The cost of youth sports is on the rise, and parents may be more discerning about how those funds are spent than ever.
Youth and adult sports teams are frequently managed by one or two team members or one or two coaches. Every aspect of the team – from buying uniforms to collecting dues – is on their shoulders.
If you’re that person for a team, be it yours or your child’s, we applaud you. You are volunteering for the great cause of keeping the sport alive. While some aspects of managing a sports team might be obvious, one question we always get is, “where do I begin accounting for sports teams?” Here’s some help to get you started.
Sports Team Accounting
- First thing’s first. Get your ducks in a row and figure out a plan for the organization. Whether you plan to use paper files, digital files, or a sports club accounting software, you just need to make a decision and go with it. Don’t worry, you can always change or upgrade your accounting methods, but it might be best to close out one year and start a new one before doing so.
- Next, take count of your players and do some budgeting to determine how much to collect for dues. Factors you’ll want to consider when calculating team member dues:
- Number of team members
- League fees
- Any practice facility rental fees
- Tournament fees
- Cost of uniforms
- Cost of equipment: nets, balls, goals, clipboards, water jugs, etc.
- Other costs: signage, accounting software, etc.
- End of season pizza nights and other miscellaneous food expenses
- Fundraisers that might make up for some of these costs
- Once you have that amount, let players know how much they owe. You could send each of them a formal invoice, depending on your style and how much is owed. Be sure to include a firm due date, and consider setting up a late charge if members are over 60 days late on the payment (tack on something like 15%). Not having money to pay for expenses can put you in a tight spot.
- Record everything. Every penny in and out should be recorded using your chosen accounting method. Keep receipts for everything, too. This will help prevent accusations of fraud down the road. If you’re super organized, you could use an app like OneReceipt or Shoeboxed to digitize your receipts, as the ink on them tends to fade over time.
- Pay the bills in a timely manner. You’re more likely to maintain good relationships with vendors if you are in good credit standing with them. As long as you have the funds, pay the vendors quickly. You could even try asking for a discount for paying upfront (can’t hurt).
- Coordinate with the head of fundraising (who coincidentally might be you) to ensure those funds are accounted for and proper receipts are given to the donors. Always be sure to thank donors as well.