Culture of Compliance- Set up policies and procedures for handling all financial transactions and then stick to them. If you always require a request for reimbursement to be on a form with detailed information provided, your Chapter members will get used to doing it that way. If you let them skip the form they will always want to skip the form!  The OMG has a set of financial policies that you can adapt to your Chapter’s circumstances.

Two Heads are Better than One- It is very dangerous to fall into the situation where one Chapter member handles everything related to money.  If something were to happen to that member you would be in a difficult position and you are creating an opportunity for misappropriation of funds.   Someone on the Board needs to look over the Treasurer’s shoulder which today can be done electronically. A Board member (a great assignment for a President-Elect) should have access to the on line bank statements and review the activity every month.   Looking at the bank activity lets you know what really happened not just what was recorded in the check book/ accounting system.

What is the Board member looking for?

Who are the checks written to? Do you recognize the vendor/member and does the amount sound reasonable?  Was any money transferred out? Do you know where it went?  If it is a transfer to another Chapter account can you confirm that it was deposited in the other account? Do the total of the deposits this month agree to what was in the Treasurer’s report for the donations/fundraising proceeds for this month? 

This review might only take 10-15 minutes but will give everyone peace of mind.

Proactive Treasurers are the Best!  The Treasurer  needs to see her role as part information officer, police officer and mom. 

Information Officer-As the information officer you need to help your Chapter plan using budgets and subsequent reports showing how things turned out,  The reports you prepare for your Board need to tell the story of what has happened and how the future looks. Simply reporting your  bank balance to your Board is pretty meaningless as they don’t know what bills still need to be paid or how that compares to the same time in prior years.  Ideally, you are using a piece of software that lets you prepare “budget versus actual” reports. This can be done in excel or on a manual spreadsheet if necessary.

Police Officer- As the police officer you need to enforce policies and procedures.  Review the Chapter’s policies and procedures and if necessary suggest changes to what really works and then stick to it.  You are probably the most honest person on the face of the earth but you need to set up your policies for a future Treasurer who might look at things differently.  When you review your policies think about who has access to the mail, who is making the deposits, what documentation you require to pay a vendor or reimburse a member, if the accounts are reconciled every month, and if the signers on the checking account(s)are  up to date.

Mom- You have to accomplish this with a light hand using your inside voice!

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