New Local Unit Financial Statement

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
jbh001
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Postby jbh001 » Tue Jul 28, 2009 8:17 pm

1. On the old statement, all cleared checks were listed together in numerical sequence regardless of category, making reconciliation easy. The new statement re-groups them by category, making the current MLS reconciliation process more cumbersome.

2. As mentioned by others, reconciling deposited batches will also become more cumbersome on the new statement because of the way the batch is now re-grouped by sub category.

Unless the changes on the new statement reflect updates to the way MLS will handle the reconciliation process, or they reflect some future Web-based method of handling/recording/reconciling local unit finances, the new statement makes the current reconciliation process more cumbersome and confusing.

The initial summary page is an exception to this: it is wonderfully simple yet effective, and matches up to the first step of the MLS reconciliation page clearly and cleanly (except for the omission of the monthly earned interest).

heyring
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Postby heyring » Tue Aug 04, 2009 9:06 pm

Your new statement mentioned below looks great!


DJC wrote:A new Church Financial Statement is being created to be used with a new backend system for local unit finances. We would like to see if any leaders or clerks have any input into this mock up of a new statement. Please add any constructive criticism or praise to this thread. The information in this is not real data. :)

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Wed Aug 05, 2009 4:54 pm

I'll echo what most others have said, in that this format seems to be much more pleasing to the eye, but that it will make reconciliation much more difficult. I would definitely suggest that the reconciliation process be taken into consideration.

Also, the different major sections do not seem to be delineated very clearly, especially when the section boundary is on a page break. The "thick" and "thin" line use seems a bit mixed up. I don't have a good solution for that one.

In all, a very nice looking report. It'll use much more paper, but that may be the sacrifice we have to make.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Aug 05, 2009 5:43 pm

oregonmatt wrote:Also, the different major sections do not seem to be delineated very clearly, especially when the section boundary is on a page break. The "thick" and "thin" line use seems a bit mixed up. I don't have a good solution for that one.


I'm having a hard time seeing what you are talking about here. There are thick lines betwen each section, and thin lines between each transaction. That is as it should be, in my opinion. Could you give a specific example of where it is "a bit mixed up"?

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Thu Aug 06, 2009 10:42 am

Alan_Brown wrote:I'm having a hard time seeing what you are talking about here. There are thick lines betwen each section, and thin lines between each transaction. That is as it should be, in my opinion. Could you give a specific example of where it is "a bit mixed up"?


Looking at it again, I guess the only place where there should probably have been a thick line instead of a thin one is on page 2, right before "Detail".

As I re-examined this, however, I realized that the biggest problem my brain had in quickly skimming the document was the large header on each page. The brain has to parse out the header. Since the data is spread out over many more pages than before, some of the spacing (the top of page 4, for example) makes you ignore important section changes. The page breaks seem to come at very inopportune times (like page 4 to 5) and the header really gets in the way of correct interpretation.

Is such a large header necessary? It might be good if the secondary page header was eliminated. (It would certainly help save paper.) If not eliminated, I believe it should be abbreviated even more, perhaps eliminating the logo from each page and visually separating the header in a consistent way so that the brain can correctly ignore it.

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Thu Aug 06, 2009 11:07 am

oregonmatt wrote:Looking at it again, I guess the only place where there should probably have been a thick line instead of a thin one is on page 2, right before "Detail".


Thanks for the detail. I can see what you mean -- in that case, it's a major division that deserves a thick line.

oregonmatt wrote:As I re-examined this, however, I realized that the biggest problem my brain had in quickly skimming the document was the large header on each page. The brain has to parse out the header. Since the data is spread out over many more pages than before, some of the spacing (the top of page 4, for example) makes you ignore important section changes. The page breaks seem to come at very inopportune times (like page 4 to 5) and the header really gets in the way of correct interpretation.

Is such a large header necessary? It might be good if the secondary page header was eliminated. (It would certainly help save paper.) If not eliminated, I believe it should be abbreviated even more, perhaps eliminating the logo from each page and visually separating the header in a consistent way so that the brain can correctly ignore it.


I see what you mean. For example, on page 4, the heading "Expense" is tucked up next to the header, quite a distance from the data it is connected with, so it makes it easy to miss that heading. I agree that it would be nice to abbreviate or eliminate headers on pages after the first page.

It seems helpful to have something on each page to specify the report, so that if the pages get separated somehow, they can be easily reassembled. But that could be accomplished in an abbreviated footer, where it would say something like "<unit name> Financial Statement for 1 May 2009 - 31 May 2009". That should fit all to the left of the page number, which is already there, and thus would not take any extra space.

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mfmohlma
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Postby mfmohlma » Thu Aug 06, 2009 1:25 pm

Alan_Brown wrote: It seems helpful to have something on each page to specify the report, so that if the pages get separated somehow, they can be easily reassembled. But that could be accomplished in an abbreviated footer, where it would say something like "<unit name> Financial Statement for 1 May 2009 - 31 May 2009". That should fit all to the left of the page number, which is already there, and thus would not take any extra space.


I think this is a great idea. A consistent one-liner would be good for identification, but not obtrusive enough to have to consciously ignore.

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Postby nutterb » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:47 am

Perhaps I just have the rare luck of having an exceptional financial clerk, but in our ward we find the summary report of the current CUFS to be sufficient for reconciliation. On average, with the CUFS summary report, it takes between 7 - 10 minutes for us to complete our monthly reconciliation. Part of that is due to the fact that the information is so concisely and precisely contained in just those two pages.

I like a lot of the features on this new report, but I'd prefer that it be part of the detailed report and the summary report be left untouched.

By the way, is graphing of financial data ever going to be a feature in MLS?


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