LCR Check approvals

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daveywest
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LCR Check approvals

#1

Post by daveywest »

I know these forums aren't monitored by Church leaders, but I'm hoping someone can explain the rationalization of some enforced "rules" since the migration of check printing to LCR.

As a clerk, I (asst. finance clerk) can enter a check without attached receipts and print the paper check. The ward clerk and I can then both sign the check.

However, if I attach any receipts in LCR, the check can't even be printed until authorized by a member of the bishopric. It makes no sense that when documentation is attached, it becomes more difficult to print the check. This discourages the ideal that all expenses have attached documentation. Asst. Finance clerk and ward clerk are both authorized check signers, so why can't that combo authorize a check for printing?
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kd7mha
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#2

Post by kd7mha »

I thought that a member of the bishopric was always supposed to be one of the signers of checks
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davesudweeks
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#3

Post by davesudweeks »

When I served as clerk, two clerks signing the check would have been an Audit exception. Also, not having the receipts for the expense was also an audit exception. I used to have to regularly remind the bishopric that I was happy to print the check once the receipts were provided (or the "lost receipt" process was followed). But it has been a few years since I served as a clerk or in the bishopric so the requirements may have changed.
russellhltn
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#4

Post by russellhltn »

I think what you're seeing is more rigorous enforcement of policy. I question if it's proper for two clerks to sign the check. I can't find anything definitive, but General Handbook 34.6.7 says:
Usually the bishop, his counselors, and the clerk assigned to finances are authorized to sign checks for the ward account. An authorized check signer should not sign a check if he is the payee or the fast-offering beneficiary.

Although counselors may be authorized to sign checks, they should not do so unless the stake president or bishop has approved the expenditure.
If you stuck to that list, you wouldn't have two authorized clerks. I realize this is at odds with the Help Center article which lists Ward Clerk and Assistant Ward Clerk as well.

Also, all expenses must be approved by the bishop at some point.

Although I can't find anything now, that is my memory from the past - that you couldn't have two clerks signing checks. The developers don't make up the "business rules" for LCR. It's handed down to them by the same people who write the policy.
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jdlessley
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#5

Post by jdlessley »

kd7mha wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:41 pm I thought that a member of the bishopric was always supposed to be one of the signers of checks

That is correct. The Help Center article, Record Expenses and Reimbursements, states: "Two authorized leaders must approve each expense; one of them must be a member of the stake presidency or bishopric." Having two clerks sign a check is not proper procedure. LCR enforces this requirement.
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eblood66
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#6

Post by eblood66 »

daveywest wrote: Sun Aug 29, 2021 12:34 pmHowever, if I attach any receipts in LCR, the check can't even be printed until authorized by a member of the bishopric. It makes no sense that when documentation is attached, it becomes more difficult to print the check. This discourages the ideal that all expenses have attached documentation.
Others have addressed whether it appropriate to have two clerks sign a check. As for needing the receipts to be approved before printing the check, I think the idea is that if the receipts are online then they may not be printed at all so the documentation needs to be reviewed and approved before printing. And if they are approved online then the check signers do not need to review the documentation. The problem here is that there isn't anything on the check itself to indicate that the documentation was already approved so the signers needs to know or verify online that the documentation was approved. It would be nice if it listed the approvers on the check stub.

Since that workflow isn't always convenient especially for checks that are needed quickly, I tend to print the checks without uploading documentation, attach the physical documentation to the check for the signers to review and then upload the documentation after the check is signed so the documentation is available online for the audit.
BrianEdwards
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#7

Post by BrianEdwards »

jdessley, two questions about your post:
1) For me, the link you provide simply re-directs to this forum post, perhaps you copy/pasted wrong. This should be the correct link for Record Expenses and Reimbursements
2) I thought that expense approval was technically different than check signing? And since approval can (and per the instructions, should) occur before the expense in incurred, couldn't the check payment simply be signed by two authorized clerks, when they see the expense has already been approved?
We always have a member of the Bishopric be one of the check signers, but now I'm wondering if this is always necessary or just tradition.
jgoggan
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#8

Post by jgoggan »

So, I feel like this got off-track a bit from the original intent. Lots of discussion about who is allowed to sign the checks -- and I agree that at least one needs to be a Bishopric member. However, I think the main point that OP was making is still valid and is an issue. I came to the forum today to look for someone talking about exactly this or ask it myself.

The issue is that if we go to electronic receipts -- like they WANT us to do -- it actually makes it MORE difficult to just print checks.

Under the old system -- when using just paper receipts -- the process goes like this for us very often:
1. A clerk enters the expense and uploads NO receipts.
2. The same clerk prints the check for that.
3. He leaves it in the clerk's office (with the reimbursement request and receipts) for the Bishop to sign later when he has a moment.

Under the new system -- when uploading digital receipts -- the process goes like this:
1. A clerk enters the expense and uploads the requested receipts.
2. The clerk is now stuck because he isn't allowed to even print those checks until someone else logs into LCR and approves the expenses by reviewing the digital receipts.
3. The clerk sits around waiting for a Bishopric member to have a moment to sign in and approve them.
4. The clerk can then finally start to print the checks for that day and prints them.
5. The clerk sits around again waiting for a Bishopric member to have a moment to sign the check.

In other words, the more we move to the better "digital receipts" system that is being requested, the longer and more difficult it is to actually gets checks written.

I say this as a 1st Counselor sitting in the clerk's office on a Monday morning right now (after taking off from work) -- waiting for our Bishop (who is also at work) to have a chance to log into his account and approve things -- so that I can finally print the checks -- which I will then leave here in the clerk's office for him to come by later and pick up and sign. (Because, yesterday, the Finance section of LCR was overloaded and unusable for our entire block and 30+ minutes after so we had to abandon our attempts to write checks yesterday.) But note that this problem still occurs even on a Sunday when everyone is around.

It's just a pain that it is more difficult to print checks when you do it the "right" way by uploading digital receipts.
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Biggles
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#9

Post by Biggles »

FWIW - We here in the UK did away with cheques a few years ago. All reimbursements are carried out by EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer). This has eliminated getting two signatories together in the same place at the same time.

Is this option not available in the US?
eblood66
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Re: LCR Check approvals

#10

Post by eblood66 »

jgoggan wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:14 am So, I feel like this got off-track a bit from the original intent. Lots of discussion about who is allowed to sign the checks -- and I agree that at least one needs to be a Bishopric member. However, I think the main point that OP was making is still valid and is an issue. I came to the forum today to look for someone talking about exactly this or ask it myself.
jgoggan wrote: Mon Aug 30, 2021 8:14 am It's just a pain that it is more difficult to print checks when you do it the "right" way by uploading digital receipts.
I don't know of any statement anywhere that says using physical receipts with checks is discouraged or that uploading receipts is preferred. From a practical standpoint having the receipts online makes it easier to research payments (if there is a question of whether a reimbursement was actually paid for instance) and for audits (the auditor can review documentation before holding the audit meeting making things go quicker for everyone). Both of these benefits can be gained by uploading the receipts after printing the check as I indicated in my post previous in this thread.

Of course, as Biggles indicates, if you get people to set up for EFT that's even better. But unfortunately that doesn't work for most Fast Offerings checks since in the US EFT is only available for payments to members.
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