CUBS Implementation -- Notes from the field

Discussions around using and interfacing with the Church MLS program.
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CUBS Implementation -- Notes from the field


Post by maethows »

I started the process of reconciling the changes made to our unit's financials a little earlier and ran across a few interesting things that I don't recall reading about in any of the prepare-for-CUBS messages. So I thought I'd document them as they come up -- just in case they come in handy for someone else.

First observation: Sub-category nesting was flattened. Nested categories were brought back to the first level beneath the major category.

Impact: While not the end of the world, we were using custom categories to track agent-ward expenses for each unit. Placing them under a parent "Agent Ward" category let us see how much was owed to us total.
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Post by ffrsqpilot »

This post will come across as sour grapes and that is not really my intention but I can't help but be a bit frustrated with the lack of clear guidance in dealing with descrepancies found after comparing the data on the 17th and what now shows up on the 24th. Our stake computer was balanced to the penny and all reconciliations were complete with no outstanding issues but that is not the case I found yesterday morning.

It looks like our units all converted to CUBS but there are so many issues that need addressing that I went to the stake presidency last night to seek help. It appears to me that the only instructions we have to make CUBs sensable is found here on this site. Why are there no instructions forth coming from the MLS support folks? I see on another thread that we just need to be patient while we "experiment" over the next few weeks to see how things work...... not exactly the best way to get this system rolling to my way of thinking.

Just on the stake computer alone there are so many issues to deal with; for example why the Other - Young Women's camp category now has $21,000 in their remaining budget when before the transfer they had $110.00. Am I supposed to reenter expenses for the last four years to make it balance? Another example - where am I supposed to find the forth quarter allotment when everything got pushed into one "Administrative Category"? Are we to first move all the pre-exiting balances back to the original categories (if that is even possible) in order to determine what the allotment is?

It appears to me that in order to make sense of where all the money was moved to and get it back into the "previous categories" is going to take quite a few hours....unless someone has some decent instructions to let me know if there is an easier or quicker way. Adding to my frustration is that I have three units within our stake that I know for a certainty will need my time and effort to make their systems read right because of work/availability issues with their finance clerks not to mention another unit clerk who has very little idea of how the finance system works and I've had to help with their reconciliations for the last five months.

Sorry if I sound a bit upset, but to tell the truth - I am. I am disappointed that the only instructions that came out of the support folks is the two messages sent out the week prior to the conversion with only the instructions to compare two sets of reports and.....well, there is no and!

We will get this done but right now all I see is hours and hours of work ahead of me that I can ill afford. If someone has some implicit instuctions on how to transfer funds and make categories in both Budget and Other reconcile I would sure appreciate a copy of them (as I imagine a ton of other clerks out there would also). :(
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Post by maethows »

(It's good to see that the forum has come back to life after yesterday...)

Budget Categories:

Since the categorization of all transactions prior to the CUBS implementation were changed to "Budget: Administration" and the budget allocations were wiped out, I went back through and figured out how much each allocation still had remaining (using the transactions/expenses report printed out on October 17th) and set our new allocations for the rest of the year according to what they should have left. Of course, our method of allocations within our stake may function differently than yours, but this should work for us.

The difficulty here is providing detailed budget histories for each organization. But we're going to take this as an inconvenience due to such a large implementation.

"Other" Categories:

Much like our budget categories, it looks like all expenditures and transfers were moved to the parent "Other" category. The one difference here though is that all of the deposits stayed with the sub-categories. Thus, we had a massive deficit in our "Other" category, but loads of money in our sub-categories. I resolved this by transferring the dollar amount of the expenditures that should have come out of the sub-categories to the parent "Other" category. This is working for us on the whole, except that I have a mysterious $508 deficit that wasn't there prior to the CUBS implementation -- still working on that.

Missionary Categories:

All of our existing Ward Missionary sub-categories were wiped out. All donations, expenses, and/or transfers were moved to the parent "Ward Missionary" category. Per our bishop's direction, we are simply drawing a line in the sand and moving forward with zero balances for each of the new Ward Missionary sub-categories (since we have sufficient general Ward Missionary funds to cover any immediate deficits). Not perfect, but it simplifies things here.
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Nested Sub-Categories


Post by maethows »

FYI -- It looks like the ability to nest custom sub-categories is gone. You can only add one level of sub-categories to any given predefined category/sub-category. Not the end of the world, but can be an inconvenience if you were trying to get related sub-categories to roll up.
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Post by quicky »

I am a stake clerk and have stake boundaries which include Utah but only for 2 of the wards and a branch. The rest are in Wyoming. Will the sales tax feature remain on the those individual ward/branch computers? We also disbanded a ward about 4 months ago. We split their unused budget monies among the remaining wards as a percentage of which ward picked up the most members; 1 ward was pretty heavily impacted, the others less so. The members remain, the ward does not. Also split their 3rd quarter budget disbursement the same way. Question: we have received the 4th quarter budget allotments in the Stake Financial Summary and do not have the 4th quarter allotment for that ward. The new boundary/ward changes have not been in effect long enough for new attendance figures to affect the remaining ward budget allotments yet; the 2nd quarter attendance figures for the disbanded wards should still be accounted for in the 4th quarter allotment.

Another question: We had 2 missionaries in the disbanded ward who had monies donated by family members (substantial sums). How does the money remain attributed to a specific missionary? The monies for their missions are now being debited against their new ward's missionary account but their parents/families wonder if all the prepaid monies transferred with their sons.

And another: I just received yesterday the new Stake Financial Summary. Each of the wards and the stake got their budget allotments. Are these the allotments which I will need to assign a percentage to through CUBS or do the percentages through CUBS apply to the 1st quarter allotment in January?

Finally, how do I start a new post here? I have looked until mu eyes are bleary and can't find a 'start a new post' function, although the page indicates I am authorized to do so.

Thanks in advance, KQ
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Ward Missionary and Other Accounts


Post by atticusewig »

Ward Missionary Charges
Surprised this wasn't mentioned in the FAQ, but the October
support payments for Missionaries in the field were taken
out of the Ward Missionary Fund as part of the CUBS transition.

Other:PayabletoUnit and it's subcategories

Are the Other:PayabletoUnit account and it's subcategories
used only for the transition ? The OT:PTU subcategories seem
to be "flattened" versions of the old Other accounts, so I'm
wondering what the appropriate course of action is. For
Other accounts that had a zero balance on Oct 17th, do we
transfer any funds listed in it's corresponding OT:PTU:subaccout
to OT:PTU root. What about those Other accounts with a
balance ? For example:

On Oct 17th suppose a unit has three Other accounts with the following
names and balances:

Other:PeanutButterFromCannery $0.00
Other:Scouting:Philmont -$500.00
Other:Scouting $1000.00

Now suppose that after the transition the accounts are now
Other:Payable to Unit -$5000.00
Other:Payable to Unit: PeanutButterFromCannery $2000.00
Other:Payable to Unit: Philmont $1500.00
Other:Payable to Unit: Scouting $8000.00

Would the proper transfer to bring the PeanutButter account to zero be:

Other:Payable to Unit:PBFC $2000.00 Other:Payable to Unit $2000.00

If so, should the remaining OT:PTU:subcategory accounts use transfers
to the root OT:PTU so their balances match the Oct 17th Other account
balances, or should all OT:PTU:subaccounts to be zeroed out, and the
older Other:subcategory be created. For example instead of having using
OT:PTU:Philmont, should I create OT: Scouting-Philmont and use OT:PTU
and it's subaccounts for the transition ?

In the notes it mentions that the older WardMissionary accounts will disappear (or at least be hidden) once they have a zero balance for
two months - Will this happen to the Other:Payable to Unit and it's
subcategories ?
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Post by aebrown »

atticusewig wrote:Ward Missionary Charges
Surprised this wasn't mentioned in the FAQ, but the October
support payments for Missionaries in the field were taken
out of the Ward Missionary Fund as part of the CUBS transition.
Actually, these payments were taken out prior to the CUBS transition. They were dated October 5. You just didn't know about them, because you haven't received the October financial statement. But they were done under the old (CFAR) system. That's why these payments were all taken out of the parent Ward Missionary Category. If they would have been done under CUBS, then they would have been charged to each individual missionary's subcategory.
Questions that can benefit the larger community should be asked in a public forum, not a private message.
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Chart of Accounts ?


Post by atticusewig »

Does anyone have a Chart of Accounts for all
the new accounts set up by the transition and
what each account's function is ?

Some of the wording is a bit cryptic, and since we
can't hide any of them, it would at least be good
to know how each of them are to be used.

For example, Is Budget:Curriculum only for the annual
order and Budget: Distribution Center Charges for
everything else ?

- Atticus
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Post by gregwanderson »

This is also sour grapes, of course, but I wish the instructions before-hand were more explicit about how this change would COMPLETELY WIPE AWAY ALL SUB-CATEGORY INFORMATION, including missionary fund data! Instead we were told what to print, which implied that it would be unnecessary to print anything else. I would have prefered to waste paper making hard copies of all of the finanicial history instead of wasting paper NOW printing useless "Add Participant" reports. [Murmur, murmur, murmur.]

I know I'm not the only one who was sucker-punched by the loss of Ward Missionary data. Yes, we had families paying in advance for missionary support. What about families with more than one missionary serving at the same time (but, of course, with different start/end dates)? I can rummage through all kinds of paper donation records and eventually straighten this out but COME ON!

I'll cross my fingers and actually suggest a solution:

I wish someone back there at HQ could give us some kind of "Old MLS Data Viewer" software. This would allow us to at least VIEW information from old MLS backup files without actually feeding them into our current MLS system. Am I just dreaming or can this be developed (and sent ASAP)?
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Sour Grapes


Post by skibumm101-p40 »

Totally Agree. What a frustrating experience to come in and have everything changed with no direction on what to do or what has been done. I think i have an older version of MLS that i am going to install on a separate computer and import the OCT 17th mls Backup.

All the Budget Items are gone.
All the missionary amounts are gone. And we had families that had small overage amounts.

Very frustrating. Not for the change, but for the lack of instruction.
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