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HELP! Where to start as Troop Treasurer?

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Volunteered as Troop Treasurer in a moment of weakness - troop was at risk of losing our charter without one, and no one else would step up. Last few treasurers were CPAs, but I'm just an organized scout mom and was assured that was enough. I was told there wasn't much of a commitment; I would just need to keep track of incoming and outgoing funds and update scout accounts regularly, also I would need to run reports before each quarterly committee meeting. The extent of the position transfer was being handed a few boxes of files - including months of undeposited cash and checks (!!!) - and getting my name on the bank accounts. Also received a flash drive with the "current" files - "Some things are in QuickBooks and some are in Excel." 

I'm feeling like this is a nightmare - I don't have QuickBooks (nor any of the software QuickBooks data can be exported into). The info in Excel (the scout account stuff) is not helpful and honestly makes no sense in how it is configured. There are plenty of printouts of equities and liabilities and depreciations...things I do not know the first thing about tracking. And somehow I have to have them all nice and neat in a pretty report for a committee meeting in 10 days.

WHERE DO I EVEN START? I have been told to avoid QuickBooks as it is truly for CPAs, but I can't find solid info on how to set up Quicken for a troop. Poring over the internet for the last two days has gotten me nowhere - is there honestly no gold standard for software/web or cloud-based solutions for scout troop accounting? Our troop used ScoutBook, but it doesn't appear there is a financial component there. The single PDF that the BSA offers (under Program Tools) is not going to work (what is that, anyway?) . Should I look into Troopledger? Should I try to start from scratch in Google Sheets? 

Honestly, ANY light any of you could shed would be helpful! I truly want to be able to do this for the troop, but I am terrified at this point. 

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First off, thank you for helping your troop.  They need a Treasurer and you will be fine!  It's OK.

I'll tell you exactly what I think -- I think you can come up with the system that works best for you.   You do not have to use QuickBooks.  You just need the Scout bank records and a register and you can record things the way you want. 

There are online, cloud-based softwares available if that's what you want, or you could use a Google spreadsheet.  Quickbooks has an online subscription for $7/mo, and maybe that is affordable or maybe not.

Ask the last Treasurer what the heck is up with those checks and cash.  Hunt them down for answers.  Were they doing something like mobile deposits?  

I have not been a Treasurer, but I know you can do this.  Take it one step at a time and set it up in the way that makes the most sense for you.

Do your best.  It will be OK.

Also don't forget to take the committee member training on my.scouting.org, when you can get through it -- it's a lot of training but you can do it in small chunks.



Edited by WisconsinMomma

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The previous treasurer should train his/her replacement and that training period varies.

Ask for help from your Troop Committee.

Maybe the books should be audited before you take over?

@blw2 likely can offer much more advice.

It is okay to say NO to this position. Plenty of other places to help out.



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First of all welcome to the forum!

Keeping track of the unit's funds is pretty much a no-brainer.  Keep track of what's coming in and what's going out.  Keep receipts and pay only what one is directed to pay.  Keep the vouchers of what has been paid out.  Paper trail either on the books or digitally so as to cover all your bases in an audit.  The real headache is the ISA accounts.  That's a minefield fraught with political intrigue and extra work that isn't necessary for maintaining the financial integrity of the unit.

Personally, I would not take on the task of treasurer in a unit with ISA's.

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I agree with much of what Wisconsin Momma said.  Don't feel bound by how past Treasurers have done things, figure out how you can do things.

That said, the very first thing you should do is set expectations with your Committee Chair.  Sit down with him/her and show them the state of things today, let them know what you believe you can do now and what you might be able to do in the future.  If your expectations don't match, decline the position.  

The next step is to get a handle on the basics.  Get all the deposits into the bank and figure out how much money the troop has.  Find out if there are any outstanding bills and get them paid.  Now you at least know whether you can pay whatever the next bill is.

After that there a lot of different ways to go, if your predecessor can't help you, talk to the Treasurers in your neighboring troop and see how they do things.  

Best wishes.

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