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What I fail to understand is what National has to gain in all of this.

So, what if some malicious scouter transfers a troop treasury into his coffers in one fell swipe?

Sure that's traumatizing for the troop, and it may make the evening news, but there are many more scouters who are paying  fees quickly and directly through the treasury via these cards.

NOTE: My units are not. They are still check based, but single-signature.

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What's the difference between swiping the card and writing oneself a check.  Same thing happens either way.

 

Asking a volunteer to use their credit/debit card and then get reimbursed is assuming an awful lot.  If people can't afford uniform pants for their boys, how can they chip in the troop's registration?  

 

Troops don't need to prove credit worthiness with a debit card.  Debit card usage is no different than a single signature check.  One does not need to track down the card when someone leaves, just get a new card and cancel the first.

 

In this day and age of tech savvy people. it's quicker to buy something but to pay someone who hasn't a card reader means getting cash is pretty difficult.  It's far easier with a check.

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Our troop debit card has a $500 limit for purchases and no cash access ability.

$500 is enough for camp fees and enough for a deposit for bigger things until a check can be written.

Edited by andysmom

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We use credit/debit cards. It is a convenient way to pay online summer camp and HA deposits. And it eliminates postage on registered mail. The CC, SM and ASM will text a receipt so I can match the charges to our online bank account and categorize within TroopLedger. I will use the card to make after-hours ATM deposits and the receipt includes an image of the check. I go online and check our account several times a week and look for unusual activity. I was leary when I learned we had them, but cards work well for our large troop.

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This is a topic that hits home to me I was aksed to float a larg some of money to pay for an activity and I refused to be the finace compay for the pack.   then I heard complates of people that wrote us checks wondering if we were ever going to cash them

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I have been involved in many large organizations. Financial controls often seem tedious, but the best practices are rather consistent across all organizations. Not having a debit card is typical. Checks signed by two individuals is another. Any potential use of a debit card can be accomplished by a reimbursement policy. Though it isnt the same thing, financial controls best practices can be thought of as youth protection for the money.

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I actually think National is correct on this and I agree with DuctTape. That said, it is not a 'prohibition' but merely discouragement...'caveat emptor' of sorts, we're responsible for our own decisions.

I have never had a problem with debit cards. This is because I never, ever use them.

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Yeah, sure, caveat emptor. But unlike YPT or other safety statistics, there's no reference in this site to embezellment rates so that scouters understand the implications of different financial management strategies.

 

So, we have a talking (typing?) head trying to herd a 100K treasurers in a particular direction. I'm just not sure what the purpos is. Is there currently a certain level of reported significant loss (say more than $400) in so many units, and they want to reduce the number of vulnerable unites by x%?

 

I know that every line of stats results in dozens of posts haggling over the calculation of the figures. But, it at least gives you some idea of what the author thinks to be the magnitude of the problem.

Edited by qwazse

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So let's assume volunteers have the ability to float reservation fees and such.  Doesn't that create a situation where the troop checkbook register ends up with a large number of the checks made out to individuals?  Sure, the Treasurer might be very diligent in filling out the memo section of each check and the volunteers very diligent in turning in every receipt.  However, doesn't the audit process become a tedious and error prone activity trying to match it all back up a year later?  It seems more likely to me a single illicit check to an individual could get lost in the noise of the account.  With a debit card each line item is paid directly and noted as such on an independent statement that can still be verified with receipts.. 

 

It's curious that the BSA was pushing Discover Debit Cards (http://www.scoutsarethrifty.com/) on scouts a few years ago but units can't be trusted with them.

Edited by dcsimmons

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As the US continues to move to a cashless soceity where most have smartphones, it will be interesting to see how the role of unit treasurer changes or even goes away if some units. Say Apple, Paypal or similar ilk creates an app to handle all unit/charitable org transactions with supporters, suppliers, venues, transportation,...Apple or Paypal gets their cut off every transaction. National has no say nor financial gain in this, well unless they reconsider. It is interesting how there are National controls on units regarding badges but not money. :confused:

 

So if a unit uses this app with bank account and with data stored in cloud 

   - a scout family registers for a unit and pays (CC, DC, Paypal,...) and money goes directly to wherever.

   - a customer wants to buy scout popcorn, customers does it thru a scout leader smartphone app there and money goes directly to council and unit.

   - a unit wants to go to Camp Runamuck. App sets up an interim reservation which also states discounts and camperships which may apply. If minimum number signup is reached by deadline, smartphone rings and reservation is reviewed requiring 2 or 3 leader signoff, and their payments are sent to Camp Runamuck, if not funds returned to respective scout families.

   - a unit wants to buy something. The app requires two or three approvals, so smartphones ring for confirmation. With approval confirmation, transaction proceeds like a debit card either FTF or online.

   - app can report full transaction history to anyone allowed read access (transparency what a concept)

   - random cash donations handled by Treasurer as before except deposit transaction is known to app. No other cash transactions. Heh, Cureently I can't pay cash for camp reservations, I have to go online with MY CC. Parents, welcome to my world.

   - reimbursements: the app would again require two or three approval confirmation. Bank to bank fund transfer.

   - Scout accounts go away completely. All unit funds are in a single account.

 

My $0.01 cash

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I actually think National is correct on this and I agree with DuctTape. That said, it is not a 'prohibition' but merely discouragement...'caveat emptor' of sorts, we're responsible for our own decisions.

I have never had a problem with debit cards. This is because I never, ever use them.

 

If I have the checkbook or a debit card, how does the former better prevent me from embezzling money over the latter? The only barrier I see is that checks are accepted in fewer places, thus the check-based troop needs to carry cash more...but it doesn't provide anymore a barrier to stealing than a debt card.

 

BSA on the wrong side of the debate again.

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You know something this reminds me of and issue we had earlier this year our CC had the pack check book and his wife accedently wrote a check to pay for something out of the Pack check book (yes we did whip her with a wet noodel) but the funny part is the bank honered the check with one signuture I am not even sure if she is on the account to sing for checks so what is the diffrence between checks and a debt card ?

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You know something this reminds me of and issue we had earlier this year our CC had the pack check book and his wife accedently wrote a check to pay for something out of the Pack check book (yes we did whip her with a wet noodel) but the funny part is the bank honered the check with one signuture I am not even sure if she is on the account to sing for checks so what is the diffrence between checks and a debt card ?

One of the problems with check handling today (and this is not new) is that no one looks at the signature. You can sign the check “Micky Mouse†and it will go through because almost all checks are process by machine. People don’t get involved unless there is a dispute.

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