Question: How to pay for purchases?

I am our PTO's treasurer for this year. There was no organization to the finances the last few years so I am essentially starting from scratch. We are getting ready for our Winter Carnival and would like suggestions on how to pay for the needed items? I would like to order everything from one place and write one check but I know that is not going to always happen. We only have a checking's account, no debit cart. Is it customary to let teachers and members purchase what they need within budget and reimburse them? I would rather not do this, due to receipts and the paper trail, it is very time consuming for myself. Any suggestions would be great.

Asked by jeciwall28



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
You shouldn't just let people purchase what they need. It's very hard to control your budget that way and, as you pointed out, it can be a lot of work for the treasurer. The carnival committee should create a shopping list of needed items, and one or two people on the committee should be in charge of shopping for the items -- and staying within budget. If, as much as possible, they do the shopping all at once, that will minimize the work on your end. Of course, there will always be last-minute needs, but by spending some time to organize the shopping, your carnival committee can make the process much more efficient.

Community Advice

jeciwall28 writes:
What are your thoughts on a debit card, for on-line purchases?

Community Advice

lesleyharrison writes:
We have forms to be filled in for expense reimbursement, which need receipts to be attached. These can be filled in by anyone, BUT they have to be signed by the chairperson in charge of that event, so that we have evidence that the chairperson knows of that expense and has authorized it.

We have a set budget for each event and the chairperson isn't allowed to overspend it without coming to request more funds, which then has to be voted on and the extra funds coming out of a budget for a different event.

We keep a file for each year where we file all the income and expense forms along with the receipts by event. This makes it easy to find the answers to questions about items in previous carnivals, such as how much did that balloon twisting clown cost us last year.

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