Items that have not been properly updated or instances where membership policy is not followed are called audit exceptions. A report of the audit exceptions will show up at the end of the audit. The stake clerk should follow up within 30 days to ensure the corrections have been made.
At the end of the audit, a report is printed showing the audit results. This report is signed by the bishop, ward clerk, and stake representative. The printed audit report is submitted to the stake president. The audit report is also submitted electronically to Church headquarters.
The ward clerk or his assistant may want to review some of the requirements at interim dates or just before the audit to verify that all records requirements are being met. Wards do not have to wait an entire year to check the records. In addition, a bishop or ward clerk may wish to verify other information or procedures not covered by the audit steps. A sample checklist is available (albeit somewhat outdated), which can be customized for each ward's needs.
For units using MLS, the audit is conducted within MLS. In MLS, go to Other Resources, Church Audits, Membership Audit. For units not using MLS, there is a printed form that is available from the area administrative office. Whether or not a unit is using MLS, the membership audit is a good way for the stake clerk to do one-on-one training with the local unit clerks.
The MLS membership audit leads you through a step-by-step process to review priesthood ordinations, baptisms, marriages, error correction, MLS user rights, training lessons, key leaders, and policies.
Review the instructions page in MLS carefully. The completed report should be printed and signed by the bishop and ward clerk. It should also be submitted electronically.
In addition to the step-by-step audit detailed above, there are some additional checks that it may be prudent to do as part of the audit process:
- The Membership Validation Report and bishop's action and interview list are good places to do some cross-checking that ordinances have been recorded.
- The list of membership record numbers on the finances/donors list is a good place to check that the ward clerks have been moving records into the ward properly.
- With printing of certificates it may be useful to keep a paper copy. Some stakes recommend that completed certificates be photocopied before being given to the member, so that the paper copy may be used for crosschecking records.
- The Abbreviated Directory of Members can be reviewed to ensure phone numbers are in the standard format requested by the stake (e.g., XXX-XXX-XXXX or (XXX) XXX-XXXX).
- New Member Reports can be reviewed to ensure all information is current (there are new fields on this report that units should be aware of).