Local Unit Financial Statement Part two

Discuss questions around local unit policies for budgeting, reconciling, etc. This forum should not contain specific financial or membership information.
atticusewig
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What's the CUFS look like now?

Postby atticusewig » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:50 am

Now that CUBS is about to put into operation,
can someone post a sample of the new CUBS-based
CUFS to see what it looks like ?

Thanks,
Atticus

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aebrown
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Postby aebrown » Wed Jul 28, 2010 11:55 am

atticusewig wrote:Now that CUBS is about to put into operation,
can someone post a sample of the new CUBS-based
CUFS to see what it looks like ?


CUBS-based CUFS samples were posted at the beginning of this thread. They may have been through some minor revisions since then, but that's the basic structure.
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rwoodmansee
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Postby rwoodmansee » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:49 pm

I prefer the statement by category best. It is easier to read and puts the income and expenses together.

I am more focused on Page 2 and the Outstanding Reconcilaition Items. From what I read, this will become the focus of the new statement. The descriptions on the income items are pretty clear (bank received the deposit but the clerk forget to transmit Send/Receive or the donations was transmitted but the bank has not acknowledged receipt of the deposit.).

I am a little more confused on the Expense action items:

The first sounds like a simple outstanding check. What will trigger this action item? All outstanding checks or just those that are 1 or 2 months outstanding. Hopefully they will be sorted with the oldest check at the top of the list.

The second is a little more confusing. "A payment was issued by your disbursing bank..." Does this mean that a check was written but was not transmitted using the Send/Receive in MLS? The paymnent was not not issed by the bank, it was issue by the unit. I think it would be simplier if it stated "A check was presented to the bank for payment that was not fully processed in MLS. Please complete check processing in MLS."

Missing Weekly Donation Information:
Will it be possible to acknowledge that there was no weekly donation for the dates listed and then have them removed from the next statement? General and stake conference Sundays are the most common reason that donations will not be submitted. I would hate to see those dates on every statement through out the year.

Missing Budget Allocation Requirements:
Do all these items have to be completed before the unit gets it's budget allocation? Since the budget is actually allocated to the stake, does this mean that one unit in the stake can hold up the entire budget allocation for the quarter?

How do you clear any items that are not applicable? (see the comment on the missing weekly donation reports). What is "Collected funds must be deposited" how does this differ from the missing donation report? (How do you know that there are collected funds?).

Will an overdrawn Other category hold up the budget allocation? Is that just the Other category or does that item show up when any sub-category in the Other account has a negative balance?

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Postby lajackson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 3:58 pm

RWoodmansee wrote:Missing Budget Allocation Requirements:
Do all these items have to be completed before the unit gets it's budget allocation? Since the budget is actually allocated to the stake, does this mean that one unit in the stake can hold up the entire budget allocation for the quarter?


Well, one unit (of 14) not completing their quarterly report held up our entire stake budget allocation for a while two years ago. We had a half-dozen ward clerks ready to "assist" the errant clerk before the matter was resolved.

So yes, entire stake budget allocations do get held up from time to time.

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Postby russellhltn » Wed Jul 28, 2010 5:31 pm

lajackson wrote:Well, one unit (of 14) not completing their quarterly report held up our entire stake budget allocation for a while two years ago. We had a half-dozen ward clerks ready to "assist" the errant clerk before the matter was resolved.


Well, there's some incentive to get those numbers into the clerk on time. :D
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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Wed Jul 28, 2010 7:10 pm

As you know, if you're up-to-date with MLS reconciliations then you can get them done in about 5 minutes per month (or less!). Now I look at these new, sample statements and all I can say is "Thumbs Down." Too much unnecesary information arranged in a too-wordy way. (I can already look up expense details in MLS so why waste so much paper spelling them all out here? A summary will do fine.) And I don't need graphs, period. Also, we've been handling budgets on a yearly basis for so long that I think a switch to quarterly budgets will be a giant hassle... creating a lot more work for the clerks. Why do this?

The switch from FIS to MLS (less than 6 years ago for us) was quite an adjustment because the computer was slapping your hands whenever you didn't stick with the MLS way of doing things. But once I learned the new rules I was okay. This seems like another round of hand-slapping is about to begin.

Have I been some kind of "Super Finance Clerk" just because I did what I was supposed to do? Or is this a case of fixing something that wasn't broken? If so many finance clerks aren't doing it right under the current system then what makes us think they'll get it right using a statement that, to me, looks more complicated?

(Just my initial thoughts. I'll probably calm down later... but I echo a previous question about whether anyone has actually tested this with real ward clerks.)

rwoodmansee
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Postby rwoodmansee » Thu Jul 29, 2010 8:14 am

Don't dwell on the reconciliation aspect too much because you won't be doing the reconciliation, CUBS will be doing that for you. The new statement will be providing items that must be done to resolve the reconcilation issues. This is why I stressed that we should focus on the Outstanding Reconciliation Items section.

As for the budgeting process... as far as I can see with MLS 3.2 (stake version), which has the stake-to-ward budget allocation feature (disabled). It looks like it can accomodate a yearly budget. The stake clerk can create the 4 quarters and provide actuals and estimates much like we do today using spreadsheets. As the real budget numbers come from CHQ we update the estimate budget numbers with actual numbers from CHQ. Again, this is strickly my guess based on the limited information I have.

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gregwanderson
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Postby gregwanderson » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:10 am

So, what's the point of eliminating reconciliation? As I said, it's quick and easy if you actually do it each month. But if you never have to do it then you'll be more likely to be unaware of a problem until this new statement tells you there's a problem. And then it seems like it would be more difficult to track down the problem and fix it.

In other words, under the current system the clerk is, by default, personally responsible for knowing where the problems are. Under the new system it looks like you can remain clueless as long as the statement doesn't give you instructions.

Are we elminating reconciliation just because clerks don't bother to learn how to do it? Is there a serious flaw (which I haven't experienced personally) in the current reconciliation process? Is it really so difficult to manually enter missionary expenses and distribution center charges? And, if I'm so efficient that I don't get any Action Items on the CUBS does that mean that the Stake doesn't have to audit me?

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Postby russellhltn » Thu Jul 29, 2010 11:43 am

GregAnderson wrote:So, what's the point of eliminating reconciliation?


What's the point of reconciliation? Isn't it to make sure your computer matches the bank/church records?

It appears the big change is that now your computer will always be in sync, so there's no need to reconcile. For example, the church will automatically enter the missionary payments and show the deduction for any orders.

Your attention is now dedicated to "is this expense authorized?" and "how is our budget"? It will be interesting to see how these functions change. Traditionally, I think clerks have been answering those questions as they enter the data. With some of the data now being entered automatically, I wonder how (or even if) they will continue to answer those questions.

I know that's one of the biggest reasons I haven't gone with downloads to my personal financial system. I feel as I lose control as the "gatekeeper" of my finances as I haven't found a better way to review each transaction.
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Postby lajackson » Thu Jul 29, 2010 7:08 pm

GregAnderson wrote:So, what's the point of eliminating reconciliation? As I said, it's quick and easy if you actually do it each month.


But many units don't.

GregAnderson wrote:And, if I'm so efficient that I don't get any Action Items on the CUBS does that mean that the Stake doesn't have to audit me?


You will still get audited. (I have not seen the new audit instructions or received the training yet, however, and I anticipate some changes from the way it is being done now.)

GregAnderson wrote:I echo a previous question about whether anyone has actually tested this with real ward clerks.


The answer is yes, but it is easier to understand if you remember that the statement is really for the bishop, not the clerks.

Some bishops with fantastic clerks will notice the differences. And many bishops and branch presidents will get a clue for the first time in their callings. [grin]


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