Frustrated New Clerk: Budgets Aren't Right (maybe)

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
papajohnallen
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Frustrated New Clerk: Budgets Aren't Right (maybe)

Postby papajohnallen » Mon Nov 07, 2011 10:53 pm

I've distributed the budget reports but the organization heads are telling me the amounts are too low. I've checked for errant expenses, but they all seem to be what they expect.

Three Questions:
1) Is there a report to audit a budget category for the year, detailing all of the income and expenses?
2) Is there something I should be doing with the Stake quarterly budget allocation or does it automatically update their budgets? If so, that could account for the shortfall because I haven't done anything with them.
3) Should I be reclassifying the distribution 'invoices' we automatically get from SLC when we purchase from distribution? And if so, how?

Thanks for any advice

papajohnallen
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Postby papajohnallen » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:16 pm

Found the answer to #3 in another thread. Thanks

allenjpl
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Postby allenjpl » Mon Nov 07, 2011 11:47 pm

papajohnallen wrote:
Three Questions:
1) Is there a report to audit a budget category for the year, detailing all of the income and expenses?


Sure. When you go to print out the budget report, you can select one of three types of reports. Summary, Detail, or Auxillary. Select "Detail." Then, select each account you want to print a record for. Print it. The Detail report gives you each category/subcategory separately, with every transaction that has hit that account for the time period specified. Each category begins on a new page.

By contrast, the Aux is a higher-level report that provides the total income, expenses, and transfers for each of the categories selected in a 1-2 page report, but it doesn't contain the detail you're looking for. It does provide a broader picture of all of the budget accounts.

The last type of report will include the amounts actually received and expected to be received from the ward's allocation. I've given that to the Bishop, but never to any of the auxiliaries. They just don't need it.

I could be misidentifying the names of the reports with what they actually provide, so look at all three. One of those should provide you with the information you are looking for.

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Tue Nov 08, 2011 12:35 am

papajohnallen wrote:1) Is there a report to audit a budget category for the year, detailing all of the income and expenses?

Finances>Financial Reports>Budget Report
Set report type to Detail
Set date range to Current Year
papajohnallen wrote:2) Is there something I should be doing with the Stake quarterly budget allocation or does it automatically update their budgets? If so, that could account for the shortfall because I haven't done anything with them.

The quarterly allocations automatically show up in Budget:Budget Allocations but there is absolutely no mechanism to automatically increase the amount you've allocated to each of your budget categories. You will need to either 1) allocate for the entire year from the get go or 2) increase the amount each quarter manually (this method is more likely to be confusing to auxiliary leaders, though)
Finances>Financial Reports>View/Edit Budget
papajohnallen wrote:3) Should I be reclassifying the distribution 'invoices' we automatically get from SLC when we purchase from distribution? And if so, how?

This depends on how your ward plans to pay for them, but I would say yes. My recommended method is to transfer funds from the budget category to be charged to Budget: distribution center with a detailed purpose of what was purchased. This "charges" the appropriate category while zeroing out budget: distribution center.

From what I understand in your post, most likely your issue is #2.

jdlessley
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Postby jdlessley » Tue Nov 08, 2011 1:40 am

Your first question was addressed by allenjpl.

papajohnallen wrote:2) Is there something I should be doing with the Stake quarterly budget allocation or does it automatically update their budgets? If so, that could account for the shortfall because I haven't done anything with them.
The stake no longer allocates budgets directly to units. Rather they submit allocation percentages to Church headquarters to be used in computing unit budget allowances. Church headquarters then computes the unit quarterly allowance from the quarterly report attendance figures and applies the stake supplied percentages to arrive at the total. Take a look at your latest quarterly budget allowance report in MLS to get an idea of how the allowance is computed.

At the beginning of the year you should enter estimated values for each quarter of the annual budget as well as auxiliary/organization and other category allocations. This is done at Finance > Budget > View/Edit Budget. On the top half of the page is where you enter the quarterly estimates. The lower half is where the auxiliary/organization and other category allocations are entered. Once the actual budget allowance is received each quarter your quarterly estimate amount will be replaced with the actual amount. Estimate amounts can be adjusted any time. Actual amounts are not editable.

If you do not enter quarterly estimates, the budget reports will only reflect the quarterly budget allowances received as well as year-to-date expenses. This type of budget management/reporting can be confusing to auxiliary and organization presidencies.

If you want a yearly budget picture, quarterly budget estimates should be entered. How you come up with those estimates is up to you. You can calculate these estimates using attendance figures from quarterly reports or previous year quarterly allowances if your unit is relatively stable in attendance from year to year. Since a quarterly budget allowance is computed from the quarterly report submitted two cycles previously you can get an accurate estimate. For example the third quarter budget allowance is computed using the first quarterly report attendance figures. Don't forget to apply the stake percentages in the computations.

When you set up your annual budget you should establish the auxiliary/organization category allocations. These amounts can be adjusted at any time.


papajohnallen wrote:3) Should I be reclassifying the distribution 'invoices' we automatically get from SLC when we purchase from distribution?
That is up to you and your bishop. Some units will recategorize or transfer the distribution center charges to the ordering auxiliary/organization. My ward combines or recategorizes most all DC expenses under the Curriculum category.

papajohnallen wrote:And if so, how?
Recategorization is done by opening the expense by clicking the reference number in View/Update expenses and changing the category.

A transfer is done by going to Finances > Enter Transfers. The left category and amount is where the funds are being transferred from and the right category and amount is where the funds are being transferred to.

Some clerks prefer transfers to recategorization.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the LDS.org Help Center page or the LDSTech wiki?

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Nov 08, 2011 2:19 am

jdlessley wrote:The stake no longer allocates budgets directly to units. Rather they submit allocation percentages to Church headquarters to be used in computing unit budget allowances. Church headquarters then computes the unit quarterly allowance from the quarterly report attendance figures and applies the stake supplied percentages to arrive at the total.


That's one way to do it. For various reasons, the stake could allocate 0% to the ward and then cut a check instead. Or even a combination of the two.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Tue Nov 08, 2011 5:14 am

RussellHltn wrote:That's one way to do it. For various reasons, the stake could allocate 0% to the ward and then cut a check instead. Or even a combination of the two.


Although your statement is technically accurate, using percentages is more than just "one way to do it"; it is the recommended way. It is the way the new system is designed, and should be the primary way most stakes allocate budget funds. Indeed, there can be exceptions where it does make sense to use an alternate method, but those should be relatively rare. See the Budget FAQ section of the CUBS article on the wiki.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.

papajohnallen
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Postby papajohnallen » Tue Nov 08, 2011 9:29 am

Wow, thank you so much everyone!
Not sure if it is the case with everyone else, but I've had no training whatsoever, other than that provided by the Ward Clerk on donations & expenses. The Stake Financial Clerk started after I did so knows less, and my predecessors moved. Most of it I have figured out, but this had me stumped. I think the issue must be with how the budgets were initially set up and the allocations applied. I started mid-year, so missed the beginning of the budget process.

Thanks for the information, now I need to do some research.
Thank heavens for LDSTech.


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