This week’s question from our Ask a Question section comes from an anonymous poster:
Do most PTO’s have their own independent from the school bank account? Ours is combined with the school’s account so we really don’t have control of our money.
Most PTOs do have their own bank account. It’s really the only way to properly manage your budget, and it’s certainly the most efficient way to run your group. You’ll need an Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the IRS if you don’t have one. Having an EIN doesn’t mean you’re an employer — it’s like a social security number for businesses, and it only takes a few minutes to obtain (IRS.gov). You also should put some strong financial controls into place. You may need to demonstrate to the school that you will do this. There have been lots of cases of theft from PTOs, and the school may be concerned about that. The number one thing you should do is have your bank statement sent to someone who is not a signer on the checking account — maybe even the principal, if this helps your situation. The article 5 Smart Financial Controls offers simple, easy-to-implement ideas that will protect your money.
Related links/More articles related to PTO or PTA finances and budgets: