Donations not showing up on members' Donation Statements?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
nrajeff
New Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:40 am
Location: WV, USA

Donations not showing up on members' Donation Statements?

Postby nrajeff » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:23 pm

After several days of Tithing Settlement, several of our ward's members noted that donations they had made during the first half of 2011 were not listed on the Donation Statements I had printed out for them. The bishop, rightly concerned, asked me to investigate. The donations were duly processed in those months from January through June, and were recorded on the batch/donation reports that were filed with the donation slips. But those donations are missing from the members' Donation Statements. This seems to be a serious problem, since it potentially affects every member in the ward, in terms of tax deductions, or could lead to a member overpaying at tithing settlement if he trusts the statement's accuracy.

Has anyone else encountered or been aware of this problem? Could it be a glitch from the recent update/upgrade of MLS? If I get some guidance from CHQ, I will report in a subsequent post what I find out. Thanks to anyone who can help prevent me from getting more gray hairs over this.

Jeff

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:33 pm

The first thing I'd check is to verify there are not multiple donor records for the same person. Some donations got deposited to one "copy" while the rest got deposited to the "other".

Also, was there a ward split such that the members were not in that unit at the time? Records of donations do not follow the member in the case of a move or boundary re-alignment.
Have you searched the Wiki?
Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

nrajeff
New Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:40 am
Location: WV, USA

Postby nrajeff » Thu Dec 08, 2011 12:47 pm

Thanks for the suggestions, Russell. Could that be the case if a husband and wife used to donate individually (which is no longer an option since the upgrade)?

I will check into the "multiple donor record" possibility when I get back to the clerk's office. (If only I could access the info from my home computer...) :)

Our ward has not split for 5 years, and last year at tithing settlement time, this problem was not reported by any ward members, including the ones who are reporting it this time--although it's possible no one noticed anything missing last year.

I am still wondering if any other ward is experiencing this phenomenon during their tithing settlement process. If it's just my ward, it would ease my mind about it being a widespread problem. Thanks again.

russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 20734
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Postby russellhltn » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:18 pm

nrajeff wrote:Thanks for the suggestions, Russell. Could that be the case if a husband and wife used to donate individually (which is no longer an option since the upgrade)?


That's certainly a possibility. Some donations are under his name and some under hers.

nrajeff wrote:I am still wondering if any other ward is experiencing this phenomenon during their tithing settlement process. If it's just my ward, it would ease my mind about it being a widespread problem. Thanks again.


I think yours is the first report. If it was widespread, I think we'd see more if them by now.
Have you searched the Wiki?

Try using a Google search by adding "site:tech.lds.org/wiki" to the search criteria.

User avatar
gregwanderson
Senior Member
Posts: 696
Joined: Thu Apr 15, 2010 9:34 pm
Location: Huntsville, UT, USA

Postby gregwanderson » Thu Dec 08, 2011 1:47 pm

There could be several reasons why a “donor” is not properly linked in MLS to their record number. Perhaps a student's record was moved to a student ward and then, when the person returned to their home ward, they still appeared as a donor but their membership “link” was never put back into place. Perhaps someone who moved into the ward started donating before their membership record arrived. So they were added as a “donor” without a record number but then, after their record arrived, nobody went back to establish the proper link (which would have to be done manually in that situation). Or maybe someone turned in a donation and they wrote their name differently than normal so the clerk created a second “donor” in MLS to match the different name.

You should be able to identify all of these problems using the >Finances >Add/Update Donors section of MLS. Click on the top of each column to sort by the heading of that column. First, I would look for duplicate names (as suggested already). Next, sort by record number and determine if any members who should have record numbers don't have them. (If memory serves, MLS used to give “dummy” numbers to people who were members but their records were not available yet. If memory serves, those numbers usually contained the unit number of our ward somewhere in the sequence.)

You should also sort by “type” and verify that people who are currently in your unit aren't listed as “out of unit” or some other incorrect status. Finally, sort by “status” to make sure donors are properly visible, hidden or merged. You may find people who moved out of the ward a year ago and haven't donated since they moved. Those people should be “hidden” and then their names won't be “clutter” when you're recording donations. Then their records will disappear completely when the required record retention period has passed.

These corrections should solve all of your tithing settlement problems (or, at least the ones you've mentioned so far;)). Perhaps the reason nobody complained last year is that if you printed tax statements from the “Donor Statements” section (and not as part of tithing settlement) then the link between the donor and membership records would not have been necessary to see all of the donations.

While I'm at it, please note that in a person's donor record, there's now a check box to select “Show spouse on donor report” which might become very handy. I encourage everyone to look into that.

And, one more thing. You might want to check the “Add/Update Payees” section to look for “clutter” or old payees who are not needed on the list anymore.

crislapi
Senior Member
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: USA

Postby crislapi » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:27 pm

nrajeff wrote:The donations were duly processed in those months from January through June, and were recorded on the batch/donation reports that were filed with the donation slips. But those donations are missing from the members' Donation Statements.

You've had some great answers. I'm just adding a few comments. First, you've verified the donations were processed. Did you verify the donor names matched what was on the slip? When auditing, I often encounter donations incorrectly attributed to a sibling or someone else in the ward with a similar last name. This is the simplest and most common cause of this issue.

If that is not the issue, the next most common problem is multiple donor records for a member. If you do find multiple donors for the same member in Finances>View/update donors, follow the instructions in the wiki for how to merge them down to a single account.

nrajeff wrote:Has anyone else encountered or been aware of this problem? Could it be a glitch from the recent update/upgrade of MLS?

I encounter this issue every year (YSA stake so lots of movement). The only other common issue I left out is people moving wards and expecting their financial records to follow. I left this out because it sounded like this is not the case in your situation. CUBS was that last update to affect donors and donations. All the recent updates have affected expenses, so I don't think this is a bug. This late in the game, if it were a bug, it would have been noticed by now.

crislapi
Senior Member
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: USA

Postby crislapi » Thu Dec 08, 2011 2:33 pm

mrrad wrote:While I'm at it, please note that in a person's donor record, there's now a check box to select “Show spouse on donor report” which might become very handy. I encourage everyone to look into that.

There is no longer a check box. The spouse is included automatically. The only checkboxes are for including those with $0 amounts and to group by household.

allenjpl
Member
Posts: 294
Joined: Wed Apr 08, 2009 8:26 am
Location: Las Vegas, NV, USA

Postby allenjpl » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:13 pm

crislapi wrote:There is no longer a check box. The spouse is included automatically. The only checkboxes are for including those with $0 amounts and to group by household.


The check box is located in the individual donor's record (in the view/edit Donor list). Checking the box results in the spouse's name being included on the Official Tax Statement. The donor's name is still identified, but on the line beneath it is "Spouse: Member, Molly". At least, I don't think that line populates automatically.

nrajeff
New Member
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 08, 2011 10:40 am
Location: WV, USA

Postby nrajeff » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:15 pm

My sincere thanks to all who have suggested ideas. I may go back to the church tonight and go through all your suggestions until I solve the mystery. The two "complaints" we know of so far were:

1. A man who was converted and baptized last year;
2. A family who has been in the ward for over 5 years, with no change in their membership status or other obvious change in anything tithing-related.

I am the financial clerk (and membership clerk) so if it turns out that a clerk error caused our problem, I can't blame anyone but myself.

P.S.--I just got off the phone with Local Unit Support, and the knowledgeable, helpful young man there gave me some of the same ideas that you all have suggested. He also said that as far as he knows, I am the first to report a problem like this that could be software-caused. So it probably isn't, I suppose.

When I return from the church, I will report back my findings, in case it can help anyone else who encounters a similar problem. Thanks again. ---Jeff

crislapi
Senior Member
Posts: 1265
Joined: Mon Jul 07, 2008 3:05 pm
Location: USA

Postby crislapi » Thu Dec 08, 2011 3:40 pm

allenjpl wrote:The check box is located in the individual donor's record (in the view/edit Donor list). Checking the box results in the spouse's name being included on the Official Tax Statement. The donor's name is still identified, but on the line beneath it is "Spouse: Member, Molly". At least, I don't think that line populates automatically.

Thanks for the clarification. I hadn't checked there. Also, there are so few married couples in my stake that I'm not a good person to verify this (YSA stake). However, what I do have is recently married couples, so I can check some of those Sunday and see if the check box is automatically selected. However, I was recently helping out a family ward clerk who was not very familiar with MLS and the spouse was showing on donor statements in his ward. I'm fairly confident he did nothing to include her.


Return to “Local Unit Finance”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest