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Troop level reimbursement policies

I would like to understand how other troops handle expense reimbursement? Does your treasurer have a form that has to be filled out with receipts attached? What is your policy for missing receipts? Does reimbursement have to be requested within a specific time frame?

Thanks,

Susan

For us - it has to be in a preapproved category (gas to campout, food for campout, supplies), and you have to have been assigned to do the job or it falls under your role (ex. I drove me and my Scout to campout - too bad, you load up the car with scouts then go for reimbursement.)
Receipts are a must as we do audit once a year - lost it, go to store and get another copy or eat it.

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We don’t have a special form. Receipts are required with no exceptions, and expenses have to be approved by one of the Key 3 and one other committee member before our treasurer will cut a check. For anything over a nominal cost, it needs to be pre-approved by the SM or the CC.

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Turn in receipts, get reimbursed. It’s about that simple because the treasurer is on the committee and knows what are approved expenditures.

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agreed - our treasurer gets a receipt and reimburses. that’s it. as long as it’s not insane and it falls within an expected expenditure, that’s that. CC always has access to be a check and balance.

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Follow on question…if you SMs have debit cards for the troop account, do they have limit to which they can spend without approval? And…I’m guessing receipts get turned in at end of month for all those purchases as well, correct?

As SM I have a $250 monthly budget which I rarely get to - I do not have access to the debit card - that is just treasurer and camping coordinator.

We don’t use debit cards. (Every extra card adds weight.) We budget a couple of hundred bucks for SM’s discretionary spending.

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We have a troop debit card. It’s in the treasurer’s posession, and used for online payments only, such as registration fees for troop-paid training, tags and insurance for the troop trailer, etc. Everything it’s used for is pre-approved by the troop committee, and reconciled at the next committee meeting.

We don’t really set a monthly budget for our Scoutmaster; but over the past several years, we’ve seen that unexpected out-of-pocket expenses are pretty minimal… Almost everything is discussed and approved in the troop committee meetings before the money is spent.

What kind of things are you expecting the SM to pay out of this budget?

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It’s not an expectation so much as a a curiosity. If we discuss at Committee, I would like to have pre-thought the most likely scenarios so we can have a robust conversation. We have two troops and one committee. I know when we had a celebratory dinner last summer, one scout master used her own card to pay for expenses related to the troop anniversary dinner and is being reimbursed by receipts for that. At summer camp, she purchased ice and ice cream for the kids so that will be reimbursed as well. Obviously, gas and food associated to camping events and cracker barrel come with receipts.

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Yeah, I wouldn’t expect any one person to advance the troop the money for a catered dinner, though if one of our leaders wanted to do that, I don’t think anyone on the committee would have a problem with it.

Smaller stuff, like ice cream or pizza for after a service project normally gets paid out of pocket and reimbursed based on the receipts.

Our treasurer is really on top of all the troop financials, too, and really responsive – I don’t worry about spending $100 out of pocket at the Scout Shop for advancement stuff because I know without fail I’ll have a reimbursement check from him by the next meeting.

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An annual dinner would be part of our budget, or the treasurer would have collected fees in advance. In which case, we’d be expect the leader to turn in receipts up to the cost of the event. (There actually would be a problem if we had a surplus from fees collected for an event.)
The ice cream would be drawn on the SM’s discretionary fund. Although usually the fund is there for the scout who doesn’t bring boots to a winter camp!

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Our unit does not specifically have a form. But in general, expenses have to be preapproved by the Committee. Exceptions are routine office supplies, food for campouts, and anything that is recurring and less than $250. All expenses $250 or more must be preapproved… As the SM, I have a debit card and I am typically the only one making expenses. Receipts are required. I staple to a blank sheet and write what the expense was for and turn into the Treasurer. In the event that a receipt is lost, we do accept a blank form with an explanation of the expense and that it was lost. Usually it is a small item like gas or ice. We do a biannual audit by non Key 3 or Treasurer to make sure that the expenses are all reasonable.

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Our Troop and our Pack have accounts at our Council. Our Advancement Chair has a card to use like a debit card so when they purchase items from the Scout Shop the money is taken out of the account. The Advancement Chair only has to pay for things if the account runs out of money. Our treasurer can keep tabs on the account by the receipts and by calling the Council to get the balance. The treasurer adds money to the Council account as needed. We also have a reimbursement form which we fill out for pre-approved expenses such as camp outs and food.

Troop Reimbursement forms others.pdf (65.2 KB)

Here is our form - the bottom third is used by the treasurer as a mailing slip to return in windowed envelope

A safe practice for unit finances is no purchase is made without the Committee’s approval first and receipts are require. Rember, unit funds belong to the unit, primary to support your program and Scouts.

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Actually, unit funds belong to the Charter Organization. Units must follow the most restrictive financial policy of the Charter Organization or the BSA.

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Safe, but not always practical. If you’re going to do that, you need to build in some petty cash for incidental expenses and a policy regarding emergency expenses.

I can’t imagine going to the committee for prior authorization to spend $20 on ice cream for the Scouts after a service project. Nor would it be reasonably expected to get prior approval for emergency repairs to the troop’s trailer while at summer camp…

How very true…There is also the fact that not every Committee is a well-oiled and well staffed outfit. Sometimes the Committee acts like they are on the “inactive list”. As was mentioned earlier, the money (and equipment) belong to the COR. In fact, if I’m not mistaken, the COR would receive all monies and equipment should that entity no longer wish to sponsor the unit and another sponsor couldn’t be found. I have no problem calling the COR in a pinch when an immediate decision needs to be made. I am the type of person that believes the fewer meetings( not counting things like Troop meetings) the world will be a better place.

In short I would rather beg for forgiveness than ask for permission and when it comes to the welfare of the Scouts it’s a no brainer.

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Yep. The vast majority of our Committee is at every Troop meeting, so it’s pretty easy to get an ad hoc meeting with enough members to make “official” decisions (per our unit rulez, we need of quorum of 50% members and two of the Key 3 to make decisions).

And you’re correct regarding the money and the equipment belonging to the Chartered Organization. When we folded our Pack in 2015, I was the Cubmaster. I sat down with the COR and the Committee Chair and our parish pastor to discuss what to do with the money and the Pack property. Fr Michael decided to give everything to the Troop, with the plan that the Troop would hold everything in reservve, should there be enough interest in the parish to re-launch the Pack. (That led to another fraught discussion with inexperienced professional Scouters…)