jaj78 wrote:Our ward still has and uses an adding machine. Yes, it's unfamiliar in our modern age, but it is very transparent what is being added and totaled. In Excel, the inputs to the cells doesn't show along with the outputs to the cells. Not that it is likely, but Excel could help someone hide some voodoo errors in the financial records by hard-coding an answer instead of actually figuring out what is wrong.
Although you can hide things in a spreadsheet if you want to, if you simply enter numbers and then put a total at the bottom, there's nothing hidden. It's just as straightforward as an adding machine tape.
And you can play games with an adding machine, too -- add a couple of numbers, then advance the tape, then enter several other numbers and print the total. Rip off the part of the tape with the first couple of numbers, and you have an apparently dependable summation of numbers that gives an incorrect total. So I don't see how an adding machine has any inherent virtue of reliability and transparency over a spreadsheet.
jaj78 wrote:I believe as an organization, we also don't want to have the wards responsible for training/supporting MSOffice.
No one mentioned MSOffice or Excel; aclawson only mentioned a spreadsheet. The standard office suite for clerk computers is LibreOffice, which has a full-featured spreadsheet.
I've installed LibreOffice on all the computers in our stake, and I've never had to support anyone on it. Wards tend to create simple documents and simple spreadsheets, and in my experience there's always at least one of the clerks who can use LibreOffice just fine.
The Church has already specified that LibreOffice is the standard, so that organizational decision has been made.
jaj78 wrote:Another local use: our financial clerk uses the adding machine to run reimbursements where multiple receipts are included to show in hard-copy (paper roll) that the summation was correct.
I do that, too, but I use a spreadsheet application and print out the result. I find that I often need to do sales tax calculations, and a spreadsheet makes that a breeze. It would be a royal pain on an adding machine.