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Invoice Payment Reimbursement Form

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Invoice Payment Reimbursement Form

#1Postby nbllds-p40 » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:28 pm

When filling out a Reimbursement Request / Expense Authorization form for an expense which the church is paying for directly (i.e. Fast Offering payment directly to the electric company), our ward's current form has two options for the expense: (1) Reimbursement or (2) Advance Payment. I've noticed that most sample forms (like the ones posted on LDSClerks) also only have these two options for the request.

So my question is (and I know this is kind of nit-picky), what box should you check? It's not really a reimbursement (nothing has been paid yet), and it's not an advance payment (since you already have the receipt/invoice). I'm considering modifying our expense form to include a third check box for "Invoice," or "Direct Payment." Or, just not check either of them? I'm just curious what other clerks do, as I know this is not at all an uncommon type of expense.

Also, our current form has a place to write the check number once that has been determined. Since I attach a printed portion of the check (with the check number) to the form anyway, I see no need for the added step of writing the number on the form as well. So I'm considering removing this from the form - any reason why I shouldn't?
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#2Postby Mikerowaved » Wed Apr 01, 2009 10:37 pm

nbllds wrote:When filling out a Reimbursement Request / Expense Authorization form for an expense which the church is paying for directly (i.e. Fast Offering payment directly to the electric company), our ward's current form has two options for the expense: (1) Reimbursement or (2) Advance Payment. I've noticed that most sample forms (like the ones posted on LDSClerks) also only have these two options for the request.

So my question is (and I know this is kind of nit-picky), what box should you check? It's not really a reimbursement (nothing has been paid yet), and it's not an advance payment (since you already have the receipt/invoice). I'm considering modifying our expense form to include a third check box for "Invoice," or "Direct Payment." Or, just not check either of them? I'm just curious what other clerks do, as I know this is not at all an uncommon type of expense.

The form I use doesn't have any boxes like you indicated, but if you like boxes there, I would go with your option of adding a 3rd choice.

nbllds wrote:Also, our current form has a place to write the check number once that has been determined. Since I attach a printed portion of the check (with the check number) to the form anyway, I see no need for the added step of writing the number on the form as well. So I'm considering removing this from the form - any reason why I shouldn't?

I agree with you that attaching the check stub to the request form should be adequate.
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#3Postby jdlessley » Thu Apr 02, 2009 12:27 am

nbllds wrote:When filling out a Reimbursement Request / Expense Authorization form for an expense which the church is paying for directly (i.e. Fast Offering payment directly to the electric company), our ward's current form has two options for the expense: (1) Reimbursement or (2) Advance Payment. I've noticed that most sample forms (like the ones posted on LDSClerks) also only have these two options for the request.

So my question is (and I know this is kind of nit-picky), what box should you check? It's not really a reimbursement (nothing has been paid yet), and it's not an advance payment (since you already have the receipt/invoice). I'm considering modifying our expense form to include a third check box for "Invoice," or "Direct Payment." Or, just not check either of them? I'm just curious what other clerks do, as I know this is not at all an uncommon type of expense.
For audit purposes there are only two types of expenditures, advances and reimbursements. An advance is for an expense yet to be incurred. There is potential that the advance amount may not cover the expense or it may exceed the actual expense. It keys the auditor to look for another transaction to either pay the underpayment or a return of excess funds. A reimbursement is an expense for which payment has already been made or for which there is an invoice. An invoiced expense is a reimbursement because the exact amount is known. An auditor will not look for any further transactions.
nbllds wrote:Also, our current form has a place to write the check number once that has been determined. Since I attach a printed portion of the check (with the check number) to the form anyway, I see no need for the added step of writing the number on the form as well. So I'm considering removing this from the form - any reason why I shouldn't?
Attached paperwork can always become unattached. Having the check number on the reimbursement request makes it easier to correlate the check with the reimbursement request. As an auditor, I find it makes the audit go faster if corroborating information is on the same piece of paper. Not having the check number on the reimbursement request form only increases the chance of an audit exception.
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#4Postby aebrown » Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:48 am

nbllds wrote:When filling out a Reimbursement Request / Expense Authorization form for an expense which the church is paying for directly ..., our ward's current form has two options for the expense: (1) Reimbursement or (2) Advance Payment.


jdlessley wrote:For audit purposes there are only two types of expenditures, advances and reimbursements.


Actually, for audit purposes, there are only expenditures (but with a special subcategory of "advance"). The term "remimbursement" does not appear at all on the audit form. There is no term for non-advance expenditures. Rather, the audit talks about expenditures, using phrases like "amounts due or already paid." There is indeed some necessary discussion of advances, because advances "increase risk and require additional follow-up." Advances change the order of the procedures somewhat, but still fundamentally every expenditure is the same: it must be supported by an invoice/receipt/notice, and it must be approved.

So I agree that it makes little sense to have to choose between "reimbursement" and "advance". Really all you need to know is if a particular expense is an advance. At least one of the reimbursement forms on LDSClerks had one form for regular expenses, and a separate form for advances. That would be one way. My preference would be to simply have an Expense Authorization Form, and have a check box for "Is this an advance?" That would fit the flow of the audit questions, and avoid presenting the false choice you are concerned about.

jdlessley wrote:Attached paperwork can always become unattached. Having the check number on the reimbursement request makes it easier to correlate the check with the reimbursement request. As an auditor, I find it makes the audit go faster if corroborating information is on the same piece of paper. Not having the check number on the reimbursement request form only increases the chance of an audit exception.


I agree. Also, both financial clerks and auditors often have to search the large stack of expense documentation to find the documentation for a particular check. Having the check number in a consistent place on the front page of the set of documents for a particular expense makes it far easier to search through that stack to find it. It would be quite a pain to have to grab each set of documents, flip to the check stub to see the number, then move on to the next.
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#5Postby nbllds-p40 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:06 pm

Thank you for the responses. It turns out these questions stem directly from going through the audit questions, so your answers were right on.

jdlessley wrote:Attached paperwork can always become unattached. Having the check number on the reimbursement request makes it easier to correlate the check with the reimbursement request. As an auditor, I find it makes the audit go faster if corroborating information is on the same piece of paper. Not having the check number on the reimbursement request form only increases the chance of an audit exception.


Alan_Brown wrote:I agree. Also, both financial clerks and auditors often have to search the large stack of expense documentation to find the documentation for a particular check. Having the check number in a consistent place on the front page of the set of documents for a particular expense makes it far easier to search through that stack to find it. It would be quite a pain to have to grab each set of documents, flip to the check stub to see the number, then move on to the next.


Last month I went through my first audit as financial clerk. I noticed a couple of things, so you can see where I'm coming from for the checks.

First, the previous financial clerk consistently stapled the check stub to the front of the bundle of expense paperwork. I didn't consistently do that, so there was some fumbling like you mentioned. It was much easier for me to find the expenses with the check stub stapled to the front. If there is concern that the stub come unstapled, I would think the same concern would exist for the expense form with signatures, as well as the receipts. But your point is a good one about having everything on one page.

Second, the current filing system we use is separated by Reference Number. Expense info. is placed in the most closely dated batch. This was kind of a pain during the audit, because the auditor would ask for a particular check number (from looking at the CUFS), and I would have to look up the date it was written, then go to the dated folder and pull everything out to find it. So, I've separated the batches from the expenses. I file the expenses by check number (numerically), and it is easy to locate them with the check stub at the front.

Anyway, long story short, I still am leaning towards taking off the check number from the Expense Form for the reasons I listed.
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#6Postby jbh001 » Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:16 pm

nbllds wrote:Anyway, long story short, I still am leaning towards taking off the check number from the Expense Form for the reasons I listed.
I ended up removing the check number from the form as well because we too stapled the check stub to the front of the expense form when all was said and done. My most recent revision was posted here.
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One Size Does NOT Fit All

#7Postby jeromer7 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:49 pm

As I see by the replies, there is not really a single answer that fits all. Some valid points have been made and I appreciate the discussion, though I am not moved to change the procedures for our stake.

I prefer to have all documentation stapled behind the request form. If the receipts, check stub, etc., are on the front, I have to move that stuff out of the way to get to the basic data about the expense. Sometimes it would only be the stub and a receipt, but for many others there are numerous receipts of varying sizes and the check stub. It boils down to: do what works best for you.

Our expense form doesn't have any check boxes to denote if the check was written as an advance. I have written very few advances in the 4 years I've been a stake clerk and this ommission on the form has not proven to be any sort of problem.

As for the check number on the expense form, I like having the number there. When I am doing multiple expenses, it isn't that hard to get a piece of paper or two mixed up. Like double entry bookkeeping, having the check number on the expense form, written as I verify the check hot off the printer is correct, serves as a check point (no pun intended, but I like it ;)) as I put the individual expense packets together for filing. Again, it's a case of do what works best for you.
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#8Postby jbh001 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:17 pm

JLRose wrote:I prefer to have all documentation stapled behind the request form. If the receipts, check stub, etc., are on the front, I have to move that stuff out of the way to get to the basic data about the expense.
That's one of the reasons I designed my form the way I did. All the information I or the auditor needs to see is at the bottom of the form so that when the check stub is stapled to the front at the top, all of the checkstub and all of the expense form are visible. The only hunting that then needs to be done is for the receipts, which are either stapled in front of the form and behind the checkstub if they are small receipts (i.e. checkstub > receipt > expense form, to make it less likely the small receipt will detach off the back) or behind the form if they are larger such as an invoice (i.e checkstub > expense form > receipt/invoice).
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#9Postby jbh001 » Fri Apr 03, 2009 7:21 pm

JLRose wrote:As for the check number on the expense form, I like having the number there.
I decided to remove the check number from the form because I had too many people writing things in that space, regardless of how many times I trained them not to. Glad you seem to have had better luck with it.
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