Start 2018 on the financial “right foot.” Early in the year is the best time to make sure your association and chapter’s financial business is in order.
If your association has a new treasurer, this is a good opportunity to make sure they are aware of your financial and reporting requirements. Tax season is fast approaching; therefore, consulting with a tax professional now is probably a good idea. Waiting until the last minute could result in penalties and fees assessed against your association. The last thing your association needs is to not meet its obligations with state and federal tax requirements.
It is just as important to review your association’s financials at your scheduled meetings as it is to make sure your agenda is in order before the meeting. While it is the treasurer’s responsibility to keep your association’s financial matters in order, it is the responsibility of the entire board to be aware of where and how your members’ dues are being spent. Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to their members. Should you have any questions or concerns regarding your association’s financial practices, do not hesitate to email or call me. Many associations have found themselves in awkward situations where all or most of their money is gone by failing to make it a practice to review financials and bank statements and conduct an annual audit. Your association’s treasurer or chief financial officer should encourage, if not demand, everyone to review the organization’s financials. Doing so protects the treasurer and the rest of your association’s board.
Let’s shift gears from local financial business to your chapter’s financial business. A few years ago, the Board of Directors made some changes to the standing rules as they pertain to chapter reimbursement. Standing Rule Article VIII, section 7(B), states: “Chapter reimbursement checks will not be issued until the quarterly report is received and approved by the Treasurer or his designee. If the quarterly report is not received by 60 days after the end of the quarter, no chapter reimbursement check for the prior quarter shall be issued, absent approval by the Executive Committee or Board of Directors.”
Per our standing rules, the chapter expense reporting is required to be completed by each chapter’s treasurer no later than 60 days after the end of the quarter to receive members’ dues reimbursements. Your local chapter utilizes these reimbursements to conduct chapter business and manage its financial obligations. As chapters transition to their 2018 boards, I would like to maintain the positive direction established over the last several years. We do not want to create undue stress on our accounting staff, nor does your chapter want to deal with delays in receiving your regular reimbursements. While attending your next chapter meeting, please remind your current chapter treasurer of their requirement to file the chapter’s financial information with PORAC. You don’t want to get caught with very little to no money in your chapter account, especially as chapters are gearing up for 2018 expenses.
Don’t forget to attend your chapter meetings. This year we are looking at some looming court decisions that could have some detrimental effects on our pensions. Moreover, the folks seeking police transparency are still after us, and we at PORAC are working on creating sensible legislation on this issue. Your association’s input to your chapter director is paramount, since the chapter director’s job is to take your chapter’s direction to the PORAC Board, which is essential as we work toward creating legislation regarding transparency and other topics.
If you are not sure when and where your chapter meeting is held, please refer to www.porac.org and search the calendar for your respective chapter. If your chapter meeting is not listed there, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will research the information for you. See you at the chapter meeting!
Be safe and have fun.