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Summary of Key Points:
- The California State PTA offers online training resources for new treasurers, including free toolkits that are updated twice a year.
- PTA units in California enjoy tax exemptions on items they sell at fundraisers, but must still pay sales tax on items purchased from vendors.
- Key duties of a California PTA treasurer include preparing the budget, providing financial transparency, and attending PTA finance workshops.
- Fundraising activities must align with the PTA’s mission, require association approval, and adhere to specific state regulations.
- FutureFund contains specific fundraising tools to assist treasurers in their roles. As a California PTA treasurer, you can use this platform to generate accurate financial reports in just a few clicks and save yourself significant time and energy.
The Golden State is home to over 3,300 active PTAs, working tirelessly for millions of school children and their families. As a treasurer for one of these organizations, you’re the guiding force in successful fundraising efforts for the schools and students who depend on you—a role that comes with its fair share of rules and requirements for keeping everything well documented and above board.
At FutureFund, we’ve made it our mission to help save time for PTA members like you by providing tools and resources to make your duties easier. Below, we’ll dive into 8 essential things every PTA treasurer in California should know.
#1: Where to Find California PTA Training Essentials
The California PTA offers a great onboarding process for new treasurers. Their online leadership toolkit includes essential information for treasurers and other new officers, which can help you stay on track and up to date with current policies (it’s updated twice each year).
#2: Sales Tax Exemptions in California
PTAs in California enjoy tax exempt status when selling items and using the profits exclusively to fund activities that support their mandate. That means you won’t be subject to tax on any of the following:
- Membership fees
- Merchandise purchased or created for fundraisers
However, be aware that local PTA units must still pay sales tax on items when purchasing them from vendors. The upshot is that in these cases, you won’t have to obtain a seller’s permit to use the items in your fundraisers (council and district PTAs must still do this before selling any tangible goods).
#3: Key California PTA Financial Guidelines
California PTA treasurers have many duties, but some of their most important responsibilities differ from those in other states. Here are some things you’ll need to focus on as a PTA treasurer in the Golden State:
- Chairing the budget committee and preparing the budget for adoption by the association.
- Paying all bills authorized by the executive board or the association upon receipt of payment authorization signed by the recording secretary and the president.
- Keeping an accurate record of receipts and disbursements in a ledger as a permanent record of the PTA.
- Reconciling bank statements with the ledger monthly and ensuring a non-check signer reviews and signs them.
- Remitting all council, district, State, and National portions of per capita dues monthly to the financial officer of the council/district.
- Filing all necessary tax returns and other forms required by government agencies and uploading same to MyPTEZ, the California PTA’s dedicated management software.
- Presenting a year-end Annual Financial Report to the association.
- Preparing a comparative budget versus actual revenues and expenditures report at least quarterly.
- Attending the California State PTA convention finance workshops and council and district PTA workshops and trainings.
- Assisting the auditor to become familiar with the PTA’s record-keeping system.
Note that the above list isn’t exhaustive; it’s a summary of the most important or unique financial guidelines you’ll need to follow in your role. Find a full list of California PTA treasurer duties here.
#4: California PTA Financial Reporting Requirements
In California, PTA treasurers are required to prepare and present a Treasurer’s Report at every meeting of the association and executive board, and at any other time when requested by the association. This report should be accurate and provide a comprehensive view of the PTA’s finances. Key elements in the report usually include:
- The beginning balance: The balance of funds at the start of the period.
- The total income: A summary of all money received during the period.
- Total expenses: A summary of all disbursements during the period.
- The ending balance: The balance of funds at the end of the period.
Preparing these reports can be time-consuming, but FutureFund offers automated financial reporting tools that can make it much faster and easier. These reports are vital parts of preparing for your PTA’s annual financial review, which checks the financial health of the association and verifies the accuracy of its records.
#5: The Budgeting Process for California PTAs
Every PTA in California must have an annual budget. Here’s an overview of how to approach it:
- Put together a budget committee that includes the PTA president, treasurer, principal, and other key members (depending on your PTA, this may already exist).
- Review past budgets and expenses, expected income, and upcoming activities.
- Draft a budget with detailed estimates of revenues and expenditures.
- Present this draft budget first to the PTA board for approval, then to the general membership for adoption.
#6: Important PTA Fundraising Regulations in California
PTA fundraising in California is subject to a number of regulations. Some of the most important are as follows:
- All fundraising activities must align with the PTA’s mission and be non-commercial, non-partisan, and non-sectarian.
- All fundraisers should contribute to the educational welfare of the students and may not conflict with public law.
- All fundraising projects must be approved by the association membership. Additionally, it’s good practice to seek approval from the school principal.
- There are specific laws and regulations for certain types of fundraisers, such as games of chance (like raffles and bingo). In California, PTAs must register annually with the state’s Attorney General’s Office to conduct raffles and follow their guidelines.
- Fundraisers involving contracts (such as those with product sales companies) must be reviewed and signed by two elected officers, including the president.
- Direct donation campaigns (in which the PTA asks for donations from families without offering goods or services in return) must be voluntary and respect donor confidentiality.
- PTAs should not solicit or receive sponsorships from businesses that produce products or services that are not in the best interest of children (e.g., alcohol, tobacco).
- All funds raised must be used for the benefit of students and should not alter the school’s regular programming.
- PTAs cannot require that families participate in fundraisers or donate a certain amount of money to the PTA.
- PTAs must report all fundraising income appropriately and comply with all tax obligations related to that income.
#7: Specific Resources for PTA Treasurers in California
You don’t have to go it alone! Here are some resources tailored for California PTA treasurers:
Using these templates can ensure that you produce reports and materials that are consistent with what your PTA and its members expect, making you efficient and helping your organization stay compliant.
#8: Extra Tools to Help You Perform Your PTA Treasurer Duties in Texas
On top of the resources presented above, FutureFund comes with specific tools to make your duties smoother and simpler. Our platform has:
- Ecommerce features and fundraising campaign templates to help your organization raise more money with less time and effort.
- Financial report generation tools that take the work out of compiling treasurer’s reports and other statements. FutureFund even generates donation receipts automatically every time someone contributes to one of your campaigns, which saves you time on your duty to issue tax receipts to donors.
- Data aggregation tools to help you track trends and donor behavior so that you can improve your PTA’s fundraising activities over time.
With these tools, plus the knowledge and resources called out above, you should have everything you need to nail your role as a California PTA treasurer. Set up a demo of our platform here to learn more about how it can make the tasks you’re responsible for easier.