Electronic reimbursements

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
scgallafent
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby scgallafent » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:00 pm

chriswoodut wrote:1. Which budget category they think this should come out of (sometimes I override)

In the few cases where we have subcategories, the organization president who forwards the email will be the one who adds this. The person requesting the expense usually doesn't know about subcategories. We only have three organizations with subcategories (Primary, Young Men, Young Women) and one or two subcategories in each. That means we only have six people (president and secretary of each organization) who know about them. That's an easy group to work with to get things right.

chriswoodut wrote:2. How much they think should be reimbursed. This is helpful if their receipt included items purchased for personal use and ward use. (sometimes we tweak it)

Sometimes they will tell us how much they think should be reimbursed. If the receipt has a mix of personal and ward items, odds are pretty good they're going to have a calculation error related to taxes, so we're still going to recalculate it to make sure they calculated the taxes correctly.

chriswoodut wrote:3. A description of the expense

This hasn't been a problem.

chriswoodut wrote:4. We also have the organization head sign it before it comes to a clerk

The email comes from the organization head, so that covers this for us.

chriswoodut wrote:How often to you get requests that are missing info and you have to go back for clarification?

It's pretty rare. Most of the time, we can resolve the question with a quick email or phone call to the auxiliary president.

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Apr 09, 2019 7:36 pm

scgallafent wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:This is 75% of what I would love to see. Thank you! However, I would love to see a workflow where the payee submits the request electronically with a digitized version of the receipts (like via LDS tools app using the phone camera). Then it would go to a clerk for review then the bishop and then payment. However, I'm doing a happy dance about the ACH. I'll take what I can get and figure out a way to digitize the receipts. Our clerks office only has a b&w lazer printer with no scanner so Office Lens sounds like a useful tool if I can transfer from my phone to the PC in an easy way.

We have been using a workflow like that for several months. The payee creates an electronic request (an email message) and attaches a digitized version of the receipts (using the phone's camera). That electronic request gets submitted to the auxiliary president (by sending the email). The auxiliary president reviews it and approves it (by forwarding the email to the finance clerk with any additional information needed). The finance clerk reviews it and then creates an expense record in LCR Finance to initiate the disbursement, attaching the digitized receipts from the original request.


In such a situation, has the bishop already approved the purchase before he sees the reimbursement request in LCR? From what another person said, the ACH goes out after the counselor reviews it and before the Bishop.

davesudweeks
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby davesudweeks » Tue Apr 09, 2019 8:47 pm

chriswoodut wrote:In such a situation, has the bishop already approved the purchase before he sees the reimbursement request in LCR? From what another person said, the ACH goes out after the counselor reviews it and before the Bishop.

If the bishop is following Handbook 1 (14.7.1, 2nd paragraph), he has already approved the expense before the reimbursement is requested. I consider marking the approved box simply a formality to document his prior approval (which can be verbal).

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Apr 09, 2019 9:08 pm

davesudweeks wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:In such a situation, has the bishop already approved the purchase before he sees the reimbursement request in LCR? From what another person said, the ACH goes out after the counselor reviews it and before the Bishop.

If the bishop is following Handbook 1 (14.7.1, 2nd paragraph), he has already approved the expense before the reimbursement is requested. I consider marking the approved box simply a formality to document his prior approval (which can be verbal).


So, most clerks guess that the approval happened? As I stated in this thread previously, I can't image clerks are going to extra steps to verify pre-approval.

eblood66
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby eblood66 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 4:23 am

chriswoodut wrote:So, most clerks guess that the approval happened? As I stated in this thread previously, I can't image clerks are going to extra steps to verify pre-approval.

For requests via email, we ask the organization president to cc it to the bishop as well as the clerk. The bishop does a quick reply to verify that he's ok with it before I enter the expense. If it's urgent I'll call or text him.

davesudweeks
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby davesudweeks » Wed Apr 10, 2019 10:39 am

chriswoodut wrote:So, most clerks guess that the approval happened? As I stated in this thread previously, I can't image clerks are going to extra steps to verify pre-approval.

I don't second-guess the bishop because I don't have stewardship over him. My role as clerk is primarily ward leader training on the tools/handbook and records accuracy. I train the bishop on his role in the process and then leave the rest up to him. The handbook says expenses must be pre-approved. Do I believe sometimes they are incurred without pre-approval? absolutely. Do I worry about it? absolutely not. Do I refuse to process a reimbursement that the bishop has approved until I determine if it was pre-approved? absolutely not.

We still route reimbursement requests through the organization president and the bishop (manually or digitally) before generating the reimbursement. Whether or not they "pre-approved" the expense is not my concern.

drepouille
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby drepouille » Wed Apr 10, 2019 2:26 pm

Our ward Primary president has not registered a bank account for direct deposits, but her husband has. If she sends me receipts for reimbursement, can I send the ACH transaction to her husband's account? Does she have to also register their account under her name?
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

russellhltn
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby russellhltn » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:04 pm

You might want to verify with her that the account is shared. Some couples keep separate accounts.

I'm also thinking there may be some record-keeping confusion if you start sending reimbursements to someone other than the requester. (It would look even stranger if the couple have different last names.) If there are two couples in the ward with the same last name, I'd think the odds of an eventual mistake increases.

Long term, I think it would be simpler/safer to ask her to set up the reimbursement account.
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murdock20m
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby murdock20m » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:07 pm

My free opinion, for what it's worth. I would reimburse in the name of the requester only. (Cleaner audit wise?) Also, as a financial clerk it has come to my attention that some married couples maintain separate bank accounts. (And get upset if their donations are recorded under their partners name.)

Your question raises a question for me. If a husband and wife use the same bank account number for donations. When the husband "opts-in" to ACH does that also automatically "opt-in" the wife also?

Back to you, Could you ask her to "opt-in" just as her husband has? Or include a note with her current paper check highlighting the advantage(s) to her by "opting-in" to ACH?

Moments later edit: Oops. I see russellhltn has already answered above. At least now you have a 2nd opinion.

murdock20m
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby murdock20m » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:25 pm

Fin Clerk here,

Having tried 3 ACH reimbursements (scanned receipts & remote 2nd approver) I think I will suggest to the Bishopric our primary workflow. It should be that immediately before or after counting, with two authorized persons present and able to log into LCR that we get as much done as possible for ACH or paper check payments. (Hopefully LCR will allow two local users to approve an ACH payment.)

My reason is that I hate to see that email go out during the week requesting expense approval when I know the Bishop and his first counselor are in front of a computer all week, very busy making a living. Some employers monitor employees computer use as well.

Of course, eventually, the Bishop will still have to do his "final" review. However, I'm hoping that can be done once a month or every few months? During his few free moments here and there?

PS: However, I've read that at the Bishops review he can delete the expense. How can that happen after the 2nd approver allows the funds to be released (paper check or ACH)?


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