Closing out the current financial year
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The following steps occur automatically in MLS at the end of the year when the previous year is closed. This option will appear as an Urgent Task the first time you log in to MLS in the new year. The year must be closed before MLS will accept any financial transactions in the new year. Once the previous year is closed you will still be able to update prior year data by selecting the option for Previous Year in any of the reporting areas.
Steps MLS takes to close out the year
The steps in the year-end process usually happen one after the other on the screen with no interaction required from the user. MLS prompts you to complete tasks if the process stops for any reason. Each item on the list is checked off automatically as it is completed. When finished, the year is properly closed and MLS is ready to be used for other financial tasks.
- MLS checks whether the year needs to be closed.
- Generates tithing status.
- Based on the financial record retention period for the local area, MLS removes old financial records that are no longer needed:
- MLS also removes any participants that have not been active in the system since prior to the record retention period. This includes:
- Moves to new fiscal year.
- Main article: Record retention
Note that MLS does not delete any prior year’s information until after your country’s record retention period is reached. Only information that is no longer needed by the system for current management of data is removed or changed. For example, if a donor was on the system but had not contributed anything for the entire year, that donor would be marked “hidden” from the donor list for the following year but not deleted from the system (so if the donor contributes again, the name can be “unhidden”). All prior year information is available for viewing or updating by going to the appropriate screen and selecting prior year from the date range box.
Never move your computer clock forward to test closing out the year. Changing the computer clock causes major problems in the MLS database.