Add/Update Donors & Donor Name List

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
SmithGW
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Postby SmithGW » Fri Nov 02, 2007 1:40 pm

I believe the person is correct who implied that MLS is set up to save financial information for as long as is required by local law. If you have a unit in the United States, that would be three years plus the current year. If you have a unit in Canada, it would be five years plus the current year. Making them invisible does insure that no more donations are entered in their name. Then, after the legal period is over, MLS should automatically delete these donors. So they won't be in the system forever.

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Fri Nov 02, 2007 5:06 pm

smithgw wrote:Making them invisible does insure that no more donations are entered in their name.


That was MLS was doing. The problem is if that member was called to a position to need MLS access, they couldn't use their old ID. When attempting to add it back in, MLS would complain that it already existed, but it didn't appear in the list. Needless to say, it resulted in some frustrated users.

As for not using the name anymore, simply stripping them of all rights would work too.

I think the current method is better as it gives better transparency as to what's going on. But there is still some room for improvements. The missing delete function is still causing questions. An indicator to show what years of financial information it's tied to would help.

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thedqs
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Postby thedqs » Sat Nov 03, 2007 12:21 pm

Even if they had a "disable/enable" function (which is what Russell is implying) would be more user friendly.
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Jeremy-p40
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Postby Jeremy-p40 » Fri Nov 30, 2007 12:14 pm

gwilliams wrote:I am a ward financial clerk. Some sisters in our ward (including my own wife) have changed their name due to marriage. I've wanted to update the donor list accordingly, but MLS doesn't allow modifying names on the donor list, nor does it allow adding a person again under their new name (it complains that there is already a donor with that membership number in the donor list). So I am forced to remember the maiden names for several sisters when entering their tithe slips.

Mr. Techno, were you able to add a person to the list with a corrected name? I would love to know how!

You can't edit donor names when entering in a donation, but you can in the Add/Update Donors list. It's kind of a pain when you are entering donations and you get a donation slip for someone with a new name (e.g. new married name), but you have to use the old name - you should never create a new donor for that person (all donations are tied to record numbers, so if you make the person a new donor, it's not really tying the donation to their record number and then you have to go through the merging process and ultimately change the name anyway). You just need to remember to go to Add/Update Donors, find the old name, click on it, and then change the name in the field at the top left. That way, the next time you enter a donation for that person, you will have the right name and it's less confusing. (The same goes for the Add/Update Payees screen.) And you also don't have to deal with trying to merge donors later on.
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Jeremy-p40
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Postby Jeremy-p40 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:07 am

gwilliams wrote:I am a ward financial clerk. Some sisters in our ward (including my own wife) have changed their name due to marriage. I've wanted to update the donor list accordingly, but MLS doesn't allow modifying names on the donor list, nor does it allow adding a person again under their new name (it complains that there is already a donor with that membership number in the donor list). So I am forced to remember the maiden names for several sisters when entering their tithe slips.

In the MLS Add/Update Donors screen, the donors should be tied to their own record numbers. If a woman gets married or divorced, she is not a new person, and therefore, should not be added as a new donor. She keeps the same membership record even after her legal name change. Therefore, all you need to do is go to Add/Update Donors. Find her name and click on it. Then change her name to her new legal name. Save the changes. This keeps her tied to her own record number, and will not mess up her financial records (as adding her as a new donor will do).

(I know this is kind of a repeat of what I said before, but I think it clarifies what I said earlier.)
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Jeremy-p40
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Postby Jeremy-p40 » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:40 am

Mr. Techno wrote:when one adds a donor if one makes a spelling mistake or enters something wrong and then adds the donor one cannot remove the incorrect donor. One has to then add the donor again.
Misspelled names should just be corrected in the Add/Update Donors screen so the donors are still tied to their record numbers (same process as changing a name for a newly married woman, etc).
The second reason is MLS is not removing the donors at the start of the new year for members that have moved from unit.
Would it possible to consider adding a remove button so clerks can clean up the Donor Name List? This can then be done when the new year starts. A remove button will also allow duplicate donors and misspelled donors to be removed.

I do not see a down side to adding a remove button for the add/update donors. Am I missing something?

Thank you.

While I definitely agree that it would fantastic to be able to remove the "bogus" donors, I think a Remove button would be highly dangerous. The only place donations are recorded is in the MLS system of the unit in which the person donated. When audited, or when a person moves to a new ward, they have to contact the ward in which the donations were originally made in order to obtain official donation and tax statements.
The concern is that if they allowed bogus donors to be removed, some legitimate donors could be inadvertently removed. I don't know if anyone out there has ever been audited by the IRS or moved mid-year, but I can tell you that it is so nice to know that the ward in which you made your donations still has that information on file for you and can send it to you upon request.

If bogus donors could be removed without any danger of removing legitimate donors, that would be wonderful.
:D Happy to serve

russellhltn
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Postby russellhltn » Tue Jan 01, 2008 2:56 pm

Jeremy wrote:If a woman gets married or divorced, she is not a new person, and therefore, should not be added as a new donor.


True, but I think donations from individuals and couples are treated differently. So if the donation is in the name of "Mr and Mrs", then I think that does become a new donor. So a married couple could have 3 different donor records - one each as an individual and one as a couple. And that's not a pre/post marriage thing, but depends on how they wrote the tithing slip. (Someone correct me with a source citation if I'm wrong. It's been a long time since I've done donations, but that's the way it used to be.) This is a tricky area since we're dealing with both tithing status and local tax law.


Jeremy wrote:If bogus donors could be removed without any danger of removing legitimate donors, that would be wonderful.


To me a "bogus donor" would be someone without any donations in mandatory financial record keeping time frame (I think that 3 years plus current for U.S.). Donors that have made donations can have a name correction or be combined, but I don't think they can be deleted.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Tue Jan 01, 2008 9:22 pm

Jeremy wrote:Misspelled names should just be corrected in the Add/Update Donors screen so the donors are still tied to their record numbers (same process as changing a name for a newly married woman, etc).

I agree. IMO, MLS gives you a lot of leeway in correcting entries in the donor database making deleting a record altogether not needed and potentially dangerous. Worst case, just change the bogus record's status to "Hidden" and forget about it.


RussellHltn wrote:True, but I think donations from individuals and couples are treated differently. So if the donation is in the name of "Mr and Mrs", then I think that does become a new donor. So a married couple could have 3 different donor records - one each as an individual and one as a couple. And that's not a pre/post marriage thing, but depends on how they wrote the tithing slip. (Someone correct me with a source citation if I'm wrong. It's been a long time since I've done donations, but that's the way it used to be.) This is a tricky area since we're dealing with both tithing status and local tax law.


In the current MLS system, donations for married couples can either be combined or separate, it's their choice. (It's often related to how they choose to file their taxes.) Separate is easy, but combined is not very hard either. As I see it, there are two possibilities to combine a husband and wife's donations. Let's assume we are talking about donations from Mr. Joe and Mrs. Josephine Smith.

Situation 1. Donations have been already recorded for both Joe and Josephine separately. (Or just in Josephine's name.) In this case, go into Add/Update Donors and at the bottom, click on the Merge Donors button. In most cases, you will merge Josephine's donations into Joe's record, so select Joe as "Donor 1". Josephine's record becomes hidden with the "Merged" status. Now manually change the Donor Name to "Joe & Josephine Smith". The donor record number will still be that of Joe Smith.

Situation 2. Donations have only been made in Joe's name and not Josephine's, or neither have donated and you need to create a new donor record. In this case, either create or edit a donor record for Joe Smith and manually change the Donor Name to "Joe & Josephine Smith", so whoever is processing future batches knows not to create a separate donor record for donations processed with just Josephine's name on the slip.

The end result is the same. If a husband and wife wish to have their donations combined, they will accumulate in a single donor account, usually under the husband's record number.

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Postby elderbetita » Wed Jan 02, 2008 11:13 pm

Originally Posted by gwilliams Image
I am a ward financial clerk. Some sisters in our ward (including my own wife) have changed their name due to marriage. I've wanted to update the donor list accordingly, but MLS doesn't allow modifying names on the donor list, nor does it allow adding a person again under their new name (it complains that there is already a donor with that membership number in the donor list). So I am forced to remember the maiden names for several sisters when entering their tithe slips.
I had that same problem before but what we did was to add the corrected names and then merge it with the old. It worked fine. That's how we do it since then. However, it would really be helpful if it has a remove button.

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Mikerowaved
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Postby Mikerowaved » Thu Jan 03, 2008 11:50 am

elderbetita wrote:I had that same problem before but what we did was to add the corrected names and then merge it with the old. It worked fine. That's how we do it since then.

You're making it more difficult than it is. Earlier in the thread Jeremy provided the best solution...

Jeremy wrote:...Therefore, all you need to do is go to Add/Update Donors. Find her name and click on it. Then change her name to her new legal name. Save the changes. This keeps her tied to her own record number...


I don't know where people got the idea that MLS wont let you change a donor's name once it's established. It's quite easy to do.
So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.


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