Question: Missing money and backup

I was on the PTO 2 years ago and just came back as Treasurer, looking at the books, (no one can find the backup) and knowing how much profit, I am seeing over $4k missing? I have no solid proof, because I have no backup, but where do we go from here? The old Pres got debit cards and there are "straigh out mac" withdrawals along with debit purchases at Walmart in August? Do I go to the police? Hire an Audit? We don't have the money for an attorney? At a sad loss.....

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
You've probably already taken the first step, which is to get the former president's name off all the accounts and invalidate the debit card or get it back. Next step is to audit the books. Even if there was no wrongdoing, an audit will help you figure out where you stand financially right now. That's a key step to make sure you have your finances in order going forward. The article Annual Audit: How and Why walks you through the steps of a thorough review of your books. You can do this with a small committee of parents, or you might hire an accountant since it sounds like it will be somewhat complicated if you're missing a lot of records. If you do find that money was taken, you have two choices. You can ask the person to pay it back, or you can go to the police. If it's a substantial amount--more than a few hundred dollars--we recommend that you report it. Finally, it's crucial to put some financial controls into place. Number one is to make sure somebody who is not a signer on the checking account reviews the bank statement every month. I'd also recommend cutting up the debit card. You're better off keeping a small petty cash fund ($25 or $50) at the school. Not only are debit cards a temptation, they make it harder to keep track of your finances. Check out the article 5 Smart Financial Controls for more some tips on protecting your finances. Good luck!

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