The role of a treasurer is without a doubt one of the most important in the council. It is critical that the treasurer be conscientious and have good systems in place; otherwise the council is at serious risk. The council treasurer is not only tasked with managing the council’s financial and legal affairs, but also with ensuring, in partnership with the council chair and executive committee, that all chapters in the council are also following TU policies, have financial controls in place and are in full compliance with applicable state and local laws.
This simple checklist is intended to help new treasurers understand the key functions of the role, but please keep in mind that every council is different so it’s critical to cater a comprehensive checklist to those realities, which might include such things as state or local filing requirements.
- When starting out, confer with the council chair and outgoing treasurer to ask for lessons learned and make sure the signatories on the council bank account are current.
- The council treasurer must read and become familiar with the 2015 Policy on Financial and Property Controls and ensure the chapter is in compliance. Most critically:
- That at least one member of the council’s board (who is not able to withdraw funds) is reviewing on a monthly basis each of the council’s bank account records and the records of any debit or credit card transactions. Confirm that your financial reviewer is listed as a leader in the Leaders Only Tools section of www.tu.org.
- That the council keeps a current written inventory of all personal property in excess of $200 in value that the chapter owns.
- That the council has a process in place to keep any restricted donations restricted for the purpose which the donor intended.
- With the executive committee, become familiar with and understand TU’s risk management and insurance limitations and ensure the chapter is compliant – from the limitations of our 501c3 to liquor liability.
- Ensure the council chair lists you as the new treasurer on the officer roster and council contact information in the Leaders Only Tools section of tu.org. This is critical as it allows you access the Annual Financial Report, among other things.
- Ensure the council Annual Financial Report is filed within 45 days of the close of the fiscal year. To file this report, the treasurer will be asked a series of questions that aren’t all financial related (like volunteer hours.) It is strongly recommended that the treasurer get assistance from other volunteers to help track these sorts of metrics throughout the year to make filing easier.
- File required Forms with the IRS each year. Questions about the correct Form 990 to file? Please visit: www.irs.gov or TU’s online resources for financial management and reporting.
- Ensure you’re tracking and assisting chapters in your state to file the Annual Financial Report and relevant Form 990.
- Particularly if your council is large enough to file a Form 990, ensure that you have the proper controls in place such as a document retention policy, conflict of interest form and whistle blower policy and that you’ve shared the Form 990 with your entire council board.
- With the Executive Committee, develop, approve and track a budget of council expenses and revenues each fiscal year.
- Ensure that your council is set up with an electronic funds transfer (EFT) with the national office of TU to ensure delivery of the rebate or an Embrace A Stream grant.
- Ensure donations to your council are properly acknowledged.
- Consider appointing an assistant treasurer, possibly the financial reviewer, such that you are transferring knowledge to a successor at an early stage and getting help with administrative tasks.