Unused ward budget

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
drepouille
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Unused ward budget

Postby drepouille » Wed Dec 05, 2018 6:59 pm

My bishop just informed me that our stake wants each unit to transfer unused budget funds (over $1000) to the stake by the end of December. Apparently, this request is backed up by the Handbook, and I am not questioning that. Our stake has existed since 1999, and I have never seen our stake make this request before now. I don't know if this will be a one-time request, or if this will be a recurring annual request.

Do any clerks or other leaders here have experience with this in your stake? I think this may cause our 2019 budget to be a little tight.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

davesudweeks
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Re: Unused ward budget

Postby davesudweeks » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:04 pm

Our stake only allows the ward to carry over a certain maximum percentage each year (I cannot recall what it was from last year). The SP instructs the wards to transfer back any unused budget funds above that amount. It is the stake's budget - they determine how much the ward gets and have the prerogative to move it around as needed.

drepouille
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Re: Unused ward budget

Postby drepouille » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:12 pm

Got it. Handbook 1 Section 14.7.2.

When I was stake clerk, I regularly asked the local units to transfer excess missionary funds to the stake, but we never asked them to transfer "unneeded budget allowance funds" to the stake. It is quite possible that stake presidents are now being asked to return excess budget funds to the general operating budget.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

drepouille
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Re: Unused ward budget

Postby drepouille » Wed Dec 05, 2018 7:25 pm

Under the category of "unintended consequences" I believe this will encourage local leaders to "spend it all" before the end of the year, rather than "lose" that money to the stake. Yes, I know that Handbook 1 specifically tells local leaders NOT to do that, but our leaders are human. They have an incentive to spend it rather than lose it.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

davesudweeks
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Re: Unused ward budget

Postby davesudweeks » Wed Dec 05, 2018 8:22 pm

The opposite is also true. I served under a bishop who encouraged avoidance of spending ward budget funds, as if it was his responsibility to save as much budget as possible. The unintended consequence of his push-back was many members absorbed the costs of the ward activities rather then turn in reimbursement requests and face his gentle lecture about why they should not have requested reimbursement. I have also seen leaders who "bank up" excess funds over time and then want to plan some extravagant activity because they can now "afford it." This may be the reason our Stake requests excess funds back - to keep the units on an even keel in following the funding plans of the church. We are allowed to carry over some each year, just not a huge excess.

My advice to our ward council as the clerk is to remember they are the Lord's sacred funds so they should not be wasted, but they are there to be used to fund the church programs in the ward, not necessarily saved.


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