By definition, the PTO or PTA Treasurer is responsible for all funds that pass through the organization’s doors. This includes money collected at events and fundraisers, disbursement of funds and ensuring accurate bookkeeping.
Being the PTA treasurer can seem like a big responsibility at first, but not when the role has been properly defined. Once you understand your role as treasurer, it will become less daunting. You may even see it as an exciting venture. Here are a few tips to help you get started as a PTA or PTO treasurer.
Once elected, work begins. And as we like to say, the earlier, the better. Your initial duty is to build a smooth rapport between yourself and the old treasurer. While the old administration is still in place, take the opportunity to have as many discussions as possible.
Although most PTA groups will hold official gatherings to properly dissolve the former administration and introduce the incoming ones, this cannot be compared to how effective it is to have personal conversations with the past treasurer on your own. This will allow you to learn about how your parent group is run and ask specific questions in a more intimate setting. Having your computer, mobile phone or a notebook handy during these conversations with the past administration will help you retain the information for future use.
If you are feeling overwhelmed about your new role and you aren’t receiving support from the outgoing treasurer, you may find help from other board members or even your parent organization (i.e. your state’s Parent Teacher Association). We also have additional tips to consider if the outgoing board is not helpful.
Documents and Files
Ensure that you review and get familiar with all the group bylaws. These bylaws will not only help you understand the rules of your group, but they will shed more light on your responsibilities as a PTA treasurer.
One of your post’s descriptions is to be in charge of some of the critical paperwork and files in your parent group. Keep a secure note of the group’s Tax ID or EIN number, bank account number and any other important items the former treasurer passes along.
It is highly advisable that you get these documents immediately from the last treasurer and also ask about the necessary documents that will be due for submission in the coming year.
Gather Some Supplies
The outgoing treasurer may recommend some supplies for you. Or, she may pass some along. At MoneyMiner, we have our own list for your consideration. Check out what we recommend to include in “The Treasurer’s Bin” to make sure you have all the tools for the job at your fingertips.
As the world increasingly goes digital, you may find that you don’t need physical copies of paperwork. For others, this is the simplest way to reference something. So your “back to school supplies list” is really a matter of personal preference.
Get Familiar with the Software
Get to know the treasurer software your parent group uses, again, taking as much time as possible to review current procedures with your predecessor. A web-based app like MoneyMinder allows you to add new users and roles with a few clicks of a mouse.
Get to know the tool and how the treasurer uses it to create and edit budgets, reconcile books, remit payments, manage documents and contacts and more. For MoneyMinder users, we have a Help Center with extensive documentation, including a guide for new treasurers to get started.
A PTA or PTO Treasurer’s Primary Duties
Here are some examples of the general primary duties of a PTA or PTO treasurer
Bank reconciliation is one of the most important job functions of a PTA Treasurer. It provides a clear, accurate picture of how much money your group has by ensuring the bank and your records agree.
Budgets are a critical part of a parent group’s success. They help you make sure you have enough allocated for longstanding, flagship programs, as well as deciding which new projects to fund.
Funding and Fundraising
As PTA Treasurer, you will have a hand before, during and after a fundraising activity. On the front end, it’s up to you to clearly communicate your group’s budgets and financial goals so that the board can plan for fundraising activities that help achieve those goals.
During an event, you need to be sure that receipts are kept for every dollar raised. If your group is a 501(c)(3), be sure to also provide donors with an acceptable receipt for their records.
After the lights go out and your fundraiser has ended, it’s then up to you to record the money that was raised and report to the board on whether it met, exceeded or fell short of expectations – as well as what that means for the rest of your financial year.
As the PTO or PTA treasurer, you will be expected to present the board with up-to-date reports on the group’s financial position. You must keep the financial records updated for accuracy so that a report can easily be run in time for a board meeting.
Speaking of board meetings, you will also likely be expected to present your report (either in person or virtually) to the board. If this gives you butterflies in your tummy, try our guide to giving the treasurer’s report.
Taxes & Year End
For many parent groups, taxes and year-end fall at two completely different times. Still, you should be prepared for both.
Taxes take place in the form of a 990, 990N or 990EZ every year. They are due by the 15th day of the 5th month after the end of your fiscal year. So if your fiscal year ends June 30th, the form is due November 15th.
Year-end procedures include completing your final bank reconciliations and reports for the year. We have a complete list of our suggested year-end procedures in our Help Center.
Make it Easy on Yourself
We understand the rigor that comes with being a treasurer of a PTA or PTO group. While we believe there is joy in the process, it isn’t always as easy as it looks. Using spreadsheets to manage all of this opens you to a lot of errors and other “worst-case” scenarios.
But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Using a tool like MoneyMinder that is specifically built for PTA Treasurers has many advantages. Explore those advantages with a free trial or demo. If you don’t like what you see, you can always use MoneyMinder free edition forever at no cost.