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We’ve done it! The Central Midwest District office is fully virtual since June 20. The last furniture was donated to congregations around the district who could use it, and “stuff” that had accumulated for six years was trashed.

Items that need to be stored have been moved to a secure, climate-controlled storage space, where I’ve installed a small desk and portable lamp for searching if necessary. When we have time for deeper organizing we may find we can go to an even smaller space, perhaps just a single cabinet and a place to put our materials used once a year for District Assembly.

We have our telephone system, a cell phone set with “conditional call forwarding” (which will forward to another line when busy); our secure online file server which allows designated users to access files; our online accounting with limited access (QuickBooks Online); and our vendors for major printing and mailing needs. The only office function yet to be established is our fax line, which should happen on Tuesday, July 1.

Are there issues still to be addressed — absolutely! But these are larger things that need to be addressed no matter what form the office systems take.

The most important one on my mind right now is accounting controls. As a very small staff that has always been distributed around the district, it has always been difficult to establish GAAP controls. Now it is even harder. At the UUA General Assembly in Ft. Lauderdale I’ve had the opportunity to discuss this problem, among many others. As was suggested by the incoming Treasurer of the Ballou-Channing District, we have to look at our procedures and at the people available to do them, and we have to distribute the tasks among them in such a way that the people who control the receipt and depositing of income, the entry of accounting, the processing of checks and the oversight of accounts are different. I believe it can be done here, but may require some procedural changes and the willingness of people to pitch in and take on some tasks they may not have done before. Stay tuned!

Peggy Boccard CMwD District Office Manager