Transferring Other account money to the church as a donation

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Transferring Other account money to the church as a donation

Postby rewta » Sun Jan 10, 2021 2:16 pm

I'm my ward's finance clerk. I'm trying to square away our Other accounts for 2020 and get everything to zero. One of the categories was for a church camp activity that each of the participants paid a portion of. To zero out that category I was going to divide up the remaining amount among the participants and write them each a check. However, each check ends up being trivially small (pennies). To avoid having to print out 25+ checks for pennies, I decided to reach out to each family that needs the reimbursement to see if they'd like me to write them a check or donate/transfer the amount to another category in the budget. Several have requested that I donate the funds to something like ward missionary fund, fast offerings, or humanitarian aid. Since those fall under donations there appears to be no way for me to directly transfer that money back to the church.

The options I have in mind are:

1) Write up the check to those individuals and let them know that if they wish to donate it they will have to do so themselves
2) Create expenses for those individuals and print out checks that we would include in our weekly tithing donations. This in essence would be the church getting a check from the church (making an internal transfer).

I was hoping that I could that avoid printing out a bunch of checks and just make the transfers electronically. What is the correct way to handle this? I feel like option 1 is probably the correct thing to do, but I wanted to reach out and see if there were any other options before I move ahead.

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Re: Transferring Other account money to the church as a donation

Postby russellhltn » Sun Jan 10, 2021 4:17 pm

One problem with your plan is that members can't donate to budget. They can only return unused budget funds (from an advance). Also, you have to consider how this looks to the auditor. Transferring "other" funds to supplement the budget is a big red flag.

Many here have interpreted "specific activity" to include funding the same activity the following year.

You could also look at the expenses of the camp and see if there was anything paid out of budget that you could change the categorization to the other account. This might include deposits that were paid out of budget before any funding was collected.

And last but not least, there's always supplies and equipment. The wording of the Handbook seems to have changed a bit, but it used to suggest that the other funds raised for a camp could be used to by equipment needed for that camp.

If someone is bugging you to zero the other account, perhaps you could ask them what they suggest. As long as it's not something clearly wrong (like transferring to budget, or spending it on something other then the purpose it was raised for), do that.

Other people you can consult is the stake clerk and the stake auditor.
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