CUBS Concerns

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
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aebrown
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#41

Post by aebrown »

lajackson wrote:Well, the very program we are discussing, MLS, originated outside of the US and Canada. After it was tested and functioning internationally, it was imported into North America.
We're not actually talking about MLS. We're talking about the back-end financial system called CUBS. MLS certainly interacts with CUBS, but CUBS can process financial transactions completely independent of MLS as well.
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crislapi
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#42

Post by crislapi »

I may need Alan_Brown to correct me if I get this wrong, but I just remembered one more cool feature of CUBS that was mentioned just as our meeting was wrapping up. It has to do with year-end tax statements and donor records. The new system will recognize donations associated with membership numbers and, at the end of the year, the entire donation history will print on the donor/tax statements.

I do not know the nuances of how this will work, but I asked enough times in enough different ways to make sure I wasn't just hearing what I wanted to hear. I assume this system will only work when donor records have been merged to membership records containing a valid membership number and will involve some background linking on the financial department's side. The end result - at the end of the year, statements that truly have all your donations on it!

As long as every ward you donated in 1) had you membership record while you were there 2) successfully linked your donor record to your membership record, then you shouldn't have to go chase down your statements from each ward individually any more!
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aebrown
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#43

Post by aebrown »

crislapi wrote:I may need Alan_Brown to correct me if I get this wrong, but I just remembered one more cool feature of CUBS that was mentioned just as our meeting was wrapping up. It has to do with year-end tax statements and donor records. The new system will recognize donations associated with membership numbers and, at the end of the year, the entire donation history will print on the donor/tax statements.

I do not know the nuances of how this will work, but I asked enough times in enough different ways to make sure I wasn't just hearing what I wanted to hear. I assume this system will only work when donor records have been merged to membership records containing a valid membership number and will involve some background linking on the financial department's side. The end result - at the end of the year, statements that truly have all your donations on it!

As long as every ward you donated in 1) had you membership record while you were there 2) successfully linked your donor record to your membership record, then you shouldn't have to go chase down your statements from each ward individually any more!
I can confirm that this was indeed stated. But I would repeat the statement about not knowing the nuances.
  • I didn't ask at the time, but I wonder how payments made to CHQ, either in-kind offerings, or other donations made directly to CHQ, will show up. Donors often make such donations because they don't want the local unit to see those donations. Will that continue?
  • And what about errors that the donor may find on the statement? Will it clearly be stated which unit received which payments? The unit at the end of the year doesn't have the source records to track down errors which occurred in previous units.
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crislapi
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#44

Post by crislapi »

The new instructions for CUBS will say something along these lines:
"[font=&quot]They will receive a statement from their Area Office if they donated to more than one unit."[/font]
CarmichaelFinanceClerk-p40
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#45

Post by CarmichaelFinanceClerk-p40 »

I manage IT projects professionally and am very concerned about the lack of communication about CUBS. What functionality will it deliver? What changes will it introduce. Why were ward budgets zeroed out and then not restored when the CUBS implementation was delayed? I am a stake financial clerk and have little to no information to share with my ward financial clerks. I know there has been a delay but little more. I can deal with project problems and delays but basic project management includes communication, communication, and when you hit a snag communicate more.
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aebrown
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#46

Post by aebrown »

CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:What functionality will it deliver? What changes will it introduce.
This has been communicated in a couple of MLS messages. The basic content of the main message is in the wiki under MLS Finance Transition. Did you get those messages?
CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:Why were ward budgets zeroed out and then not restored when the CUBS implementation was delayed?
The CUBS implementation did not happen, and thus no ward budgets were zeroed out because of its implementation or delay. If your stake had some zeroing of ward budgets, I don't see how it can be related to CUBS. I'm sure we would have heard about such a thing if it were a widespread issue, but your message is the only thing I've heard along those lines. So if that did happen to your stake, you need to look for a source other than CUBS.
CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:I manage IT projects professionally and am very concerned about the lack of communication about CUBS.
...
I am a stake financial clerk and have little to no information to share with my ward financial clerks. I know there has been a delay but little more. I can deal with project problems and delays but basic project management includes communication, communication, and when you hit a snag communicate more.
Some additional details have been posted in this thread. I also know that the CUBS team is working diligently on improving the documentation, which will be delivered before the transition. So at this point, there's really no reason to be concerned. You'll receive the information you need before the transition happens.
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mlh78
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#47

Post by mlh78 »

crislapi wrote:Second, and this is the one I hope I heard correctly, ward expenses will automatically be entered as expenses in the stake MLS. I assume this means that each ward will automatically exist as a sub category in your budget, and disbursements will automatically show up. That way you can monitor the status of the budget real time. Again, if i heard correctly, the finances are processed every time a send/receive is done. So the stake MLS shows real-time ward budget status.

Another helpful tool for the stakes would be to be able to view each ward's other subaccounts. These subaccounts are a constant source of problems and it would be helpful to be able to diagnose them before audits or before things get out of hand.
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aebrown
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#48

Post by aebrown »

mlh78 wrote:Another helpful tool for the stakes would be to be able to view each ward's other subaccounts. These subaccounts are a constant source of problems and it would be helpful to be able to diagnose them before audits or before things get out of hand.
I'm quite certain this level of detail will not be available to stakes, even under CUBS. It's quite clear that all information about subaccounts is held locally, and is not communicated to CHQ, either on the current CFAR system or the coming CUBS system.

I agree that it would be nice, but it's not happening any time soon.
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crislapi
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#49

Post by crislapi »

CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:What functionality will it deliver? What changes will it introduce.
This is what we know about:
  • Interest, EFT payments (DC, Staples, etc), missionary payments, and other transactions that used to be in the Miscellaneous section of the CUFS and were manually entered by clerks will now automatically be entered. The benefit of this is that your expenses will always be up-to-date where as before they relied on the clerk to enter these.
  • CHQ will automatically take care of NFS checks
  • Adjustments made in MLS will automatically be sent to CUBS
  • Adjustments made in CUBS will automatically be sent to MLS
  • Some new budget categories will appear. These are not editable/removable.
  • Budgets will now be distributed quarterly directly to the units. There has been significant discussion previously in this thread about how that will work. I'll refer you there for more info.
  • CUBS will automatically create subcategories in the ward missionary category for each missionary the unit is supporting. Units will not longer have the capability of creating/editing these categories.
  • If you live in UT or NC, entering expenses changes slightly. The subtotal and tax are specified separately (at least 2 rows for each check). The budget category is charged the subtotal, and a new budget category is charged the tax. The local budget is only hit for the subtotal. CHQ will cover the tax. As part of this switch, stakes in these states will no longer receive tax refunds in mid July.
  • New CUFS. The layout is new, making them more readable (in my opinion) for leaders. It'll take the clerks a little while to get used to them, but I find the info is presented much better for the bishop to get an idea of how things are "at a glance".
CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:Why were ward budgets zeroed out and then not restored when the CUBS implementation was delayed?
Good question. I am also a stake financial clerk, and this has not happened in my stake. As a matter of fact, nothing was ever sent so if this has happened, CUBS can't be blamed. To me it sounds like something your stake did anticipating the switch. Perhaps if you can provide more details on exactly how they were zeroed, we can help.

In the current system, the money all resides in the stake. You merely tell the wards how much of it they can spend. Where CHQ/CUBS have not taken any of it (and won't when you switch, by the way), all the money is still there.
CarmichaelFinanceClerk wrote:I am a stake financial clerk and have little to no information to share with my ward financial clerks. I know there has been a delay but little more.
While I understand your frustration, this is a bit like singing to the choir. We are all in the same boat. This is a community forum - those commenting are likely just ward/stake clerks from around the world sharing their experiences. There is very little if any official church participation in the discussions.
russellhltn
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#50

Post by russellhltn »

crislapi wrote:CHQ will automatically take care of NFS checks
It will be interesting to see how that works. I assume you are talking about donations (tithing, etc).
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