Question: Missing Statements

I have resigned as President of PTO. It came to my attention that for the past three years the ones who ran the board beforecan not account for any of the money that was supposed to be in the account. They say there are no bank statements and they have no idea where the money went. I am totally baffled by this. But since I have tried to do this, I can see why there is nothing to show. They have an EIN number and non profit status, but could not produce any bylaws. Since all of this came to light and I have resigned, Bylaws have appeared. I am worried that I can get in trouble for this also. I was not involved in any way with the school until this year. What can I do if I am ever questioned?

Asked by Anonymous



Advice from PTO Today

Craig writes:
There's no such thing as "no bank statements" -- if the group doesn't have them, you can ask the bank for a record of account transactions. You may need to pay a small fee to get it, but it's well worth the cost. Somebody needs to do this for your PTO. If you suspect the money was taken for personal use rather than spent on PTO business, you should report that to the police and let them investigate. If it's a matter of disorganization and poor recordkeeping, that's another matter. The first step is to make sure that state and IRS filings are up to date. If your group is incorporated, check with the state corporations office to make sure annual paperwork has been filed. If your group is a 501c3 charity, check with the IRS to make sure your form 990 ez (or 990n) has been filed and your records are up to date. If needed, you might consider hiring an accountant to help. Regarding bylaws, your group is by no means the first to have them disappear in a transition. You found them, which is great, but otherwise the answer would be to start from scratch and adopt a new set. As far as your own personal liability, you should speak with an attorney if you're worried. But if all you did was try to clean up the mess, I doubt that would put you in legal jeopardy.

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