Imagine if every chapter leader said to themselves…
“I know it is not my money, but I act like it is, and I think everyone else should, too.”
Every chapter in the AMA would be on solid financial footing. The following tips will guide you to strong financial health as you run your chapter like a business:
- Recruit a financial professional as your chapter board treasurer (such as a CPA, CFO, or Controller). AMA Support Center will pay for their membership (see Professional Chapter Treasurer Free Membership Program). Hand over the management of the finances to a professional, reduce chapter risk and exposure and monitor your chapter’s financial aspects.
- Have all new board members rotate onto the finance committee.
- Have a financial professional provide a financial tutorial session to the entire board. Every board member has a fiduciary responsibility to the chapter.
- Have a writing process for a transition of signature authority each year, make sure the correct people have access to various financial accounts.
- Have a policy requiring two authorizations for purchases over a certain nominal amount (for example, $100). This will help prevent fraud. See, Are you around today? I need a favor: Protect Your Chapter Against Financial Email Fraud.
- Learn the ins and outs of the chapter finances, have a non-financial person provide the finance report at a board meeting. Learn by doing.
- Utilize a dashboard report – a quick snapshot of where the chapter stands in relation to the budget and goals.
- During the new board member onboarding session, focus on the importance of managing finances and the fiduciary responsibility of a board member.
- Have new board members meet with the board treasurer to understand finances fully and the impact on the chapter’s ability to offer meaningful programming to its members and community.
- Create a Finance Minute at a board meeting to understand how one functional area of the budget impacts the chapter. Example: increasing membership has a $XX impact on income.
- Establish budget guidelines and follow them.