Horror Stories of a Finance Clerk

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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Postby simonawright » Mon Jun 11, 2012 4:50 am

We have noticed that more errors are made when clerks are on holiday etc and the Bishopric handle the counting and data entry. As a result we have recommended that the roles are changed at times so that the Bishopric maintain some familiarity with MLS.

Whether this is done, or how often, is left up to the units themselves.

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Postby gregwanderson » Mon Jun 11, 2012 8:46 am

Horror stories? Well, I remember that time when werewolves chewed through our printer cable…

But, seriously, this thread could have been far more successful (and not controversial) if the title had been something like “Finance Clerk Disasters You Have Faced and/or Solved.” Most things are already covered in threads with more specific titles but then some things aren’t enough to warrant their own threads.

I’ll give an example that happened to someone else. As a brand new finance clerk over 15 years ago he received minimal training. Then someone mentioned that, by the way, there was this letter from Church Headquarters that said there was a problem with one of their old deposits. Could he try to figure it out? It turns out that one of the deposits from months earlier never made it to the bank. After searching everywhere in the clerks office and making several calls to Salt Lake and the bank (which didn’t solve the problem), he grilled the people who were responsible for that deposit. He finally discovered that the missing deposit bag was under the seat of a car owned by one of the Bishop’s counselors. Apparently, the man went home before going to the bank but then forgot to go to the bank (and didn’t realize the bag had stayed in the car for months).

As usual, the problem could have been avoided through following policies (although, at the time in that rural area, many clerks believed it was okay to go to the bank alone, since it was a long drive). The policy may not have been clear at the time but it is now. Also, the investigation/solution could have been quicker if handled by someone previously and not by a brand new finance clerk.

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Postby pgm44 » Wed Jul 25, 2012 6:44 am

Here is how we do it in our ward. A member of the bishopric and a priesthood holder open de donation enveloppes and check the money. The financial clerk encode it in MLS. During the whole time the door is locked until all is finished. Then the Bishop and one of the counselors go to deposit in the bank.

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Postby showseason » Thu Jul 26, 2012 5:29 pm

The very first time I was a ward financial clerk about 40 years ago was a real eye opener. We met in a house and the clerk’s office was in the upstairs bathroom. Anyway, I digress. Our bishop worked out of town so on Sunday he would ask me how many checks I needed for the week. He would then sign that number of blank checks and give them to me. Proper training by the stake would have been a plus. Our first audit was a big learning experience. We've (and I’ve) come a long way baby.

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Postby gingus » Mon Jul 30, 2012 8:44 am

I just remember quite a few years ago, when I was in the bishopric. We accidentally sent in the donation slips in the deposit bag and put the checks in the clerks stuff for audit. A day or so later the bank called and asked if we forgot to include the checks, and we checked and corrected it. It made for a good laugh, but ever since then this is always checked. Through hindsight, we always seem to see more clear.

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