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Horror Stories of a Finance Clerk
Posted: Sun Mar 30, 2008 5:01 pm
It would be fun to post in a thread the freak accidents we may experience as a ward or stake finance clerk. Along with being somewhat humerous, it might allow us to learn from someone else's mistakes. Here is one to start.
I, as ward fin. clerk, was counting donations with one of the counselors. This day I was in charge of placing the donation in the pouch and sealing it up. As many of you know, it can be very distracting when someone comes in or if a couple of people are talking while you are counting. It is easy to forget to do something. So we get to the bank and place the pouch in the 24 hour deposit recepticle. As we walk back to the car the couselor spots a 20 and 10 bill on the parking lot by our car. He exclaims, "This is our lucky day. We just found $30!" Then the truth started to sink in that the money had fallen out of the pouch as we got out of the car. It was a real nightmare to try to correct this with the bank and the Church. The bank would not just let me give them the money in the morning because it would be outside their standard procedures. Actually the bank reported no money missing (they didn't really count it well). So the Church had to call Bank of America and tell them to charge us the $30 before we could correct the problem. Lesson learned: Be sure the person counting with you watches as you seal the money portion and the check portion of the pouch.
On another day we came back from making the deposit and the counselor looks down at the floor in the clerks office and spots a check sitting there. He said, "I have a bad feeling about this."
Lesson learned: Be careful moving check around. Be careful placing coins in an envelope before placing the coin envelope in the pouch. Quickly look at the counter and at the floor before you take off for the bank.
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:03 pm
While your motive to help people learn is worthwhile and commendable, I respectfully ask that we are extra careful in making light of our callings or situations around our callings. It may be seen by others as not a positive thing. We remind everyone that the purposes of these forums is to help others. We should keep these forums on the same level of professionalism and reverence as they deserve.
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 5:29 pm
Keep it professional. But I enjoyed it! Tom in New Mexico
We are not NEW and we are not MEXICO
Posted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 6:07 pm
Sorry, TomW. If you feel this thread is inappropriate, you may delete it. I just felt that it emphasized the need to be real careful while preparing the deposit pouch. I just wish someone had shared a similar story with me before I made the above mentioned mistakes. I probably would have been a lot more careful. I just hope the story will help others avoid such a mistake.
Posted: Thu Apr 03, 2008 4:02 pm
stott wrote:Sorry, TomW. If you feel this thread is inappropriate, you may delete it. I just felt that it emphasized the need to be real careful while preparing the deposit pouch. I just wish someone had shared a similar story with me before I made the above mentioned mistakes. I probably would have been a lot more careful. I just hope the story will help others avoid such a mistake.
I think it's a good story, and good lessons, and I didn't think it was inappropriate at all. It didn't seem to me that you were making light of anything, but then again, I don't think our callings are meant to be dreary and depressing.
Posted: Sun Apr 06, 2008 5:41 am
I am just being cautious .. especially since the title and first part of the post invites "horror stories" or other funny things that happen. I do not want the thread to digress. Thanks for understanding.
Posted: Wed Apr 16, 2008 8:14 am
I agree that stories like these are a great learning tool. It reinforces the need for caution and shows the consequences of inatention. It's hard to imagine all the things that can go wrong with ,what seems to be, a simple task. We do this with the flying profession and I appreciate it here. I will be more careful in the future.
Posted: Wed Apr 30, 2008 9:15 am
I liked the idea how stott told the story and then had the moral of the story at the end. I think it could help being cautious by learning from mistakes of others and I think that is why tom is also being cautious. However, thank you for your story it reminds me to be extra careful handling the Lord's money.
Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 9:55 pm
Maybe I am wrong, but I think that the OP wasn't following Church Procedures.
He stated: "I, as ward fin. clerk, was counting donations with one of the counselors. This day I was in charge of placing the donation in the pouch and sealing it up."
As a Financial Clerk for a total of almost 12 years in two wards and for five Bishops I NEVER touch the money or anything having to do with the money (the pouch). I watch the Bishopric member open and count the funds and then I enter the information into the computer and then, as is the procedure in our area, follow him in my car to the bank and watch him deposit it in the Night Depository. It is his responsibility to handle the money at all times. Just as I can't accept donations from Ward members, I can't do anything with the money at any time.
But maybe that is just me.
Posted: Sun Jun 10, 2012 11:41 pm
waynecooke wrote:Maybe I am wrong, but I think that the OP wasn't following Church Procedures.
Actually the companion principle does not specify who actually handles the money when the envelopes are opened and counted. From the online training it says:
The companionship principle requires two priesthood holders to be actively involved in opening the donation envelopes, counting the money, and recording the amounts in the Church financial software.
Having one person open envelopes and count money while the other person does something else is not adequate.
The entire process could have the clerk opening, counting, verifying, recording and filling the deposit bag while the bishopric member observes and confirms what the clerk sees and does.
This, however, is not how we do it in our ward. Because the clerk is more familiar with the MLS software he will be in front of the computer. The bishopric member will open the envelopes, count the money and verify the amounts against the Tithing and Other Offerings slip with the clerk confirming.
Once this is done the clerk will record the donations in the MLS software with the bishopric member observing and assisting. In the process of recording the donations the clerk handles the money to re-count the currency and coins and view the checks.
Both the clerk and bishopric member go to the bank together. On the way to the bank the bishopric member is the one who carries the deposit bag and then makes the deposit with the clerk observing. We do it this way because only the bishopric members have a key to the bank night deposit.
The only part in the processing donations in which the clerk may not participate is collecting or accepting donation envelopes from members. Only members of the bishopric may do that. (Exception: fasting offering donations may be collected by the Aaronic Priesthood.)
Your ward or stake may have more restrictive procedures. But that is local policy only.