Clarification on assigning budget - no more transfers

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crislapi
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Clarification on assigning budget - no more transfers

Postby crislapi » Sat Dec 10, 2011 12:02 am

There was some previous discussion on the forum on whether it was necessary to perform transfers at the end of the year to zero out your budget subcategories. Clarification has come in the form of an MLS message (below) stating that this capability will be removed from MLS. Looks like the answer is no, it is not necessary and soon, not possible.

The correct way to assign budget amounts to a subcategory (organization/auxiliary) is to use the “View/Edit Budget” screen in MLS.

The ability to make transfers between budget subcategories in MLS will be removed. This change is scheduled to take place following the next “Send/Receive Changes” done by your unit after December 16, 2011.

Transfers made between budget subcategories in 2011 will not affect the 2012 MLS Budget Allowance Summary Report, since report amounts are cleared at the beginning of each year.

If you have any questions, please contact Local Unit Support.

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Postby allenjpl » Sat Dec 10, 2011 9:01 am

crislapi wrote:There was some previous discussion on the forum on whether it was necessary to perform transfers at the end of the year to zero out your budget subcategories. Clarification has come in the form of an MLS message (below) stating that this capability will be removed from MLS. Looks like the answer is no, it is not necessary and soon, not possible.


Although some units may have used that function to "clear out" the balances, I worry about the consequences of this kind of change. How will this affect Distribution center charges? I used to just change the expense category, until it seemed that the best practice was to make a transfer, so that the CHQ and local MLS remained in sync. Now it seems that method will be prevented. Do we go back to changing the expense category?

crislapi
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Postby crislapi » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:36 am

allenjpl wrote: How will this affect Distribution center charges? I used to just change the expense category, until it seemed that the best practice was to make a transfer, so that the CHQ and local MLS remained in sync. Now it seems that method will be prevented. Do we go back to changing the expense category?

I was a big proponent of using transfers for the DC expenses as well because you could add a purpose, thereby seeing what was actually purchased. I'm assuming this change means the only options are to change the category or not worry about it. I guess the only other option is to cut a check from that subcategory and deposit it into the DC expenses account.

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ElliotQuinton
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Postby ElliotQuinton » Wed Dec 28, 2011 10:46 pm

crislapi wrote:I was a big proponent of using transfers for the DC expenses as well because you could add a purpose, thereby seeing what was actually purchased. I'm assuming this change means the only options are to change the category or not worry about it. I guess the only other option is to cut a check from that subcategory and deposit it into the DC expenses account.


As we've been planning out our budget for next year, we've been trying to figure out how to handle DC expenses as well. Writing a check, basically to the same account as its written from, seems like an unnecessary hassle. We used to use the transfer method; I came to the forums looking for ideas how other units are negotiating the loss of the ability to transfer between subcategories. How would you recommend splitting charges if a distribution order contains items for several auxiliaries?
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Issaquah 5th Ward

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:11 pm

Quetzal513 wrote:How would you recommend splitting charges if a distribution order contains items for several auxiliaries?


The way I see it, it doesn't really matter whether there is one category per order or multiple categories. If you simply recategorize the expense, then you can recategorize it among as many categories as you would like. Just as is the case with a single category, there is no ability to change the purpose, so on a set of budget detail reports, the report for each category that shares in this order will show the same line item, but with a different amount.

The method of writing a check and depositing it can be extended to cover multiple categories as well, but that could get rather ridiculous; if there are 5 categories, you'd either have to write 5 checks, or try to cram 5 descriptions (each one identifying the subcategory as well as the purpose) into one purpose line.

My plan is to simply recategorize the expenses and be done. It's unfortunate that the purpose listed on Budget Detail reports will not be helpful, but that's the system we've been given. I would certainly have the IROP on file if anyone is curious as to exactly what was purchased.
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Postby eblood66 » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:13 pm

Quetzal513 wrote:How would you recommend splitting charges if a distribution order contains items for several auxiliaries?


I just change the category of the expense. You can reassign to one or more categories so splitting the charge isn't a problem. When it asks for the reason for the change I enter a short description of the actual order. For expenses I've changed recently (in the last month or so) that note shows up on the budget report rather than the original purpose for the expense (which for distribution orders is very generic). That makes it much easier to track expenses and seems (to me) to have alleviated the main advantage of using transfers.

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Postby aebrown » Wed Dec 28, 2011 11:16 pm

eblood66 wrote:For expenses I've changed recently (in the last month or so) that note shows up on the budget report rather than the original purpose for the expense (which for distribution orders is very generic). That makes it much easier to track expenses and seems (to me) to have alleviated the main advantage of using transfers.


I wasn't aware of that change in MLS -- I haven't had an DC orders for a couple of months. Given that this detail shows up, I certainly agree with you that there's no longer any compelling reason for wanting to do transfers (and of course we can't do them anymore, anyway). Thanks for sharing that important detail!
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ElliotQuinton
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Postby ElliotQuinton » Fri Dec 30, 2011 4:08 pm

eblood66 wrote:I just change the category of the expense. You can reassign to one or more categories so splitting the charge isn't a problem. When it asks for the reason for the change I enter a short description of the actual order. For expenses I've changed recently (in the last month or so) that note shows up on the budget report rather than the original purpose for the expense (which for distribution orders is very generic). That makes it much easier to track expenses and seems (to me) to have alleviated the main advantage of using transfers.


aebrown wrote:I wasn't aware of that change in MLS -- I haven't had an DC orders for a couple of months. Given that this detail shows up, I certainly agree with you that there's no longer any compelling reason for wanting to do transfers (and of course we can't do them anymore, anyway). Thanks for sharing that important detail!


Thanks for the replies. I hadn't tried to reassign categories in a while since we were in the habit of using the transfer feature. I also didn't recall the ability to enter a note when reassigning, but I tried it out earlier today and it works just as you describe.
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Issaquah 5th Ward

86Bengal
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Postby 86Bengal » Mon Jan 02, 2012 1:37 am

aebrown wrote:I wasn't aware of that change in MLS -- I haven't had an DC orders for a couple of months. Given that this detail shows up, I certainly agree with you that there's no longer any compelling reason for wanting to do transfers (and of course we can't do them anymore, anyway). Thanks for sharing that important detail!


Our ward purchased our 2012 manuals this last week. I learned of this today when the IROP showed up in MLS. I recategorized it as usual, but I'm not liking the outcome. The new year messed things up. The purchase occurred in 2011, but after today's change in category, the adjustment shows up in 2012 budget summary reports. (However, if you look at the detail of the transaction, it still shows the original Dec 28th date.) This is confusing to me. Now there's a ~$300 income entry in the DC category that I'll have to try to remember the reason for all year. I would've expected this had I done a transfer. But why can't a simple category change retain the original transaction date?

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Postby crislapi » Mon Jan 02, 2012 9:11 am

86Bengal wrote:I would've expected this had I done a transfer. But why can't a simple category change retain the original transaction date?

This is because you are making an adjustment to a reconciled expense. To create the proper audit trail, the change must reflect the actual timing.


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