Summary of Key Points:
- Understanding and adhering to PTA bylaws and guidelines is crucial for effective financial management in the treasurer role. You can find the specific rules for your PTA online.
- Training is vital, even with a finance background. Free resources can be found through National and State PTAs.
- Efficient budgeting, which aligns with PTA’s goals and is regularly monitored, is a key responsibility of the treasurer.
- Compliance with federal, state, and local regulations is a must for PTA treasurers. Understanding IRS reporting requirements (like submitting form 990 for tax exempt organizations) and rules governing fundraising activities is also essential.
- Adopting modern tools like FutureFund can streamline tasks such as financial record-keeping, automate reporting, and ensure compliance with financial regulations.
Taking on the Treasurer role for your PTA can be exciting, but it can also be daunting if you aren’t certain of your responsibilities. Even if you are clear on your duties, there are specific facts and rules about how your role works that you’ll need to be familiar with in order to succeed. Learning all this might feel like a challenge—but don’t worry, we’re here to help.
Saving time for PTA members is a key part of our mission at FutureFund, so we’ve put together this list of essential knowledge to help you get started as a brand new treasurer for your organization. Use the facts and guidelines below to orient yourself and get set up for success.
Key PTA Bylaws & Guidelines
Understanding your PTA’s bylaws and guidelines is the first stepping stone to becoming an effective treasurer. These rules provide a roadmap for your financial management duties, such as approval processes, spending limits, and financial oversight. They’re the foundation of your work, and sticking closely to them helps prevent confusion and potential legal trouble.
- Always have a copy of your PTA’s bylaws on hand (these should be available online and you should receive a copy when you start your new role).
- Review them regularly to ensure your actions align with the stipulated guidelines.
- Reach out to your PTA board or state PTA for clarification on any unclear sections.
Where to Get PTA Treasurer Training
Though you might have a solid background in finance, treasurer training is invaluable. National or State PTAs usually offer online and in-person workshops that include information on PTA financial management. Such training introduces you to key nonprofit accounting principles and specific challenges you might encounter.
- Visit your state or National PTA website for upcoming training events.
- Join online PTA forums for shared experiences and advice.
- Never hesitate to seek external professional advice when needed.
How to Budget Effectively
Budgeting is a core responsibility for PTA treasurers. An effective budget aligns with the PTA’s goals and guides all financial decisions. Collaboratively working with the PTA board to develop and regularly monitor the budget helps ensure your PTA’s financial health.
- Begin the budgeting process early—ideally before the school year begins.
- Regularly compare actual income and expenses against budget predictions.
- Communicate any significant deviations to the PTA board and adjust the budget as necessary.
How to Produce Accurate Financial Records
Accurate financial records are crucial for transparency, accountability, and successful audits. Tools like FutureFund can streamline this process and reduce the risk of errors by automatically generating accurate financial reports in just a few clicks. It’s essential to keep track of all income, expenses, and account balances meticulously, so using these tools can be an invaluable way to keep your reporting accurate while saving time in the process.
- Generate reports automatically with FutureFund to track and record all transactions.
- Keep all receipts, invoices, and bank statements.
- Regularly back up digital records as an extra layer of security.
Relevant Federal, State, & Local Regulations
Compliance is non-negotiable for PTAs. Since PTAs usually have tax-exempt status, they must adhere to specific federal and state reporting requirements, like filing IRS Form 990 (a yearly reporting return that provides information about your PTA’s mission, programs, and finances). Also, you need to make yourself aware of any local and state regulations impacting your fundraising activities.
- Familiarize yourself with IRS reporting requirements for tax-exempt organizations.
- Be aware of state-specific rules governing PTAs and fundraising activities.
- Consult with a tax or legal professional if you’re unsure about any regulations.
Why Transparency Matters in Financial Reporting
Transparent financial reporting fosters trust among PTA members and ensures everyone understands the PTA’s financial status. Regularly sharing accurate financial reports keeps all stakeholders informed and engaged.
- Ensure reports are easily understandable, even for those without financial expertise.
- Regularly present financial updates at PTA meetings.
- Be open to questions and clarifications from PTA members—not everyone in your organization will be a financial expert (that’s why they elected you Treasurer!).
Best Practices for Overseeing Fundraising Activities
As treasurer, you’ll support the Fundraising Chair in planning and carrying out fundraising activities by ensuring that funds raised are accurately recorded and allocated. Finally, you’ll have a hand in deciding which fundraisers offer the best return on investment. People will rely on your financial expertise to assess the risk and reward associated with various fundraising campaigns.
- Keep detailed records of income from each fundraiser—FutureFund can provide these automatically, saving you precious time.
- Collaborate with the fundraising committee to determine the most profitable fundraising activities.
- Ensure all fundraising efforts comply with relevant regulations.
How to Implement Internal Controls & Audits
Implementing internal controls, like a two-signature rule on checks (which is also required by law in many states), reduces the risk of fraud. Regular internal audits ensure the accuracy of financial records and offer an opportunity to detect and correct any irregularities.
- Establish clear procedures for approving expenses.
- Schedule regular internal audits, either by a designated audit committee or an external auditor.
- Regularly review internal controls and update them as necessary.
How to Facilitate the Transition to Your PTA’s Next Treasurer
Smooth transitions ensure continuity and efficiency in PTA financial management. Prepare the incoming treasurer by sharing your procedures, best practices, and lessons learned during your term.
- Document your procedures and lessons learned for the incoming treasurer.
- Offer to help train the incoming treasurer.
- Organize all financial records for easy handover. You should be able to find a list of documents that need to be provided to the incoming treasurer on your PTA’s website.
Tools that Can Help Your Organization Save Time & Stay Compliant
Modern tools like FutureFund, can help automate many of your tasks as a PTA treasurer. They can streamline financial record-keeping, automate reporting, help with fundraising, and ensure compliance with financial regulations.
- Explore and invest in financial management software designed for PTAs.
- Utilize features like automatic backups, financial report generation, and budget tracking.
- Automatically issue tax receipts to donors as required for all 501(c) organizations in the United States.
- Continually stay updated on new features and updates to your chosen software to optimize its use.
Learn more about using FutureFund to accomplish your goals and make life as a new treasurer easy when you set up a demo with us. We’ll be happy to show you exactly how we built our platform to support you and your PTA’s goals.