Question: budget woes

I am a current 2010/2011 treasurer for the second year. This year I have limited cooperation with my board officers related to finalizing the budget. What exactly are the duties of the Treasurer when it comes to the budget. I have emailed several formats and still the officers are not satisfied with the numbers, yet they are unwilling to sit down and go over them.

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
As treasurer, your job is to initiate and oversee the budget process. You have the financial history at your fingertips, so you should be able to prepare an initial budget. However, the whole board needs to agree on future plans before you can finalize the budget. Then it has to be approved by the board and the general membership. In other words, the budget is a shared responsibility overseen by you. I'm curious about the timing. Are you setting a budget for next year? Revising this year's budget? I wonder if the other officers aren't cooperating because they don't feel any sense of urgency at this point.

Community Advice

jewel writes:
I prepared 5 initial budgets.. 6 if you count the expenditure form that the board began with. At this juncture I don't know what the problem is. The board as a whole is not responding and the board member that did reply was not satisfied I assume because I did not get a response back. The board came in late and we used an expenditure form the same as last year.. this was the beginning of the budget problem and it has not been passed yet. Many factors involved and much to learn.. be organized, read from RRO when by-laws are not stated, demand clean receipts, let no one else handle cash, keep a double signature, never give original books to principle. Lastly, a PTO is not a PTA only under some circumstances. One of those circumstances are under regulation by the state relating to paying dues.. etc.. So was the expenditure form used sufficient to create a budget?

Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
If I understand what you mean by an expenditure form—a list of categories and the amount you expect to spend for each—yes, that can form the basis of your budget. You should also have the previous year's budget available for comparison. It sounds like you're trying to create a budget for the current school year. Since you're not getting cooperation from the rest of the board, I'd suggest plugging in your own projections (maybe even use last years actual numbers) so you can provide performance-to-budget reports to the board. That will at least give them some detail about how your group is doing financially that they won't get from just a transactions report. Keep in mind that a budget is just a projection. It's normal for the numbers to change during the year as fundraising results come in high or low and you get real numbers for programs you run. Don't get too stressed out over the fact that the board isn't making up its mind—just do the best you can to supply them with whatever information you can.

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