The Most Common Problems Stake Finance Clerks See

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The Most Common Problems Stake Finance Clerks See


Post by stott-p40 »

1. I am my ward finance clerk and the stake finance clerk. I was stake finance clerk for several months when the ward finance clerk position came open in my ward. I told my bishop and stake president that I would be glad to take on the ward clerk position and keep my stake clerk position. Why? As you know in a lot of printed material and if you call Salt Lake for advice they will say to contact your stake fin. clerk first before calling Salt Lake. Well, since I had never been a ward finance clerk, I was very lost when ward clerks would call me and ask how to fix something. So I "volunteered" for the ward calling to get some on the job training. So if any of you stake finance clerks are inexerienced in church finances like I was, you might want to go spend a few weeks side by side with one of your best ward finance clerks and learn all the ins and outs of the calling. It has been very helpful.

2. One of the biggest problems with the wards is when the ward fin. clerk and the counselor count tithing, one will open the envelopes and verify the donations while the other enters the donations into the computer. This, of course, goes against the online training we receive that states, "The companionship principle requires two priesthood holders to be actively involved in opening the donation evelopes, counting the money, and recording the amounts in the church financial software. Having one person open evelopes and count money while the other person does something else (such as recording the donations in the computer) is not adequate." Many many times as we have opened envelopes and counted money we have spotted errors the other has made. We see errors on how the donation slip is filled out, the amount of money present, and how the check is written out. Another example is when I will be entering the amounts in the computer and the counselor will be reading off the donation slips. A couple of time I thought I clicked on Brother Jones name but I actually hit one of his kids. The counselor caught that error. Or I may accidently place the donation in tithing instead of fast offering. Catching a lot of these problems as you go will save you a lot of headaches down the road, especially at tithing settlement time.

3. Strongly advise your ward fin. clerks to balance their bank statements within a couple of weeks after they become available. One of the biggest nightmares I have is a ward that neglects balancing their statements for months. Then I as the stake fin. clerk have to go in and spend hours trying to sort things out. I want them to call me immediately if things don't balance.

4. One thing that I suggest to my ward clerks is after they have balanced the bank stakement, that they print out a copy of A- Ward Budget Report, B- Income and Expense Report Summary by Category, and C-Income and Expense Report by Subcategory. For all these reports go to customize, and enter starting date of 1 Jan and ending date of the last date of the bank statement. That way the numbers on these reports will match up with your bank statement ward missionary and other acounts ending balances. Staple these reports to the back of the statement followed by your reconciliation form (the one that the bishop signs). The reconciliation form is 2-3 pages. I place the page that the bishop signs, page 1, at the very back even though this is out of order. Then I place a sticky on the front that says to the bishop "Please review and sign the last page." This way he doesn't have to search for the page he has to sign. By having the budget report and the 2 I&E reports in this batch of papers, the bishop has a chance to review each month how each ward organization is doing.

5. And lastly, have the ward fin. clerks take turns with each counselor doing all the tasks of counting donations (including entering the info. into the computer) and the writing of checks. One of the worst things for the finance clerk is to be gone and the counselor messes up the counting of donations or the writing of checks. It is always a good idea to have several people crossed trained to do these tasks. I can go away on vacation for a few weeks and not dread coming back to a mess in my financial drawer at the ward.

Best Wishes, Alan
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