Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

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benbenavides85
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Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#1

Post by benbenavides85 »

A couple of issues arose from a recent audit. Our Bishop was cautioned on any checks being written to himself or his wife. 1. Should his wife's reimbursement be treated any differently than that of any other member? As long as she obtains the approval of the organizational president and the Bishop is that not the proper process? 2. The Bishop prepays for vouchers to our local food bank to be distributed to members. He makes a copy of the voucher to include as a receipt, distributes the voucher to the member, and then requests the reimbursement. As he is not receiving welfare assistance we determined in the past that this would not violate any church principles. The auditors told the Bishop there was concern any time he received a check without authorization from the Stake President.
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aebrown
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#2

Post by aebrown »

benbenavides85 wrote:As he is not receiving welfare assistance we determined in the past that this would not violate any church principles. The auditors told the Bishop there was concern any time he received a check without authorization from the Stake President.
Your auditors are not reading the audit instructions properly. The audit instructions are quite clear that only fast-offering assistance to the bishop or his immediate family requires the additional approval from the stake president.

I'd recommend that you bring this to the attention of the audit committee chairman.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#3

Post by gregwanderson »

...but the "paper trail" shows that the Bishop received a check that came from Fast Offering funds. So, at first glance, it looks like the Bishop is the one receiving the Fast Offering Assistance. Are you able to clearly show the recipient's name in the "purpose" of the check or does the Bishop keep a supply of these vouchers on hand and, therefor, the specific recipient isn't easily determined when writing the check?
benbenavides85
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#4

Post by benbenavides85 »

The recipient, member receiving the voucher, is shown in the purpose field when the check is being made to the Bishop.
RossEvans
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#5

Post by RossEvans »

benbenavides85 wrote:The recipient, member receiving the voucher, is shown in the purpose field when the check is being made to the Bishop.
If the category of the check is correctly set to one of the Fast Offering subcategories (in this case Food), there will be an additional field on the MLS check screen to fill in, which is the recipient. This should be the name of the member receiving the assistance.
jasonfitt
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#6

Post by jasonfitt »

Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but you only need to get authorization from the stake president if the bishop is listed as the recipient, not the payee. If I'm not mistaken the paperwork that prints out after you process a fast offering check should show who the recipient is, and who the payee is. At first glance it should be obvious.

We recently had an audit and our bishop has also paid out of pocket for fast offering expenses, such as a utility bill, and he was rembursed from the fast offering funds. The auditor didn't see any problems with this as long as we povided documentation the bishop paid the utility company directly, and the member was listed as the recipient and not the bishop.
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gregwanderson
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#7

Post by gregwanderson »

jasonfitt wrote:Somebody can correct me if I'm wrong, but...
As far as I can tell, you are not wrong. The auditor should be able to figure this out.
jsberrueto
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Re: Audit Issues Regarding Reimbursements to Bishops

#8

Post by jsberrueto »

Neither the handbook of instructions nor the audit instructions state that the Bishop cannot receive a reimbursement for an expense he made, whether fast offerings, office, or an auxiliary organization. However, what I recommend is, follow the instruction of your Stake President. Perhaps the Stake President wants to avoid the Stake Bishops to become targets of suspicion and it's all to protect them. If that's the case, I would listen to my Stake President.
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