Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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It is not permissible for the payee of a check to sign it. In fact, the audit now includes that question. However, is it permissible for a financial clerk to issue and print a check in MLS to himself, even though he does not sign it. For example, if he does that, his name will be listed in the statement (LCR) as having authorized that check and there is a place for his signature on the report for that check, even though he did not sign it . After all, when you print the check, it does say "Print/Authorize" to initiate the process. Maybe it would be best if the clerk removed himself from the entire process for checks issued to himself for reimbursement.
There's not actually a place for his signature on the report, because the only required signature is the bishop's. I don't have an issue with a financial clerk processing his own reimbursement, so long as the approval and signatures on the check come from someone else. The financial clerk's role is to reduce, to the minimum necessary, the amount of time the bishopric and ward clerk have to spend on managing and overseeing finances. So long as two authorized signers are the ones actually signing the check, I don't think it matters who enters the information in the system.
On the report that is printed out after the checks are printed out does have have place for the clerks signature and initials. Also, if you view expenses in LCR, the person who is logged on to MLS when the check is issued is listed as the "Approved by" person. This is the part that bothers me.
The MLS Expense report has a clear line for the bishop's signature. In the middle of the page, just below the list of checks, there's a small line that acts as a divider with the name of the user who was logged on when the checks were issued. I consider it informational only. I don't consider that a space for signature/initials, as there is nowhere documented that indicates that user should be signing the report.
khasay wrote:On the report that is printed out after the checks are printed out does have have place for the clerks signature and initials. Also, if you view expenses in LCR, the person who is logged on to MLS when the check is issued is listed as the "Approved by" person. This is the part that bothers me.
The full signature line is specifically for the clerk to sign. Even if someone else prepares the check, the clerk should sign that line. The initials just indicate to me that they acknowledge that they were the one to prepare the checks (I've had a couple cases where we accidently did a check on someone else's login because they forgot to log out--in those cases I crossed out the printed information and corrected it).
I do not see either of those as an authorization. Those just keep a record of who did the preparation and help make sure the clerk is aware of the checks that were printed. The only authorization that is required is the bishops.
Of course, there should always be two non-payees that review the supporting documentation and sign the checks but those are more of a verification, not authorization.
Ultimately, I've never seen anything that says that a clerk cannot prepare a check written out to himself as long as the bishop approves it and 2 authorized signers beside himself sign it. I've done it multiple times and auditors have never even blinked at it.
I had this question asked of me recently: Can two Clerks, one the Ward Clerk and the other the Assistant Ward Clerk sign a check? I know the expense needs to be reviewed by the Bishop and he and a Clerk will sign the Report. But the question remains as to who can sign the check. All I get when reading is that two authorized persons can sign. thanks for any input
ssgdb wrote:Can two Clerks, one the Ward Clerk and the other the Assistant Ward Clerk sign a check?
The Handbook says that usually the bishop, his counselors, and the clerk assigned to finances are authorized to sign checks. Strictly taken, this would mean there is only one clerk available to sign the check, and a member of the bishopric would furnish the other signature.
In reality, the ward clerk and other assistant clerks are often on the signature card to assist when the regular financial clerk is not available. However, in keeping with the intent of the Handbook, our units are taught that there should never be more than one clerk signature on a check.
This seems to be in harmony with what Biggles has just posted, as well, in the way the electronic check system works.
The reference is at Handbook 1, 14.6.7, third paragraph.
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