End of year best practices?

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
chriswoodut
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Location: Utah

End of year best practices?

Postby chriswoodut » Tue Dec 24, 2019 9:42 am

I've noticed there are a few things that are really good to do before the end of the year that aren't necessarily spelled out in handbooks, etc. I'd like to build a list -- what do you make sure you've done at the end of each year to get ready for the next?

In December:

- I've learned to make sure to request all reimbursements so that I can have them done before Dec 31. If I process them in January, they show up deducted on the next year's budget which throws off the budgeting process for the next year in MLS/LCR.

- Make sure there aren't any expenses that need to change categories. If you edit an expense in the new year and change anything (even just the category), it gets flagged as a new year budget expense and deducted from the new year's budget. This popped up last year when I noticed there was extra money in the OTHER Camp account that should have been consumed by an expense and I edited a previous year expense in January and then realized that was not the right approach when my new year budget was affected.

In January:

- Shred financial documents that are outside of the required archiving window. The United States is current year plus 3 years. https://tech.churchofjesuschrist.org/wiki/Record_retention

- Official items such as submit tithing declaration report by January 15 and tax statements by January 31.


What would you add to the list?

chriswoodut
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Utah

Re: End of year best practices?

Postby chriswoodut » Sat Dec 28, 2019 10:34 am

Another task:

Before Dec 31, review missionary balances. For any returned missionaries, occasionally a family/person may have donated one too many payments into a missionary account and there's a positive balance at the end of the year.

The handbook says excess funds should go to the ward/general missionary fund and not refunded. However, according to a phone call I had with HQ, a donation can be switched by a clerk from a missionary category to a tithing donation (or other) if it's done in the same calendar year.

Last, I don't always trust a positive balance as an indication of over payment. I have seen situations, which are unclear to me why, that HQ only pulled 23 months of funds but the missionary served a full 24 months (for an Elder). In that case, I do not treat it as an over payment.

cchang
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Re: End of year best practices?

Postby cchang » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:28 am

Does expense reimbursements that get submitted and generated in 2019 count against the 2019 budget even if it’s deposited or cashed in 2020? I usually try to put some budget allocation for these carryovers into 2020 since they still count towards the 2020 budget when it is actually cleared.

eblood66
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Re: End of year best practices?

Postby eblood66 » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:58 am

cchang wrote:Does expense reimbursements that get submitted and generated in 2019 count against the 2019 budget even if it’s deposited or cashed in 2020? I usually try to put some budget allocation for these carryovers into 2020 since they still count towards the 2020 budget when it is actually cleared.

If the expense is entered in 2019 then it applies to the 2019 budget even if it isn't cleared until 2020. But in my experience there are usually a few people who forget to request their reimbursement until after the new year so I use a 'Previous Year Expenses' category and allocate at at least a portion of the budget carryover so that these reimbursements don't show up in the budget reports for the next year.

chriswoodut
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Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Utah

Re: End of year best practices?

Postby chriswoodut » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:59 am

cchang wrote:Does expense reimbursements that get submitted and generated in 2019 count against the 2019 budget even if it’s deposited or cashed in 2020? I usually try to put some budget allocation for these carryovers into 2020 since they still count towards the 2020 budget when it is actually cleared.


My experience is that it is driven by the entry date of the expense, not when it is cashed.

Things I've run into:
- If you have someone that hasn't cashed a check that was issued in 2019 and in 2020 says it is lost and you have to issue a new check -- that check will come out of the 2020 budget.

- Editing a 2019 expense in 2020 will change the date on it and that will change which budget year gets affected.

chriswoodut
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Posts: 355
Joined: Mon Jul 25, 2011 8:42 am
Location: Utah

Re: End of year best practices?

Postby chriswoodut » Sat Dec 28, 2019 11:59 am

eblood66 wrote:
cchang wrote:Does expense reimbursements that get submitted and generated in 2019 count against the 2019 budget even if it’s deposited or cashed in 2020? I usually try to put some budget allocation for these carryovers into 2020 since they still count towards the 2020 budget when it is actually cleared.

If the expense is entered in 2019 then it applies to the 2019 budget even if it isn't cleared until 2020. But in my experience there are usually a few people who forget to request their reimbursement until after the new year so I use a 'Previous Year Expenses' category and allocate at at least a portion of the budget carryover so that these reimbursements don't show up in the budget reports for the next year.


Good idea to have a 'previous year expense' category. That avoids having to artificially increase the budget numbers to offset the late expense.

russellhltn
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Re: End of year best practices?

Postby russellhltn » Sat Dec 28, 2019 12:14 pm

Generally, I'd say clean up/zero-out/deactivate unneeded categories.
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