The first place to look to understand the bishop's responsibility for the Lord's funds is in the Handbook. Simply put, the bishop is ultimately responsible for the collection, distribution and management of those funds. So when the bishop approves expenses/payments he should follow Church policies and procedures as well as being guided by personal revelation in carrying out those responsibilities. Those policies and procedures as established in the Handbook and policy letters are reflected in MLS programming and in audit checklists. The minimum demonstration of approval is reflected in the bishop's signature on at least one of the required documents. The audit checklist has this to say:ckmcdonald wrote:One other question. What does "Bishop's Approval" mean? Does it mean he glanced at it, doesn't necessarily know if the expense is needed/appropriate but signs to take responsibility? Or, does it mean he understands clearly what the expense is for and knows that it is both needed and appropriate? If the latter, I disagree with a 30 second estimate.
The level of scrutiny detail the bishop must make before he signs one or more of those documents beyond checking for the required documents is left to personal revelation, experience, and possibly, instruction from higher priesthood leadership.16. Did the bishop approve all payments?
Look at the payment documents. Make sure the bishop has approved the payments by signing at least one of the following: invoice, bill, receipt, or payment request. The bishop's signature on the MLS Detail Expense Report is adequate proof of his approval.
The ward clerk or the ward clerk for finances, if one is called, has the responsibility to assist the bishop in managing the Lord's funds. When the clerk magnifies his calling and scrutinizes each expense and reimbursement request as though the bishop or the Lord Himself was doing so then the bishop's signature is all that is needed to finalize that approval. The bishop decides the level of scrutiny he must make before signing the approval.
How many seconds does the bishop want to take to review documents? How must trust does he have in his clerks reviewing payment requests before he sees them? How much trust does he have in auxiliary leaders who submit, or at least authorize, most budget payment requests? For my bishop there is considerable trust since each clerk and auxiliary leader was call by God. As long as each clerk and leader magnifies their calling then the policies and procedures, if followed, provide adequate checks for human error.
I counselled with my bishop after my last post in this thread. We discussed the on-line distribution center orders and how those were to be handled. After looking at the requirement for the bishop's signature on at least one of the documents, and one of those may be the MLS Detail Expense Report, he agreed to at least initialling the distribution center invoice packing slip. He felt that since all unit DC orders are delivered to his home address he has a good handle on what is happening and that any improper spending or misappropriation could be easily spotted. If required, any items he did not want to approve could be sent back and refunded.