Illinois PTA is continuing its efforts to support our PTAs and PTA Councils by answering questions you may have about running your PTA in this unprecedented situation. Our previous parts of this ongoing series are here:
If you have questions not addressed here, please contact your Region or District Director or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
How do we conduct an audit this year?
The first step is to determine how your audit committee is to be elected. Procedures for doing so should be in Article XI – Standing and Special Committees, Section 5 of your PTA bylaws. Follow that procedure to form your audit committee.
Next, determine how the committee can meet remotely to discuss the audit and how your treasurer can get copies of the relevant documents into the hands of the audit committee. Some questions to consider:
- Since the audit this year might take longer if the committee cannot meet face-to-face even over the summer, can your PTA encourage committee chairs to submit expenses now for events that are over or as soon as possible for end-of-year spending?
- What documents are already in electronic format and can be shared easily?
- What documents might need to be scanned? Is there someone in the PTA (not necessarily an officer or on the audit committee) who has a document scanner that can scan a lot of documents quickly?
- If your PTA uses accounting software, is there a way for the audit committee to access it online?
- Can you get electronic versions of your bank statements for the year from your bank’s online access?
- Your audit committee needs to sign the audit report when it finishes its work. How will the committee circulate the form to sign it and then get it to the incoming PTA president and treasurer?
Finally, if you share passwords with your audit committee to things such as your online banking or online accounting software, remember to change those passwords once the committee’s work is done.
What do we do about next year’s budget?
A budget is a plan, and it is understandable if you are having difficulty planning what the spring of 2021 will look like when it is difficult to plan what is happening next week. But keep in mind that a budget is not carved in stone—your PTA can adopt it at the beginning of the new school year and amend it as the financial situation of your PTA evolves over the 2020-2021 school year.
As you lay out your budget for the coming year, follow these guidelines:
- Determine what events, activities, and educational opportunities your PTA wants to provide for the 2020-2021 school year.
- Determine how much it will cost to provide those items.
- Determine the operational costs for your PTA (e.g., insurance, website fee, etc.).
- Set a membership goal for your PTA and determine how much money will be raised by the local portion of your PTA dues.
- Calculate how much additional money your PTA will need to raise and the timeline for when those funds will be needed.
- Decide what fundraisers your PTA will conduct and when to meet your budget. Remember to budget based on the net income from a fundraiser, not the gross income. If your PTA plans to raise $2,000 working with a fundraising company that receives 50% of the gross receipts, your PTA will need to have $4,000 in sales. (see Part 2: Fundraising & Unused Funds)
Graphic courtesy of the US Army.