Question: Do we have to provide all of our financial info to a parent?

Two of last year's PTO board members are angry that this year's PTO is not spending money raised in the way they would like. Now, they are requesting ALL of our financial info for this year. We are comfortable with all of our expenditures and would be happy to show our financials to our principal as we have been in direct communication with him and our school's teachers. We feel we are spending our money carefully and in the best interest of the teachers and students. Do we have to provide the ex-board members with all of our info?

Asked by Anonymous



Community Advice

C S writes:
What is your hesitation in showing them the financials? PTO's are frequently accused of not being "transparent" enough especially when finances are involved. I presume these "ex-board" members are still members of the PTO and entitled to know how their donated money is being spent. You will always have a couple of rebel-rousers who aren't happy with the way your PTO does or doesn't conduct business. Don't succumb to their negativity. Release the information or better yet, meet with them to show them and answer any questions they may have. This tactic almost always quiets them down. Remember the addage, "those who have nothing to hide, hide nothing" is very pertinent here. Those who know where their money is being spent are more likely to donate in a time of need or for a special project. If you hide (and that is the perception they will have) the finances, quite likely you will lose them as a donor. Is that what you want?

Community Advice

Countrygirl writes:
I feel that you should disclose everything to them. As a new parent and can't get anything out of my treasurer it make people wonder what you are hiding and in my case I know that things have not been done properly. Above all be pleasant when talking to them or better yet post it next to the office for all parents to see.

Advice from PTO Today

Rose H writes:
Hi! It is pretty common for treasurers to present financial updates at meetings so members can be kept up to date on money coming in and money going out. C.S. brings out a lot of good points. The folks in your group may not be thrilled with exactly how you are spending your money, but that is a totally separate issue from the way you are handling your financials. You feel you are spending it carefully, so, be confident and comfortable with that. I agree with C.S. about being transparent.

Community Advice

PTOMOM1969 writes:
I agree with Countrygirl, C S, and Rose C. If finances are being handled properly, you have nothing to worry about. Showing resistance can raise suspicions about finances as well as cause strained parent/PTO relations. Rose C. made a great point in saying that the folks in your group may not be thrilled, but that is a totally separate issue from the way your are handles the finances.

Community Advice

pngai writes:
There are some things that a treasurer must hold confidential, such as W-9s on independent contractors that you issue 1099-misc forms, but I feel that every monetary transaction along with the metadata (who paid or was paid and budget category and signature approval) should be open to the parents if you want them to continue supporting you.

Answer this question: