It’s no secret that chapter leaders need to keep a keen eye on their finances if they’re to run, and grow, a successful chapter. But it isn’t always simple to know exactly what this involves. However, as more organizations look to monitor chapters closely in order to mitigate risk and liability at the national level, the onus is increasingly on chapter leaders to take charge of finances and accounting.
When setting up your chapter, you’ll want to keep financial management at the forefront of your mind. To manage your money effectively, you can opt for a local bank account for your chapter, or a consolidated banking model set up by national. Always check with national to see what policies and procedures they already have. Here are a few things to consider with each option.
IF YOU’RE SETTING UP A LOCAL BANK ACCOUNT FOR YOUR CHAPTER
- Are you, as chapter leader, required to have a signor from national on the account? If so, who should you contact at national?
- Are there any approvals that chapter leaders or volunteers need to be aware of to cut checks or set up payments?
- Are there any chapter credit card policies or procedures you should be aware of?
- How should chapter leaders or volunteers send required reporting to national? (A quarterly revenue and expense template is available – feel free to alter to meet your association’s requirements)
- How frequently do you need to send reporting to national?
- What information should reports sent to national include? (e.g. bank statements, etc.)
- If chapters collect funds (dues, event registrations, etc.), is it clearly stated how any dollars owed to national by the chapter should be paid?
- If national rebates funds back down to your chapter, is it clearly stated how often you will receive funds and how the amount will be determined?
- How should you, as a chapter leader or volunteer, reimburse members or other officers who front money for the chapter?
IF YOUR ORGANIZATION HAS A COMPONENT BANKING MODEL
- Who should you get in touch with at national to gain access to, or set up, your chapter’s account?
- Is there access to training to learn the financial management system national is leveraging?
- Do you understand the payment approval process? If there is a dual approval required, do you know who needs to be that second sign-off?
- Is it clear what reports from the system should be ran and sent to national? How frequently should you be sending reports to national?
- Are available expense management options and processes clearly outlined to reduce member and/or chapter officer reimbursements?