drepouille wrote:Our stake president has directed all units in the stake to maintain only a 90-day balance in their missionary funds, and send all excess to the stake for redistribution to other units and possible transfer to the general missionary fund. One bishop asked about those missionaries who have paid in advance, so their personal subcategory balance makes it look like the ward has excess funds. The stake president said in that case, all he needs is an explanatory note from the bishop.
That fits our stake's standard practice, and also specific requests we have received from our area leaders when they have noticed that our stake's aggregate ward missionary balance exceeds three months per missionary.
drepouille wrote:The first question in my mind is the tax question about donating to a specific missionary. Once a donation is made, the donor (even if he is donating for his own mission expenses) technically loses control of those funds, and the Church can use them however it likes.
As you can read in earlier posts in this topic, no one is "donating to a specific missionary." They are donating to the Church, and they have no ability to request the funds back once they are donated. Since a missionary at the time of his application does make a commitment as to where support will come from, the tracking of missionary donations by subcategory is done simply to help keep track of how the funding is being supplied.
drepouille wrote:My second question pertains to receipts. During the audit, what sort of receipt should be attached to a check stub for transfers from a ward to a stake, or from any unit to any other unit? Nothing was purchased, but money was transferred between units. What will the auditor look for?
Just like any other expense, the auditor looks for an invoice or receipt. In this case, there will generally be a letter from the stake president to the bishop saying something like "Your ward has a surplus of $2500 in your ward missionary fund. Please remit that amount by check made payable to the stake." That letter is perfectly sufficient for audit purposes. Or if the request was not made by letter or equivalent, the stake can send a receipt to the ward after the funds are received. That works just as well.
drepouille wrote:My third question is whether such transfers may be done without writing a check. Can a stake transfer funds from a ward missionary fund to the stake missionary fund without asking the ward to write a check?
No (at least in the US -- in some countries there is a way to transfer funds between units without writing a check).