Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
Post Reply
cchang
Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 am

Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#1

Post by cchang »

Before we can write out a check for reimbursement expenses, we usually have to wait until the Bishop signs off on the reimbursement form. It can be difficult at times if the Bishop is in meetings and difficult to track down. How have you been able to get their signature that has worked out the best.

Also, is it necessary to sign off on the reimbursement form if the Bishop is already required to sign off on the printed transaction report? Or is this more that they need to approve all expenses prior to writing out the check. If so, it seems like multiple unnecessary steps that impede getting the checks written out in a timely manner. Just wanted to see what is all required and what is the best way to approach it.
eblood66
Senior Member
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Cumming, GA, USA

Re: Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#2

Post by eblood66 »

You do not have to have the bishop's written signature before you cut the check or even before you distribute the check. You need need his approval before hand but it can be verbal, via text, etc. Just make sure that he does sign the reimbursement request or the transaction report soon after to avoid an audit exception. I prefer to get both signatures (request and report) because it makes the audit go smoother but just one is required.
russellhltn
Community Administrator
Posts: 31512
Joined: Sat Jan 20, 2007 2:53 pm
Location: U.S.

Re: Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#3

Post by russellhltn »

cchang wrote:Before we can write out a check for reimbursement expenses, we usually have to wait until the Bishop signs off on the reimbursement form. It can be difficult at times if the Bishop is in meetings and difficult to track down.
What kind of turn around are the members expecting? This would only be an issue if they're expecting "same day". I think it would be more interesting to see what kind of turn around other wards have.

From my time, it might be same day (especially if they got it to us early in the day), but sometimes it wasn't. We wouldn't have interrupted a meeting unless the member was hurting for the reimbursement.
Have you searched the Help Center? Try doing a Google search and adding "site:churchofjesuschrist.org/help" to the search criteria.

So we can better help you, please edit your Profile to include your general location.
drepouille
Senior Member
Posts: 2774
Joined: Sun Jul 01, 2007 6:06 pm
Location: Plattsmouth, NE

Re: Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#4

Post by drepouille »

If the member absolutely needs to be reimbursed immediately, then we should discuss whether they should have been given an advance before they spent their personal funds. If the exact cost was known ahead of time, then the ward could even write a check payable to the merchant. But that is rare.
Dana Repouille, Plattsmouth, Nebraska
cchang
Member
Posts: 200
Joined: Mon Apr 17, 2017 8:11 am

Re: Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#5

Post by cchang »

eblood66 wrote:You do not have to have the bishop's written signature before you cut the check or even before you distribute the check. You need need his approval before hand but it can be verbal, via text, etc. Just make sure that he does sign the reimbursement request or the transaction report soon after to avoid an audit exception. I prefer to get both signatures (request and report) because it makes the audit go smoother but just one is required.
I just think there's too many requests to have the Bishop's signature. One on the reimbursement form, second on the transaction report, and third on the monthly financial statement. Why can't the signature on the monthly financial statement satisfy approval of the expense? I wasn't aware that there was an audit exception for either the reimbursement request or the transaction report's signature being signed in a timely manner?
eblood66
Senior Member
Posts: 3644
Joined: Mon Sep 24, 2007 9:17 am
Location: Cumming, GA, USA

Re: Reimbursement Form - Bishop's Signature

#6

Post by eblood66 »

cchang wrote:I just think there's too many requests to have the Bishop's signature. One on the reimbursement form, second on the transaction report, and third on the monthly financial statement.
When reimbursement requests come in the bishop may often want to review them before approval in which case signing is an easy way to keep track of which ones he's done. If everything is verbal then there is a greater chance that something will slip through without his approval. Verbal approval is OK but in my view it should be the exception, not the rule.

If the bishop signs each reimbursement request then you could ignore the transaction report. It isn't mandatory. But more than once I've avoided an audit exception because I also have him sign the transaction report. It's just a good backup.
cchang wrote:Why can't the signature on the monthly financial statement satisfy approval of the expense?
I don't have any inside knowledge but my guess a concern about more time between the expense and the signature. That makes it easier for something to slip by the bishop so that he 'approves' something he really didn't.
cchang wrote:I wasn't aware that there was an audit exception for either the reimbursement request or the transaction report's signature being signed in a timely manner?
I don't have an audit form available right now to see if there is any specific wording about timing. But I have had auditors who are very careful to check that the bishop signed within a fairly short time after the check was cut. If it is more than a week or so they look very closely and may even want to ask the bishop specifically about it.

Again, some things are not required by the audit but they help make sure the audit goes smoothly and avoids awkward questions. I try real hard to avoid burdening the bishop more than necessary but I feel a little extra work on both our parts is justified as it helps protect both him and myself as clerk from any appearance of impropriety.
Post Reply

Return to “Local Unit Finance”