Financial Policies

Financial Policies of the West Kingston PTO
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Draft / Proposed November 2006; adopted Dec 12, 2006

The purpose of these policies is to establish reasonable guidelines to which PTO Members and Officers can refer. It is hoped that these policies will be sufficiently general to allow application in most situations freeing Officers from the need to make personal, case-by-case decisions while remaining flexible enough not to be an undue burden to the smooth running of the organization.
The implicit trust all of us can expect when volunteering for the PTO is a valuable and precious thing. It could also prove rather fragile, should some problem ever occur -- whether that problem might be an accidental loss or a deliberate fraud (as some PTOs have unfortunately experienced).
My hope is that policies like these will allow us to continue to rely on trust and also will provide mechanisms whereby we can verify later that the right things were in fact done. Additionally, these verification mechanisms should provide some deterrent to anyone in whom our trust might in the future be misplaced.
I ask that these policies be adopted by the PTO as an amendment to the By-Laws.
-- Dave Brown, Treasurer 2006-2007

In this amendment, the term related indicates a relationship between two people or between a person and a corporate entity such as relationship by blood (consanguinity), marriage (affinity), shared household, employment, business ownership, or other similarly compelling interest.
Paper records required

The official WK PTO Financial Record will consist of paper records.
These records will be retained for a minimum of three (3) years, noting that several kinds of records must be retained for longer periods of time.
Partial list of records to retain

* Bank statements, including notices of NSF checks, etc
* State and Federal filings (may need to get copy from President)
* Annual budgets
* Treasurer reports
* Event summaries
* Receipts (or other documentation) for purchases and reimbursements
* Deposit slips
* Cash box receipts

Computer software and files

The use of computer software such as spreadsheets is encouraged to help ensure accuracy and to facilitate reporting. However, in the face of quickly changing technology, the most reliable backup is a human-readable piece of paper. Important computer documents should be printed and added to the WK PTO Financial Record.
Bank accounts

The PTO will maintain a business checking account.
All payments will be made from this account and all deposits will be made to this account.
The type of checking account and its features will be selected to minimize unnecessary expenses and maximize interest income.
Other accounts such as savings or certificates of deposit might be established if approved by the Board.
Check writing

Checks in amounts up to $500 may be signed either by the Treasurer or the President or by the Treasurer and one other Officer.
Checks for amounts exceeding $500 must be signed by both the Treasurer and at least one other Officer (e.g., President, Vice-President). The Treasurer and the other Officer must not be related.
An Officer may not be the sole signatory on a check if the payee is that Officer or if the payee is related to that Officer.
Bank statements

Bank statements will be reconciled against WK PTO Financial Records by the Treasurer as soon as is practical after their receipt.
At least one other Board Member will review each bank statement and sign off on it, indicating that the transactions appear to be appropriate and expected. This Board Member must not be related to the Treasurer.
Electronic banking

Electronic access to the checking account may be established for the purposes of account or statement review by Board Members.
Electronic bill payment or transfers outside of WK PTO accounts shall not be enabled.
Purchases and Reimbursements
Approval required

Expenditures must be approved in advance as specified in the By-Laws.
Documentation required

Documentation of each expense is required. An original receipt or invoice is ideal. A copy of the receipt or invoice is also perfectly acceptable. When this is not available, other sources could be used such as a catalog page, sale flyer, or printout from a web site page indicating as clearly as possible the amount and the goods or services received.
This documentation will be retained by the Treasurer as part of the PTO financial records.
Reimbursement by check

Reimbursement will be made by check whenever possible.
Sales tax

The WK PTO is exempt from payment of Rhode Island sales tax. Anyone making purchases on behalf of the PTO should use a copy of our tax exempt certificate or other method to obtain the goods or services without tax being charged.
Purchase guidelines and reimbursement request form

The PTO and Treasurer may develop a printed form to facilitate purchases and reimbursement requests. See Attachment A for a possible design.
Cash handling

The PTO will not maintain cash-on-hand or a petty cash fund.
Cash should not be left in the PTO box. (If you notice that there is cash in the box perhaps a family pays cash for an after-school activity or something like that please notify the Treasurer so it can be recorded and deposited quickly.)
Cash Boxes

The Treasurer will make available cash boxes for events which need to handle cash.
Cash will be withdrawn from the PTO bank accounts as close to the beginning of an event as is practical.
At least one PTO Member will be in possession of (or otherwise responsible for) the cash at all times.
It is strongly encouraged that two un-related Members verify the amount in the cash box at the beginning and end of an event and whenever the custody or control of a cash box passes from one Member to another.
When practical, a receipt will be given by the Member receiving the cash to the Member giving the cash and a copy of the receipt will stay with the cash box.
Cash will be deposited to the PTO bank accounts as soon as practical after an event.
The PTO and Treasurer may develop a printed form to facilitate this cash management policy. See Attachment B for a possible design.
Cash income

When cash income is expected, some method of tracking the income independently of the cash itself should be used. The method employed will be up to the event committee.

* Single item for sale: the beginning and ending inventory could be recorded, making record of and allowance for any spoilage.
* Multiple items for sale: a record of each sale amount could be kept.
* Admission: numbered tickets could be given (even if theyre just dropped in a recycling bin on the other side of the ticket booth) or a simple tally sheet could be kept.

Check handling
No check cashing

The WK PTO will not cash personal checks; checks must be written for the exact amount required.
NSF checks

If a check is returned for insufficient funds or other reasons, the Treasurer may make an attempt to contact the person who wrote the check and ask that the check and fee(s) be made good.
The PTO will not maintain a list of individuals whose checks have previously failed to clear. (I.e., there will not be a no checks list at events.)
Should the treasurer notice a second check from an individual whose check has previously failed to clear and who has not made good the previous check and fee, the Treasurer may attempt to contact the individual before depositing the new check. If the Treasurer is unable to receive assurances that the new check will clear, the Treasurer may (in consultation with the President) decide to not deposit the check to avoid additional loss

West Kingston Elementary School 3119 Ministerial Rd West Kingston RI 02892 (401) 360-1130