Quarterly Report months

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lajackson
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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby lajackson » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:15 pm

knealewj wrote:My preference would be to make the quarterly reporting months February, May, August, November. This would be the most accurate reflection of who regularly attends meetings in each ward, as well as reducing the burden at other key times, such as tithing settlement, histories, Christmas & holidays, etc.

It's all relative, and perhaps this would be more accurate in your corner of the vineyard. I imagine that there will not be a solution that will be good for everyone.

For example, using this suggestion, we would lose budget money and would not have created our most recent ward. Hardly anyone is here in May and August, and many are gone the third week and a whole lot more are gone the fourth week of November.

I am sure some careful thought has been given to the months selected. And the process suggested earlier in this topic is correct for those who desire to report in different months. Your priesthood leaders recommend changes to their priesthood leaders, and so on, up the line of authority to those who make the actual decisions. It is a marvelous process to behold.

genman
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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby genman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:23 pm

lajackson wrote:Hardly anyone is here in May and August.

Sounds like a university ward. Don't you have the same problem, though, for the current quarterly reports for June and December?

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby lajackson » Mon Jan 14, 2013 7:32 pm

genman wrote:
lajackson wrote:Hardly anyone is here in May and August.

Sounds like a university ward. Don't you have the same problem, though, for the current quarterly reports for June and December?

It is not a university ward.

We would be trading one bad summer month of June for two in May and August. November would be a little bit worse than December, but not much.

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby genman » Mon Jan 14, 2013 9:46 pm

Of the current Quarterly Report months of (Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec), the only one that is problematic from my perspective is Dec. Would be nice to not have Dec be a quarterly report month. Sounds like there is almost universal consensus on that much. Our Australian brother, knealewj, suggested Feb/May/Aug/Nov as an alternative to consider. For those in the northern hemisphere whose wards dwindle in the summer months, lajackson pointed out that May/Aug is problematic.

Another permutation to consider is Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct. One issue with those months would be Apr and Oct General Conference. However, that's probably not a big deal. Because the quarterly report, for example, reports average sacrament meeting attendance for the month. If the Quarterly Report was in Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct, then the attendance numbers would just include one less Sunday in Apr and Oct. Should not be a big problem. We already live with the fact that the Quarterly Report months can have an inconsistent 4 or 5 Sundays in them. If the report was moved to Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct, then they would have 3 or 4 Sundays in them in Apr and Oct, since we would not be counting Conference Sunday in any of the numbers.

Other than the General Conference concern, which does not seem like a show stopper, does anyone see a potential problem with a Quarterly Report month change to be moved to Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct?

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 15, 2013 8:48 am

genman wrote:. . . does anyone see a potential problem with a Quarterly Report month change to be moved to Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct?

In our case, the July vacation month would simply replace the December vacation month. Other than that, it would not make much difference here.

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby genman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 9:22 am

lajackson wrote:In our case, the July vacation month would simply replace the December vacation month. Other than that, it would not make much difference here.

By "not make much difference", do you mean it is not better nor worse than the current months? Not sure I understand. In comparing the current set of Mar/Jun/Sep/Dec with a potential change to Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct, the month of Jul would replace the vacation month of Jun as the summer vacation month (in the northern hemisphere). Is Jun not a vacation month for your unit?

Some of the benefits of changing Dec to Oct is that it avoids the Dec vacation month, it avoids the year end tithing settlement period that is busy for clerks, and it avoids the Quarterly Report bug that mis-counts the number of children when the report is filed in the first week of January for the previous month in the previous year. There are lots of reasons why avoiding Dec for Quarterly Reporting would be beneficial. I can't think of a single substantive reason (other than Oct Conference discussed above) why using Dec for the Quarterly Report is a plus. Maybe I am missing something.

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby aebrown » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:06 pm

genman wrote:I can't think of a single substantive reason (other than Oct Conference discussed above) why using Dec for the Quarterly Report is a plus. Maybe I am missing something.

One obvious substantive reason is that the current reporting months are already implemented. Any change will have costs in making the change to all systems that are involved in submitting and processing quarterly reports, as well as systems that depend on quarterly reports (certainly the budget allowance program, and who knows how many other internal systems), as well as associated documentation and transitional communications.

I'm not saying that the cost of making the change is prohibitive (I have no idea what it would actually be), but it is certainly not insignificant, and so the benefits going forward would have to be deemed to be worth more than that cost.

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby lajackson » Tue Jan 15, 2013 12:11 pm

genman wrote:By "not make much difference", do you mean it is not better nor worse than the current months?

Over the course of the year, the results would be about the same here either way.

I understand the December attendance concerns. As for it being a busy month, tithing settlement is supported here by a different set of folks than quarterly reporting, other than the bishop, who would review the quarterly report in early January and then the tithing report later in the month (if he chooses to wait that long).

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby genman » Tue Jan 15, 2013 1:42 pm

lajackson wrote:As for it being a busy month, tithing settlement is supported here by a different set of folks than quarterly reporting

There are other things that happen at the beginning of the year that seem to require some effort, such as all of the Primary and Sunday School classes switch over. If there are merged or combined classes, that's usually when they change all of that, with the start of the new year, which requires some touch labor in MLS. Calendars are finalized for the new year, which in some cases requires some effort by some of the same people who would be involved in the Quarterly Report numbers. It just seems like a busy time, in general.

However, just thinking through how it would work if the Quarterly report months were changed to Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct.... Not sure how to handle attendance rolls for Primary etc. Typically you print out a new roll at the beginning of a quarter, then after the Quarterly Report month is done collect all of the rolls to use for the report. Then print out new rolls for the next quarter. But that would no longer work that way. I think the printing of the rolls would still need to be done at the beginning of Jan/Apr/Jul/Oct as is currently done, but the collection of numbers would just be for the first month of the quarter, and give back the roll to complete attendance for the remaining months of the quarter. That may make some organizations feel like there's no need to keep attendance after the first month of the quarter. Not a whole lot different than current practice, though, of just using numbers for one of the months of the quarter. But at least you turn in the attendance roll sheet after filling it out, which feels like someone is looking at all of it.

That alone may be reason enough to leave it as is.

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Re: Quarterly Report months

Postby johnshaw » Wed Jan 16, 2013 6:39 am

Why do we need to change counting months? It seems the easiest thing, to me, is to keep the way it is done now with reporting months, but to average counts across the whole quarter. This provides a larger sample with which to draw the average and helps smooth a larger or smaller than average attendance that can draw down the number.

You could average an average, or pick the best month of the quarter to report as well. There are simple tweaks that would make the process better.

Personally, I'm more concerned with Stakes that tend to be out of the 'Wasatch Corridor' where we spend significantly more money on activities than is required in other areas. A scout trip, or Girls Camp can be significantly more expensive when dozens of cheap, purpose-built camps are not available. Temple Trips for many wards take significant funds out of the Budget where that isn't the case in some areas.

I can't think of a system that would make it 'fair' and I think trying to make it so would cause more grief and effort than keeping it the way it is now. I do suggest, however, that there is a disparity and it can be significant in some cases.
“A long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom.”
― Thomas Paine, Common Sense


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