Electronic reimbursements

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chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:34 pm

I noticed one person mention that they allow the payee to indicate the person to pay. I can foresee that one spouse may do donations and have the bank account setup on their LDS account. Then the second spouse has a reimbursement request and does not have a bank account setup. I'm wondering if I should suggest they put the name on the request for the person that has the bank account setup. So, a brother may get reimbursed for a YW activity expense. The system wouldn't care. I've actually seen this done with paper check reimbursements where one spouse handles the finances and requests the reimbursements even though it was the other spouse incurring the expenses.

Is there a downside to this that I'm not seeing?

russellhltn
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby russellhltn » Sun Apr 14, 2019 3:56 pm

chriswoodut wrote:Is there a downside to this that I'm not seeing?


I see a few issues:

First, if this is electronic, how is the person going to show who they want reimbursed if there's no form? And is that person going to be "named" or will it be a generic "my wife/my husband" ?

What are the risks if you have multiple couples with the same last names? For example 3 "Smith" families? How will you make sure you route it to the right "Smith" spouse, especially without a specific name from the form

How would this look when being reviewed by another person, such as an auditor? More so if the couple don't share the same last name. Then you'd have to explain that Mrs Smith is married to Mr Jones and that's the "my husband" who's to get the funds. Making sure the request spells out the full name of the person to be reimbursed would really help - if you could be assured of getting that.

None of this is a show-stopper, but I do believe it's something that you want to think about before going down that road.
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davesudweeks
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby davesudweeks » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:07 pm

I think it is wise to consider the situations and be aware of them. There may be some like my household: we have a joint bank account and my wife is "stay-at-home." Hence whether I incur the expense or she does, it comes out of the same account and whether I receive the reimbursement check or she does, it goes back to the same account. Up until now, I would have the reimbursement check go to her as it is easier for her to deposit the check into our account than it is for me. There is nothing preventing one spouse from listing the other spouse as the payee on the paper reimbursement request, so I don't see anything different going electronic, as long as it is clear.

I can envision circumstances where this is absolutely the wrong way to handle it for some individuals so caution and consideration is advised.

drepouille
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby drepouille » Sun Apr 14, 2019 4:23 pm

I have seen clerks write reimbursement checks to their wives to circumvent rules governing writing checks to themselves.
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eblood66
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby eblood66 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 5:03 pm

russellhltn wrote:First, if this is electronic, how is the person going to show who they want reimbursed if there's no form? And is that person going to be "named" or will it be a generic "my wife/my husband" ?

I'd expect that to be spelled out clearly in the email requesting reimbursement. If it's not clear, then I'd request clarification and I'd attach both emails to the expense.

russellhltn wrote:What are the risks if you have multiple couples with the same last names? For example 3 "Smith" families? How will you make sure you route it to the right "Smith" spouse, especially without a specific name from the form

My printed request form has two boxes: the name of the submitter and the name of who to pay (if different). We sometimes use this when someone (usually a bishopic member) makes an order and we're going to pay the vendor directly. But I also have a note saying that if they want the payment made to someone else's EFT account then to put their name in the 'pay to' box.

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:40 pm

russellhltn wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:Is there a downside to this that I'm not seeing?


I see a few issues:

First, if this is electronic, how is the person going to show who they want reimbursed if there's no form? And is that person going to be "named" or will it be a generic "my wife/my husband" ?

What are the risks if you have multiple couples with the same last names? For example 3 "Smith" families? How will you make sure you route it to the right "Smith" spouse, especially without a specific name from the form

How would this look when being reviewed by another person, such as an auditor? More so if the couple don't share the same last name. Then you'd have to explain that Mrs Smith is married to Mr Jones and that's the "my husband" who's to get the funds. Making sure the request spells out the full name of the person to be reimbursed would really help - if you could be assured of getting that.

None of this is a show-stopper, but I do believe it's something that you want to think about before going down that road.


I think you misunderstood my question slightly. This is a situation where I clearly know who is requesting it and who they are suggesting I pay and the email or form clearly has that spelled out. For example, a wife submits a reimbursement request that says "please reimburse through my husband's LDS account and associated bank account". The husband would be the person the expense was issued to.

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Sun Apr 14, 2019 6:45 pm

drepouille wrote:I have seen clerks write reimbursement checks to their wives to circumvent rules governing writing checks to themselves.


I believe the audit question now covers this -- asking about the entire household. The last audit we had specifically listed all the reimbursements to the bishop's name just because they had his name on them. He didn't sign any of them. The auditor suggested reimbursing his wife so that the system wouldn't flag all of these reimbursements for review. In that case, the same rule applies that the bishop shouldn't sign anything reimbursing his wife. I wonder if the new ACH method won't allow a counselor to approve his own reimbursement -- I bet it won't.

eblood66
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby eblood66 » Sun Apr 14, 2019 7:38 pm

chriswoodut wrote:I wonder if the new ACH method won't allow a counselor to approve his own reimbursement -- I bet it won't.

You'd think so and it does allow a clerk to submit (and thus approve) an expense payable to themselves. It gives a message saying that the payee shouldn't approve their own expense but it lets you submit it anyway. I got bit by this thinking that if I submitted it for myself it would either not allow it or it would then require two other approvers. But, no, it gave a warning (which at the time I didn't quite understand because of my assumptions) but accepted the expense anyway and then processed it as soon as the bishop did the approval.

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Biggles
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby Biggles » Sun Apr 14, 2019 11:14 pm

eblood66 wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:I wonder if the new ACH method won't allow a counselor to approve his own reimbursement -- I bet it won't.

You'd think so and it does allow a clerk to submit (and thus approve) an expense payable to themselves. It gives a message saying that the payee shouldn't approve their own expense but it lets you submit it anyway. I got bit by this thinking that if I submitted it for myself it would either not allow it or it would then require two other approvers. But, no, it gave a warning (which at the time I didn't quite understand because of my assumptions) but accepted the expense anyway and then processed it as soon as the bishop did the approval.

Interesting outcome. Here in the UK we started doing expenses solely in LCR last October. We haven’t been using cheques for several years.
When I prepare an reimbursement expense for myself, I get a similar message about the payee shouldn’t enter their own expense, but it does allow it. However if I try to approve it, the system won’t allow it. The reimbursement still requires two others to approve it.

kenmcalister
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby kenmcalister » Mon Apr 15, 2019 10:30 am

chriswoodut wrote:
davesudweeks wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:It sounds like you do have a step in there to have the bishop approve it even if it is not pre-approved. That was my point. It wouldn't make sense to do it the other way because chasing pre-approvals is harder than just having the bishop approve everything before entering expenses.


Yes, we have had this step in all my clerk experience (many years through multiple bishops and I had a VERY good clerk as an example when I served as branch president before that). We have not seen a need to change something that is easy to do and passes the audits. We are being cautious in the rollout for our ward, rather than risk a bunch of audit exceptions (real or invented) due to a brand new process that, in my opinion, is not documented well enough to be crystal clear to everyone involved (including the stake auditors).


I've been concerned as well about the audit. We've had perfect scores the last two times -- can't risk ruining our track record. We're going to follow our existing procedures as well but I am going to try dropping the paper form. There's a chance that may get added back (scanned version) if the Bishop requests it as part of the expense entry. I'm kind of surprised at the lack of direction from our stake.

The lack of direction from your stake is because the stake was given NO direction either. I am a stake fin clerk and am upset with the way this system was rolled out with NO DIRECTION or TRAINING! And I just found out yesterday with a clerk asking questions.


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