Electronic reimbursements

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
eblood66
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby eblood66 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:37 pm

drepouille wrote: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?

I wouldn't do it without checking with them. But I have some couples where I already know that I should just use the one setup if the other requests a reimbursement. I've also added a line on our reimbursement form so they can tell me if they want it deposited using another person's account.

drepouille wrote:Does she have to also register their account under her name?

Yes, to link the expense to her record she would have to register it under her LDS account as well.

eblood66
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby eblood66 » Wed Apr 10, 2019 3:39 pm

murdock20m wrote: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?

No, they have to each do it on their own LDS account.

drepouille
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby drepouille » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:53 pm

OK, I entered four Fast Offering expenses, and will ask my assistant to print those checks on Sunday. I also entered two ACH expenses for Primary, and those have already been approved by the bishop for payment.

All from the comfort of my recliner at home!
This is going to change financial audits forever.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska

Tbrewster
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby Tbrewster » Wed Apr 10, 2019 6:57 pm

As a ward we have been able to begin positing and approving expenses except for one expense that was written to the bishop. As counselors and ward clerks we have not been able to approve the expense for him.

How can we approve expenses/reimbursements that are written to the bishop?

jdlessley
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby jdlessley » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:03 pm

I assume the stake president will be the approval authority for that expense.
JD Lessley
Have you tried finding your answer on the ChurchofJesusChrist.org Help Center?

russellhltn
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby russellhltn » Wed Apr 10, 2019 7:30 pm

jdlessley wrote:I assume the stake president will be the approval authority for that expense.

If it was a Fast Offering expense, yes. But I don't think that applies to regular expenses.

The Help Center says "It is not recommended that a leader be an approver for his own reimbursement or expense, but it is allowed for unusual situations."
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.

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:01 pm

davesudweeks wrote:
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.


It sounds like you do have a step in there to have the bishop approve it even if it is not pre-approved. That was my point. It wouldn't make sense to do it the other way because chasing pre-approvals is harder than just having the bishop approve everything before entering expenses.

davesudweeks
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby davesudweeks » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:10 pm

chriswoodut wrote:It sounds like you do have a step in there to have the bishop approve it even if it is not pre-approved. That was my point. It wouldn't make sense to do it the other way because chasing pre-approvals is harder than just having the bishop approve everything before entering expenses.


Yes, we have had this step in all my clerk experience (many years through multiple bishops and I had a VERY good clerk as an example when I served as branch president before that). We have not seen a need to change something that is easy to do and passes the audits. We are being cautious in the rollout for our ward, rather than risk a bunch of audit exceptions (real or invented) due to a brand new process that, in my opinion, is not documented well enough to be crystal clear to everyone involved (including the stake auditors).

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:12 pm

murdock20m wrote: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)?


I see the Bishop's final review as an electronic version of the paper report/document he used to sign after the checks were written and the transmission happened. Waiting months for the bishop to review seems long to me. The system is going to send emails to him saying he needs to review it so he will get nagged if he ignores it. I agree it would be a mess for the bishop to delete a request at the verification step because the ACH/paper check is already completed as you pointed out. Hopefully that isn't the case.

I wouldn't worry about them seeing requests for reviews during the week. That's their choice when to look at it.

I did call HQ about whether the ACH really does go out before the bishop's review. Initially the person said no but then checked with his supervisor and said yes, it does go out before the Bishop's review. The bishop's review is not an authorization.

chriswoodut
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Re: Electronic reimbursements

Postby chriswoodut » Fri Apr 12, 2019 8:16 pm

davesudweeks wrote:
chriswoodut wrote:It sounds like you do have a step in there to have the bishop approve it even if it is not pre-approved. That was my point. It wouldn't make sense to do it the other way because chasing pre-approvals is harder than just having the bishop approve everything before entering expenses.


Yes, we have had this step in all my clerk experience (many years through multiple bishops and I had a VERY good clerk as an example when I served as branch president before that). We have not seen a need to change something that is easy to do and passes the audits. We are being cautious in the rollout for our ward, rather than risk a bunch of audit exceptions (real or invented) due to a brand new process that, in my opinion, is not documented well enough to be crystal clear to everyone involved (including the stake auditors).


I've been concerned as well about the audit. We've had perfect scores the last two times -- can't risk ruining our track record. We're going to follow our existing procedures as well but I am going to try dropping the paper form. There's a chance that may get added back (scanned version) if the Bishop requests it as part of the expense entry. I'm kind of surprised at the lack of direction from our stake.


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