membership audit - unfixable issue

Discuss questions around local unit policies for membership (creating records, transferring records, etc.) This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
lajackson
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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby lajackson » Wed Aug 02, 2017 12:15 pm

scgallafent wrote:There is no concept of "flagging something so that it goes away on an audit."

I agree with all you have said. The objective is to have correct records that show properly completed ordinances. And so I have a question. And I ask it because for many leaders, "audit finding", whether financial, membership, or otherwise, equals "fix it and make it go away". I agree that it should not be that way, but in reality it is that way in the life of many clerks.

So if a sealing to spouse is performed one day short of the one year mark because the temple president was authorized by the First Presidency to make that exception, or if another ordinance is performed outside of the standard timing but with appropriate priesthood approval, then the ordinance was properly performed and is valid, but the membership audit program will flag it because it was not performed in accordance with current standard time constraints.

Can those ordinances be identified in such a way that they will not appear on the annual membership audit? Should they be? Or should we just keep local records and note after each audit that the ordinances were performed with proper approval and are valid?

This is different from an ordinance performed out of sequence, or a baptism before age 8, or many other situations that cause an ordinance not to be valid. Those ordinances need to be ratified by the First Presidency or accomplished again. And normally that request to the First Presidency originates with the stake president.

But if there is not a way to identify these other minor, but approved, exceptions, I can see where it would not be productive to send a request to Church headquarters annually simply so that they can be taken off of a list of potential membership problems.

So that's my question. Should the letter be sent for an ordinance that is valid simply to make that a matter of official Church record. Or will the membership audit program still keep calling it up each time?

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby scgallafent » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:16 pm

I don't disagree with the mentality of "fix it and make it go away." That is part of the purpose of an audit. It's when it becomes "make it go away" without "fix it" that it becomes a concern. Another problem to try to avoid is "ignore it because we don't know what to do with it."

lajackson wrote:So if a sealing to spouse is performed one day short of the one year mark because the temple president was authorized by the First Presidency to make that exception, or if another ordinance is performed outside of the standard timing but with appropriate priesthood approval, then the ordinance was properly performed and is valid, but the membership audit program will flag it because it was not performed in accordance with current standard time constraints.

Even though an ordinance like this was properly performed and authorized by the First Presidency, the record appears to indicate that it is not valid. If an ordinance has been authorized or ratified by the First Presidency and that is not recorded with the ordinance, there is no way to distinguish that in the record from an ordinance that is invalid.

lajackson wrote:So that's my question. Should the letter be sent for an ordinance that is valid simply to make that a matter of official Church record. Or will the membership audit program still keep calling it up each time?

The letter should be sent for an ordinance that was validly performed so that the record can be corrected. Once the record is corrected to indicate that the First Presidency approved or ratified the ordinance, First Presidency approval is indicated on the membership record and it no longer appears as an issue on a membership audit.

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:44 pm

scgallafent wrote:I don't disagree with the mentality of "fix it and make it go away." That is part of the purpose of an audit. It's when it becomes "make it go away" without "fix it" that it becomes a concern.

Which is likely if they have no idea how to "fix it". Doing a quick search, I'm not finding any instructions in the Help Center.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby scgallafent » Thu Aug 03, 2017 2:49 pm

russellhltn wrote:I agree that's undesirable, but the instructions on what to do with it can be found .......??? <grin>

I'm not picking on you, but finding the instructions seems to be an area of the church that has had a long-standing need of improvement. This forum would be a lot quieter if everyone could find the instructions.

We talked about that yesterday. (Yes, jonesrk and I sit close to each other and occasionally talk about forum posts.) This is definitely a situation where it isn't easy to find out what to do once you've got the exception in the audit and there is probably an opportunity for improvement there.

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby russellhltn » Thu Aug 03, 2017 4:17 pm

scgallafent wrote:Yes, jonesrk and I sit close to each other and occasionally talk about forum posts.

Oh, is that why my ears burn? :lol:
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby lajackson » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:27 pm

russellhltn wrote:
scgallafent wrote:Yes, jonesrk and I sit close to each other and occasionally talk about forum posts.

Oh, is that why my ears burn? :lol:

Some of the rest of us talk about you, too. [grin]

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby lajackson » Thu Aug 03, 2017 5:30 pm

So I knew about the First Presidency ratification process. What is new to me is that a First Presidency approval can also be documented so that there is no longer an audit exception. And that is a good thing.

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby davesudweeks » Fri Aug 04, 2017 10:52 am

lajackson wrote:So I knew about the First Presidency ratification process. What is new to me is that a First Presidency approval can also be documented so that there is no longer an audit exception. And that is a good thing.


We had this happen a few years ago - a member of the bishopric was baptized a few days before he turned 8 in a stake-wide baptism many years ago. It finally triggered an audit exception which was a bit confusing at first. The Stake auditor had no idea how to fix it and neither did anyone else in our Stake. The bishopric member finally contacted someone he knew and they suggested sending a letter to the First Presidency to explain the exception. Very soon, the exception "went away" on it's own - I can only assume that the First Presidency approval drove a change to the membership record that cleared the flag on the next send/receive in MLS (this was before Leader and Clerk Resources had membership information).

At the very least, I would suggest the Stake Auditors receive training on what to do to clear audit exceptions so they can provide advise. I'm sure someone will suggest that this is a role of the Stake Clerk and I agree, but in actual practice, Stake Clerks "normally" provide little or no training or assistance to the ward. I speak from many, many years of ward clerk experience in multiple areas (several in the US, including Utah, and overseas as well) - but hopefully my experience has been atypical. On the plus side, it has helped me become more skilled as I have had to rely on my own resourcefulness to figure out problems (even though it has taken me away from my family more than I would have liked).

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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby drepouille » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:00 am

When I was a stake clerk, I traveled to each unit, and asked the ward clerk and membership clerk to run the membership audit while I watched. I was only there as a trainer and observer. It was up to them to decide if anything should be flagged as an exception. I helped them fix the obvious errors on the spot. Other problems, such as "which of these single members are actually married" I left for them to work on as time permits.
I also encouraged them to run the membership audit several times each year, just to validate their membership data and help them magnify their callings.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

davesudweeks
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Re: membership audit - unfixable issue

Postby davesudweeks » Fri Aug 04, 2017 11:02 am

drepouille wrote:When I was a stake clerk, I traveled to each unit, and asked the ward clerk and membership clerk to run the membership audit while I watched. I was only there as a trainer and observer. It was up to them to decide if anything should be flagged as an exception. I helped them fix the obvious errors on the spot. Other problems, such as "which of these single members are actually married" I left for them to work on as time permits.
I also encouraged them to run the membership audit several times each year, just to validate their membership data and help them magnify their callings.


Your ward clerks were very lucky to have you as a stake clerk.


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