Common problems with reconciliation
With the institution of Church Unit Banking Services (CUBS), reconciliation of the Unit Financial Statement to MLS is no longer required. In MLS 3.1.1 the Reconciliation option has been removed. Units should now look at the "Action Items" section of the Unit Financial Statement, take appropriate actions, and have the priesthood leader (bishop, stake president) and the clerk sign at the end of the section.
Ward clerks or assistant ward clerks often experience common problems with reconciling the monthly financial statement. This article describes some of these problems and their solutions, as well as the process for obtaining help in solving reconciliation problems.
Obtaining help with reconciliation
Ward clerks or assistant ward clerks may need help with reconciliaiton. After first trying to solve the problem himself, a clerk should next call the stake clerk.
If the problem persists, the stake clerk should contact Local Unit Support and set an appointment to get help with the reconciliation problem.
Note that if a ward clerk or assistant ward clerk calls Local Unit Support for reconciliation assistance, he will be asked:
- Have you contacted your stake clerk?
- Has your stake clerk personally looked at your reconciliation?
If the ward clerk or assistant ward clerk cannot answer 'yes' to these questions, he will be referred back to his stake clerk. If the stake clerk cannot solve the reconciliation issue or has questions, he should contact Local Unit Support. Through a quick review of the problem, an analyst will know if this is something that can be resolved by a stake clerk or if it is something that truly needs their assistance. Because of the number of calls, priority will be given to stake clerks.
However, if a ward clerk calls Local Unit Support and the analyst determines that it is necessary for them to handle the reconciliation issue, the analyst will resolve the problem and then contact the stake clerk with the solution. The stake clerk will then be responsible to contact and train the ward clerk and assistant ward clerks. Either way the stake clerk will be involved in the process of resolving the reconciliation problem.
Specific reconciliation problems
Some common reconciliation problems and how to resolve them are discussed below.
Voiding a check caused an unreconciled difference for the amount of the check on my report
This problem can occur when a clerk voids a check written from the Fast Offering or Budget accounts. If the clerk notices an unreconciled difference in one of these categories, a voided check may have caused the problem. The clerk should be sure to mark it cleared by checking the box next to the check number on the Transfers tab. The check will be listed on the Transfers tab in the reconcile each month as an outstanding transfer until it is cleared. Click on the Transfers tab of any reconcile after the check was written to check it off.
An unreconciled difference on the report matches the amount of a returned check
Other Item was entered
Other Items should never be entered for a Returned Check (use a Temporary Item). To delete an Other Item go to the Other Items screen in the month of the reconciliation it was originally entered. Change the Amount to zero. Click Save at the bottom of the screen and the Other Items will be deleted.
Temporary Item was not entered
If the original donation was not to the Other category: Check the Unit Financial Statement and find the month that the returned check was adjusted by the bank in the Other column. A returned check will show on the statement in section (III) Miscellaneous Disbursements and Credits with a reference number that starts with the letter Q (i.e., Q071565489). Returned checks also have RT CK in the line description along with the donor’s last name and check number.
Enter a positive Temporary Item in the same reconciliation month as the finance statement that shows the returned check being taken from the Other Account. This should temporarily reconcile the Other Account back to zero.
Note: No Temporary Item is needed if the check is adjusted by the Church administrative office in the same month the bank does their adjustment.
Note: If all or part of the check amount was put into the Ward Missionary category (or Budget category for units with hard dollar budget accounts), create a Temporary Item to the Ward Missionary category (or Budget category for units with hard dollar budget accounts). The Temporary Item will be checked off in the month the adjustment is made by the Church administrative office. No Temporary Item is needed if these entries are on the same month’s financial statement.
The clerk should continue to watch the monthly financial statements closely to know when the returned check has been adjusted. When the check is adjusted it will show on the Unit Financial Statement in section (III) Miscellaneous Disbursements and Credits. The line item will read Cancel Donation Due to Returned Check and will have a credit to the Other Account column in the amount of the returned check. The clerk should clear the Temporary Item in the monthly reconciliation by putting a check mark in the box to the left and clicking Save.
The original donation was made to the Other Account
The clerk should enter a Temporary Item in the same reconciliation month that the donation batch of the returned check clears. Then when the abbreviation RT CK shows on the financial statement, the Temporary Item can be cleared.
Ending balances incorrectly entered
If the Unreconciled Differences line in the Report Tab shows a very confusing amount (i.e., off by a few cents), check the Balances Tab. The ending balances could have been incorrectly typed.