Thank you to Northshore Council PTSA 6.10 for allowing WSPTA to share their recent blog post on our site.
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Financial Reviews right now can be an overwhelming prospect. As a treasurer, you want to make sure your review committee can access all documents easily and smoothly with the added difficulty of doing the review over a video call. As the review committee, you want to stay organized and have a good system for including all committee members in the process. Below you will find pointers for both treasurers and financial review committees.
You want to make sure you are continuing to maintain your physical binder while putting together a digital binder that allows you to share it with your review committee. There are many different ways to create a digital binder, depending on your skillset. A super simple way is to use a program like Google Drive, DropBox, or One Drive to create folders to store your digital documents. Below are steps you can take to create a simple and easy to use online binder:
- Choose your online program. It should be simple to upload files to and you should be able to easily share it with the financial review committee.
- Create a folder specifically for your financial review. You may already be keeping digital files, but keep in mind that the best way to keep files for you to find, may not be the best way for your review team to locate those files.
- Set up folders for each section. There is a Financial Review Checklist found on the WA State PTA website. Section 4 will not need a folder as that is for the review committee’s comments and signatures.
- Fill each section’s folder with digital copies of these documents. Each section has a list of documents needed to answer questions in that section. To make it easier for your committee to locate documents, if an item is needed for more than one section, put a copy of that document in both sections. To help organize each section folder, create folders within the folder to group items together. For instance, create a folder for each month where you can put your expenses and deposits for that month.
- Clearly label all digital documents. Keep in mind, what will the review committee be looking for when naming it. In section 2, they ask for minutes where specific things were done (budget approval, elections, etc…) consider labeling those minutes with that title (Budget Approval Minutes). When labeling expenses, consider using the check number (7623 Reimburse Chambers), this puts your expenses in number order.
- Go through the review questions. Once you have all your documents uploaded to your financial review folder, walk through answering each question and make sure you have all the needed documents.
Following these steps will help you to feel confident when handing over your books to be reviewed. Before you hand over your binder, make sure you remove anything you store in it that shouldn’t be shared such as passwords. When it is time for the review, give the entire team access to your digital files. Also, if it is at all possible, give at least one person on your review team viewing access to your financial software.
FINANCIAL REVIEW COMMITTEE
Setting Yourself up for Success:
- Each committee member should have a copy of the Financial Review Checklist to follow along. One person should be in charge of note-taking. You will want to make notes on a draft and then sign the final draft to submit to the board.
- While working remotely, it’s helpful for each team member to take ownership of one section of documents: Meeting Minutes, Standing Rules, any additional Policies (such as money handling, password updates, etc.), Bank Statements, Reconciliation Reports, Treasurer’s Reports, Expenses Reports, Deposit Reports, Grant Documents, Budget, etc.
- As you work through the checklist, make note of any exceptions in the comments. If you are unable to answer a question based on what you have in hand, make a note of this and move on to the next question.
- The final page will require signatures from all parties of the Financial Review Committee as well as any feedback and recommendations for the board of directors to take under advisement. This is also a great place to provide positive feedback, too!
Financial Review Questions:
For notes on what documents to reference for each individual question check out this helpful document: Northshore Council PTSA Financial Review Helpful Guide
The annual Financial Review is a requirement of the PTA/PTSA’s insurance. It is also a helpful tool meant to assist the Treasurer and the rest of the Board of Directors in establishing and refining best practices. During a Financial Review, the policies and procedures are being reviewed, and the committee’s feedback is important in providing insight to those policies.