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Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:30 pm
by nathangg
Is there guidance regarding driving in the same car or not when making bank deposits?

On this page we read:
Deposit the money at the bank. A member of the bishopric deposits the donations. He should be accompanied by another Melchizedek Priesthood holder, usually a clerk. Where possible, use a bank with a 24-hour deposit box, and deposit the money on the same day it was collected, counted, and recorded. At the bank, both priesthood holders should witness the deposit being made.


To me it seems that that means the member of the bishopric and the MP holder should ride in the same car... but maybe I'm interpreting it too strictly and instead driving in separate cars is sufficient as long as the deposit is witnessed by both priesthood holders?

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Mon Dec 07, 2015 5:57 pm
by aebrown
The word "accompanied" seems pretty clear to me. I don't see how you can meet that requirement in separate cars. I've made hundreds of deposits, and never thought that anything but going together in the same car could be acceptable.

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 7:03 pm
by dheilner
Our bank that we travel to for deposits is not a quick drive. We live 30 minutes away from the church anyways and so everything is far. So we have generally taken separate cars. My companion and I don't lose sight of each other and both physically go inside the bank to make the deposit. It's an interpretation of accompanied, but has been regular practice for years and years, even before me. Don't want to step outside of policy though and am curious as to whether this is acceptable.

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Sun Dec 20, 2015 9:59 pm
by tubaloth
Our church, our ward and the bank are kind of all in different directions. Not super far apart. We have already done two cards. The stake audit has always said that was fine. Honestly as we have gotten to the bank we have seen others in the same car. Seems like people kind of interpret things to what suits their needs

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Mon Dec 21, 2015 6:53 pm
by jdlessley
The companionship principle is similar in concept to the legal principle of chain of custody. The idea is that the companion without the deposit bag can see any actions taken by the companion with the deposit bag and therefore testify with surety the bag has not been tampered with prior to being deposited at the bank. This is how it was explained by my area auditor in our financial auditor training session back in 2005.

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Tue Dec 22, 2015 8:26 am
by rsidwell
JDLessley's explanation is my understanding as well. If circumstances prevent both people from having sight of the bag until it is deposited (e.g., same-day deposit is not possible or logistics prevent traveling in the same vehicle), they should write down the serial number from the bag before separating, then at the bank compare the serial numbers and examine the bag for tampering before depositing. I don't think everyone does this or that policy requires it, but it's a good practice.

Re: Companionship Principle when making bank deposits

Posted: Thu Dec 24, 2015 1:50 am
by sbradshaw
Handbook 1, 14.6.3 has a few paragraphs about what to do if the bank isn't open on Sunday – the procedure involves one person taking the deposit bag and depositing it the next day, with a follow-up as companions the next week to make sure the deposit records match. That's an example of the companionship principle being flexible (that said, it's the only exception written in the handbook).