Taking on any new position within an organization can be very intimidating: what do I do? How do I start? What are my responsibilities? It’s particularly scary when you’re taking a position that makes you responsible for handling other people’s money.
In most fraternities, the treasurer’s first day on the job looks something like this: The former officer (in this case, the former Treasurer, Controller, Vice President of Finance) drops a huge four-hundred page binder on your desk and says, “just read through it, you’ll get it.”
Since you probably won’t read it, I’ll summarize it for you here.
- Meet with your fraternity advisor as soon as possible.
- Calculate your fraternity’s income (dues x members), so you can budget appropriately. Assume some people will be delinquent and you won’t be able to collect 100% of dues.
- Set aside money for necessary expenses: rent, IFC fees, etc., and make sure to budget money for other obligations and expenses (recruitment, initiation, etc.).
- Don’t forget about things like conventions, retreats, president’s academy, etc. Those get very expensive very fast.
- Don’t plan to spend all your money. Budget money for “savings” and “contingencies”.
- Complete the budget before the first meeting, so it can be voted on and approved by your members.
- Check your account balance and transaction history frequently. Be open about this information with your brothers.
- Collecting dues is tough. Negative reinforcement works in the short term, positive reinforcement works in the long term.
- NEVER EVER accept cash.
- Keep records of everything (including reimbursements).
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