The dreaded data dump

dumptruck_250You know the routine. It happens every month.

The committee gets together for the monthly committee meeting. The meeting gets off to a late start because the chairman waits for stragglers (not a good idea, and the subject of another article). The treasurer goes into great detail about who has paid for camp and who hasn’t, how much last month’s groceries cost for each patrol, and who owes what.

The advancement coordinator goes down the list of each advancement item that was signed off, who earned merit badges last month and how many Scouts haven’t advanced in the last six, nine, or twelve months. (Or in a Cub Scout pack: Johnny earned a belt loop. Jorge earned a belt loop. Rajiv earned a belt loop….)

Then, someone joins the meeting late and everything gets repeated. Continue reading “The dreaded data dump”

Course correction for your journey

JTE-White_250A few weeks ago I answered a question about whether a unit should rearrange its adult roster to take advantage of points available on the Journey to Excellence. By registering a den leader as an assistant Cubmaster instead, the pack would qualify for additional JTE points and possibly a higher level.

It’s not a good idea to fudge the numbers this way, because it doesn’t accurately reflect where your unit stands, and takes away an opportunity to realize where you can improve your service to your youth members.

While you shouldn’t try to optimize your JTE score this way, you can certainly use it to suggest a course correction for your Journey in the coming year. Continue reading “Course correction for your journey”

Financial practices for units: New-Age financial products

generic_creditcardsThe way we handle and manage money has changed significantly with the information age. Cash will always be with us, and checks are still in use, but electronic funds transfer is becoming the way we move money around.

Should a smallish enterprise like a Scouting unit take advantage of these innovations? Let’s look at some situations, and see if they make sense for you. Continue reading “Financial practices for units: New-Age financial products”

Financial practices for units: Non-profit status and sales tax

To continue our series of articles on unit finance, we’ll discuss a couple issues that can be complex: whether your unit holds non-profit status and its implications, including sales tax liability.

Bear in mind that I am not an accountant or tax lawyer. The information presented here is from personal experience. Also, rules and regulations may vary from state to state. As always, check with your council, chartered organization or a professional if you want definitive advice. Continue reading “Financial practices for units: Non-profit status and sales tax”

Financial practices for units: Bank accounts

In the first article in this series, I offered some recommendations on being prepared financially through creating and following an annual unit budget. In this post, we’ll look at some banking best practices for your troop or pack.

Let me first say that I am not a lawyer or a CPA. The points that follow are gathered from reliable past practices as well as my understanding from folks who do know better. As always, check with your own people if you’d like definitive advice that applies to you (it’ll probably cost you, though).

Continue reading “Financial practices for units: Bank accounts”