Discontinuing a ward or branch
The process of discontinuing a ward or branch involves several record keeping procedures.
Discontinued ward/branch instructions
- Print all of the official tax statements and tithing settlement statements and deliver them to the respective contributors.
- Stake completes the final membership records audit.
- Move membership records to appropriate ward(s) (via Boundary Realignment in MLS) after the audit deems them to be accurate.
- Remove all non-member, temporary and out-of-unit records created at the local level in MLS.
- If any missionary charges are being taken from the Church unit checking account, send a Finance message in MLS to make change to other ward. Include the full missionary name, the new ward to be charged and the effective date of the change that the Bishops of both wards have agreed upon for the change.
- Remit balances in balance-carrying categories to the appropriate ward(s) or to the area office.
- The stake should notify wards of the changes in budget allocations associated with the discontinuation.
- Stake completes the final audit of the discontinued ward's financial records.
- Submit the Annual Tithing Declarations Report to CHQ (declarations do not need to be made, the report just needs to be submitted).
- Destroy unused check stock.
- Assist the area office to close your account.
- Review and turn in all printed and electronic financial and membership records/documents to the stake clerk. This includes any backup removeable storage devices/drives. The stake should keep the records for the time required by administrative policy and local laws.
- Scrub the hard drive of the computer (mls.lds.org has free software) and follow the computer transfer and disposal guidelines to reuse it for a new ward in your stake. If there are no new ward(s) in the stake, return it to the FM group.
- Dispose of Temple Recommend Book: The yellow copies of used recommends are to be sent to those members' individual new wards. Then destroy the extra unused recommends.
Note: If the ward did not clear out their funds, and they do not have any more checks with which to transfer the funds, or they no longer have any authorized signers to write the checks, please contact CHQ to manually transfer the funds.
Note: Tithing settlement: At the time a ward is discontinued the stake should receive the Tithing and Other Offerings Statements and official tax-valid receipts from the bishop or clerk of the ward being discontinued. The stake president should distribute these statements to the bishops in the wards where the members are assigned to attend. Donors should attend tithing settlement in the ward where they live when tithing settlement is held.