Advancing funds

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
brown67
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Advancing funds

Postby brown67 » Fri Oct 16, 2020 1:17 pm

My ward is in Colorado and we had a member die of covid-19 out in Nevada. He works for a mining company out there, and he would spend a week or two in Nevada, and then come home for a week or two here in Colorado. When he was in Nevada he would live in his 26 ft trailer at an RV park.

We need to get his trailer back to Colorado. We looked into hiring a company to do it but it was quite expensive. We have a member who is out of work and willing to go get it for quite a bit less than what the transportation company would charge us, but we would need to advance him some money to do it.

We figure it'll cost about $1,000 to pay for fuel, hotel, food, and paying something for his time. Obviously, this member doesn't have $1,000 since he's out of work to cover it himself. What would be the best way to handle this? I know we can advance funds, and about half of this would be used to pay him for his time. He's going to make an invoice for us so we can pay him for that time. It's the other $500 or so to pay for fuel, food, and hotel that I'm not sure how to handle. Do we write him a check for those expenses in advance and then have him bring us the receipts and then settle everything up?

russellhltn
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Re: Advancing funds

Postby russellhltn » Fri Oct 16, 2020 2:32 pm

brown67 wrote:We need to get his trailer back to Colorado.

The first question I have is why is the church getting involved? Assuming this is a "Fast Offering" situation, how is this "Sustain Life, Not Lifestyle"? (Handbook 22.6.3.3) And what is the church going to do with the trailer once they get it back into Colorado?

This also feels like going with what may be an unlicensed contractor. What happens if he gets into an accident? Does he have insurance coverage or will this operation be a church liability?

Sorry, but something seems to be missing here.
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lajackson
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Re: Advancing funds

Postby lajackson » Fri Oct 16, 2020 3:57 pm

You have the finance process correct as far as an advance, return with receipts, and settling up at the end. The bishop just needs to consider the issues raised by russellhltn (and perhaps counsel with the stake president) to make certain that Church policy is followed and to ensure that the Church is not at risk.

Is this a Fast Offering situation where the bishop is assisting the family of the member to retrieve the trailer? Normally, the family would get the trailer on their own and the bishop would assist the family with food and other commodities to help them if their financial situation was not sufficient to cover both expenses. Other Fast Offering principles would also merit specific review in this case.

And as far as the problems russellhltn mentioned, the family also will need to be able to deal with the trailer park in Nevada. The park may not let the trailer be taken until final arrangements have been made with them.

In my opinion, it would be well for the bishop to make a careful delineation between the desires of the family and any needs of theirs with which the bishop is considering helping by using sacred Church funds.

And if you have already done all of this, my apology for faulty assumptions and my blessing to the family and members involved.

brown67
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Re: Advancing funds

Postby brown67 » Sun Oct 18, 2020 5:13 pm

This is DEFINITELY a welfare concern. I'm not going into great details, but this widow needs help and she is NOT trying to maintain lifestyle. This is ALL about maintaining life. The widow doesn't have the means to provide for herself without her husband's income. This trailer will be her home, that's why we need to get it. It's going to be her home. She can't afford her home on her own and needs to sell it asap.

russellhltn
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Re: Advancing funds

Postby russellhltn » Sun Oct 18, 2020 7:11 pm

If he hasn't already, the bishop might want to talk to the stake president to make sure they're on the same page. No doubt the SP will notice the expense, so it's probably better to get him on-board before rather than having to explain it later.
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