Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Common Mistakes When Transitioning to the New Treasurer

Transitioning to the new treasurer is an easy process with Treasurer's Briefcase.  Essentially all you need to do is add a new user to the system, assign them administrative rights and possibly revoke the privileges of the old treasurer.   Here are some things to keep in mind.

Picking the new treasurer should be a deliberate process that assesses the new treasurer's ability to successfully carry out their duties.  The biggest mistake organizations make is selecting the wrong person as treasurer.   If you want accurate and timely information, do not force or pressure someone to take the position who does not have the necessary skills or does not have the time to perform the duties of this office.  Successful clubs have a strong treasurer that helps the organization achieve its goals.

Creating reports for your next meeting is a one-click process IF your treasurer has kept up with the record keeping.  If your new treasurer is coming to meetings without current financials, you picked the wrong treasurer!  Correct that immediately.

At a minimum the new treasurer must be:

Trustworthy - they'll be handing your funds so they need to be trustworthy enough to make deposits in a timely fashion and handle money responsibly.  Needless to say people who have financial problems or who obviously have issues with their own finances are not good candidates for treasurers.  Countless stories can be found on the internet of treasurers that have taken advantage of their access to an organization's accounts.

Organized - your organization's record keeping is all about the details. Find someone who
understands the details, can help create a budget and who does not shy away from paperwork.

Able to Understand Computers - Treasurer's Briefcase is simple, fast and easy, but you still need to know how to login and use a web application.  Most folks can handle that with ease and we've made Treasurer's Briefcase easy enough so that working with computers should be a low bar for most treasurers.

Able to Manage a Checkbook - You need to make sure your treasurer can make deposits, record transactions, and reconcile the bank statement.  Again, Treasurer's Briefcase makes the reconciliation process simple, fast and easy.

Once you've selected the new treasurer, here are some rules to follow:

Rule 1

Every user, including the new treasurer should have their own login account.  That means, no generic logins like groveville_pta_treasurer or groveville_pta_president, that's a big security no-no and creates lots of issues.  Some clubs have mistakenly set up generic logins and then changed the name of the user to match the new name of the treasurer.  NO!

The problem with that approach is that each user in the system is also a contact in our database.  The system may have financial transactions associated with that user.  If you change the name of the user in the database, you've potentially made Mary Smith, John Jones and it might look like John was reimbursed last year for the bake sale when in fact Mary Smith was reimbursed!

We recommend that users be given usernames like msmith or jjones.

Rule 2

Revoke the login of previous officers when they no longer need access to the system.  When you are sure they no longer need access, revoke their login.  You do not need to delete them from the system and in fact if financial transactions are associated with the user, the system will not allow you to do that.  It's a good idea to leave the previous treasurer's access in place until the new treasurer is comfortable using the system.

Rule 3

Make sure there are at least 2 administrators setup in the system.  As a security precaution, and to prevent fraud, at least 2 users should be able to setup and revoke access.

Rule 3

Assign appropriate privileges to your officers.  Officers should at least have the ability to login and view reports.  Assign them reports privileges when setting them up as a new user.

Rule 4

Keep the organization's and the officer's addresses up to date so that Treasurer's Briefcase can contact you in the event of issues with your account, maintenance events and to make sure that we can provide support to authorized individuals.

Treasurer's Briefcase is simple, fast and easy.  Transitioning to the new treasurer is a simple process if you keep these rules in mind.

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