Date Donation Summary does show the specific subcategory; the Tax Statement leaves omits donations to AMFA categories entirely.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.


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