Missouri is catching up on its auditing of licensed endowed care funds.  Within the past couple of months, most of our Missouri endowed cemeteries received the attached notice requesting reports and documents for audit.  In prior posts, we have suggested that the Office of Endowed Care Cemeteries (OECC) audit process should be revised.  Our next posts will explained how the audit process should change, but with this post we will highlight what the OECC audit is doing right: tracking grave sales and care fund deposits.

To determine if a cemetery is depositing the correct care fund amount on a timely basis, the OECC requests information about property sales and endowed care deposits:

    1. Property Sales

Please provide a list of grave space, lawn crypt, mausoleum, crypt and columbarium niche sales:

The list should include:

–        Contract Number (or other identifying number)

–        Customer Name

–        Contract Date

–        Retail Cost of the property sold

–        The number of property items sold

–        The endowed care liability

If it is possible to provide this information in an excel spreadsheet, this would be very helpful.

    1. Endowed Care Deposits

For deposits listed in the endowed trust statements provide an itemized listing of the contracts included in that deposit and the amount of the deposit that pertains to each contract.

We have highlighted language from the request that is a clue to expediting the audit.  An Excel spreadsheet can simplify the process of tracking sales and computing the correct EC deposit requirement, particularly for Missouri’s complex requirements (see RSMo Section 214.320.1 for 4 different trusting and flat amount rates).  In the attached copy, we provide clients an Excel spreadsheet that separates the four types of interment right sales, and calculates the EC deposit requirement.  There is a separate tab for each month of the year.  The sheet includes bank information so that it can be printed and used as a deposit record with the bank.  The sheet can then be used to also comply with the deposit tracking record.

Tracking property sales and EC deposits is the most important function of any care fund audit.  We had one cemetery complain that documenting property sales to the OECC is burdensome.  While there are some burdensome elements to the audit, this is not one of them.   But, cemetery operators should anticipate the auditor comparing the Excel sheet to the cemetery’s lot book to ensure a month or two reconcile.