Why read another post? Our goal is that you will find these words entertaining and informative. Enjoyable enough to view finance without the angst and stress that seems to keep new SWE section treasurers up at night. Who are we? We are the members of the Finance Committee. We are volunteers and we review the budget and make recommendations to the Board of Directors on financial matters. We also develop training materials and educate our members on all things finance. In this blog we call ourselves the Grizzled Veterans of Finance. You can find more on us here.
It is a weird thing, money and people. Dealing with the basics of SWE section finance causes such stress in section treasurers. We, the grizzled veterans of treasurer roles, want you to know this isn’t scary. It does not have to be stressful. You have resources, people and processes to help you get the most value out of your section’s finances with minimal time and effort. The treasurer role is to help the section complete its goals with the resources it has. This blog series will have 4 entries:
- Roles and Responsibilities
- Taxes and EIN
- Fund Raising
See our thoughts on successful transitions from one treasurer to another.
Every year a new treasurer is elected. Many times, the individual has never held a treasurer role before. We, the grizzled veterans, know this feeling. Believe it or not, we were once fresh faced, newly minted treasurers wondering, “what am I supposed to be doing?” The transition process between the outgoing treasurer and the incoming treasurer should put the section on good footing and keep the new treasurer from being overwhelmed.
Whose responsibility is it to see that the budget, money, bank account and passwords are transferred to the incoming treasurer? Here is the answer: outgoing treasurer, outgoing president, incoming treasurer and incoming president. Clear as mud, right? This stuff is important and taking a few minutes to see that key information is passed on rests with the section officers. The simplest process is for the outgoing treasurer and incoming treasurer to meet and discuss the location of key documents, last year’s budget (to be used as a basis for next year’s budget), bank accounts, passwords and where help or support can be found. My own personal experience was a coffee date with the outgoing treasurer. We brought our computers and moved over all critical information. My section president followed up to make sure I had gotten everything I needed.
I would like to take a moment to focus on two key steps that we see consistently dropped. First, let’s address the signature card. Your banking institution limits who can withdraw money from the account. Only people listed on the signature card at the bank will have permissions to withdraw or deposit funds. The two people who need to be on this card are the current president and the current treasurer. Previous presidents and treasurers need to be removed. Directly after the election, call the bank and find out what is required to take this step. Then move to make this happen, quickly. I found this the most time-consuming step. It requires coordination and the presence of almost all officers being transitioned.
Second, who is responsible for the financial report that is due in July? This will be the responsibility of the outgoing treasurer. This is not as easy to execute as it would seem. The outgoing treasurer’s access to the reporting tool ends on June 30th. If the sections’ finances cannot be closed before June 30th, the outgoing and incoming treasurer have to work together. If you are a FY21 treasurer (outgoing) and unable to submit your financial report before your term ends and no longer have access to the SWE Leaders Portal, please coordinate the final submission of the financial report and FY22 conflict of interest forms with the incoming treasurer or email email@example.com to get assistance filling out your financial report.
Incoming treasurers will need to understand the money you took in and the money you spent last year, under the previous treasurer. The documentation of last year’s money trail will be key to getting this done quickly, so spend all the time you need during transition to get this information. If you work with the outgoing treasurer to fill out the finance report you will have most of the information you need to do every other step.
If you are having problems, you can check out these resources. If you still can’t find a solution, please contact the crazy people on the finance committee via our email or office hours. They actually like talking about money.
P.S. Notice I haven’t covered the most stressful part of the treasurer’s role? Where is the tax talk? Watch this space for more on that topic.