Accounting Procedures

  • Parent Organizations should include written instructions on the recording of accounting transactions in their bylaws, such as accounting method (cash vs. accrual), number of authorized signers on the bank account(s) and number of authorized signatures required for each check.
     
  • All transactions should be recorded in the Parent Organization’s financial records.
     
  • The Parent Organization books and bank accounts should be reconciled monthly.
     
  • Parent Organizations may provide support to their student group in two manners:
     
    1. Parent Organization members raise funds for a student group. Funds are deposited into the organization’s bank account. The Parent Organization writes a check to the school where the student group is located. The school deposits the funds into the student group’s activity fund. The funds then belong to the members of the student group, to be spent at their discretion (under the supervision of the Sponsor). All accounting and safeguarding of the funds is the responsibility of the school, once the school has received the funds.

      The IRS prefers that 501(c)(3) organizations use this method, since it provides the “cleanest” procedure to track how the Parent Organization spends its revenues. Using this method, the Parent Organization’s Financial Report would show a clear path of revenues generated and expended exclusively for its purpose, to support a student group. In addition, this method reduces the amount of paperwork and responsibility for the Parent Organization related to the accounting for the revenues and expenses of the student group.
       
    2. Parent Organization members raise funds for a student group. Funds are deposited into the organization’s bank account. The Parent Organization writes checks to the individual vendors for the expenses related to the student group through their bank account. In addition, they collect amounts due from the students for each event/competition/trip in which the student group participates. In addition, the Parent Organization tracks who has paid and who still owes money for each event and ensures that all balances are paid in full before the event occurs. All accounting and safeguarding of the funds is the responsibility of the Parent Organization.