BOY SCOUTS OF AMERICA

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Who can handle money

Just curious… who all can handle money in a pack? I figure a committee chair and a treasurer, but who else, if anyone? I would think anyone on the program side, ie den leaders, cubmaster, etc. it would not be a conflict of interest and not allowed.

I’m not aware of any specific rule prohibiting direct contact leaders (vs committee members) from handlng money. Some chartered organizations may have rules, and I believe that the BSA has some best practices (no single-signature checks, no unit credit cards). I believe the BSA recommends that the key 3 have signatory powers on the unit accounts.

Our den leaders and cubmaster/assistant regularly handled money in various situations (during fundraising, at events like PWD and campouts). Generally, if I trust someone enough to hand over my kids, I’m not too worried about handing over cash.

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I try to spread things around. I want a copy of the statement (or e-statement/view) to be sent to someone who is not the treasurer, to be able to verify what is reported monthly at the committee meeting. I want all deposits done within a couple days of when the funds came in. We require two signatures. (Not sure the bank actually does.) I have no problem with a direct contact like the Cubmaster being a signer.

The chartered organization decides who can and cannot handle money. If den leaders collect dues, they must be able to handle money.

The council can also forbid someone from handling money. They do this if someone “passes” the background check at a level that is ok to register but has some past history. The Scout executive will send the chartered organization a letter telling them that the adult may register based on the findings of the background check but that the adult may not handle any pack funds. I’ve seen such a letter.

Also, the unit’s checking account is supposed to be setup to require 2 signatures on all checks. This helps ensure no one person can spend the unit’s money. In my troop, the Committee Chair, Treasurer and Scoutmaster can sign checks.

See FISCAL POLICIES AND PROCEDURES FOR BSA UNITS Frequently Asked Questions.

Ed,

Unfortunately, even when bank accounts are set up to require two signatures, nowadays most banks will routinely clear checks that bear only one signature.

Of course, this creates a trail of evidence that somebody wrote an unauthorized check, but the two-signature requirement won’t really protect the unit’s funds.

And evidence that the bank didn’t do its job properly. I would think the bank would have some liability if the funds were not used properly since the did not follow their own procedures.

Ed,

You are correct that the bank would have liability, but the amount would have to be large enough for the unit or chartered organization to chase them down for it.

When the old committee chair was there in my old pack the committee chair, the treasurer, and secretary were on the bank account and were able to deal with money that was it. But he left. When I left my old pack I asked for my scouts funds to transfer to my new pack and the cubmaster, new committee chair and secretary keep refusing to transfer my scouts money. The treasurer has been really good trying to help but they keep telling the treasurer not to do anything they will take care of it. I think at this point those three are not being very scout worthy and I’ve finally told my new packs cubmaster and committee chair. I just think the old cubmaster shouldn’t even have a say because he is the program side and the committee chair is the funding side of the pack. But either way neither of them are acting right.

Well its the units money - not the Scouts technically

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All of the unit’s assets / property (including money in checking accounts) belong to the chartered organization - not individual Scouts.

They shouldn’t be transferring money with the Scout (unless both units fall under the same chartered organization).

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Charter organization says it follows scouts if it is to another pack or troop. If they paid it or they earned they allow it to transfer. They have been really great about that, they say they want to do that so kids stay with scouting.

That depends on the source of the money, doesn’t it? Sure, if it’s donated money or recharter fees, or something like that. What if I gave the treasurer $500 to pay for future outings for my son? That’s not troop money, that’s MY money, essentially held in escrow for my son to use. If he moved to another unit, I don’t know that the unit could defend not returning the money to me.

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Honestly, that’s one reason I’m opposed to units “holding money” for individuals, whether in the form of a “deposit for unspecified future expenses” or “profit sharing” on fundraising. It’s too complicated and risky (IMHO) tracking what’s a “deposit” for a future trip and what’s a “potential deposit” and is expected by the family to be returned on demand, and when it changes from the latter to the former. Reasonable people aren’t generally the issue; it’s handling the unreasonable person who says they’re going to Philmont/Seabase/etc, and then backs out and wants that “deposit” back. If you want to stash money to hold onto for a future trip, I recommend a bank or a fire safe. :slight_smile:

If a trip requires a deposit and payments over time (e.g. Philmont), you (the scout and his/her family) commit to the trip and pay your deposit on or before it’s due. You’ve taken a slot that another scout might otherwise have taken, and may no longer be able to fill (e.g. planned family vacation instead of Philmont). That money flows out of the unit to pay the deposit and any other up-front costs (e.g. transportation) the unit owes for the trip. That money is committed as soon as you paid it. It’s non-refundable, and I think that has to be made clear. The same thing occurs with each successive payment, because once the unit commits to a big trip like Philmont (or even just summer camp slots out here in CA) on your behalf, dropping (i.e. missing a payment for) a slot will generally cost your unit their deposit and frequently all of what you’ve already paid, even if you re-fill the slot after missing the payment.

If you have to drop out of the trip, the unit can assist as best we can in finding either a replacement to take over your slot or helping argue extenuating circumstances to see if the trip venue will refund part or all of your costs.

I’d honestly be concerned by a chartered org that was willing to accept the liability for holding someone else’s money. That’s why the FDIC and NCUA exist for banks/credit unions.

ETA: Clarified phrasing to distinguish between a designated deposit for a specific trip and a blanket chunk of money being held in case someone wants to apply part or all of it to some as-yet unspecified future trip.

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We don’t have all of the details here, but if the money comes from unit fundraising, then it probably should not transfer with the Scout to a different unit. Unit fundraisers are supposed to benefit the unit as a whole - not individuals. If the money came from somewhere else (payment by parent for benefit of Scout), then it might or might not be refundable back to the parent due to a variety of different factors.

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Ed how do you handle making purchases and paying the bills ( online signups paid by check or debit card) requirement that always two sign a check. ( I understand the reason I was one who set it up for my church but only for amounts over 1000) to me it would seem that a leader would have to float the money and then get paid back all the time very few people could do that on a regular basis.

The leaders be it cub master, our two scoutmasters and my shelf ( advance committee pay the bills and make the deposits. The pack and the troops ( troops share account) have separate accounts. For the troops witch I mainly involved in we added a fourth person on our account another committee member who has no checks or card but is able any time to view the account as some one neutral who isn’t spending the money. We also take the time to group text the committee and leaders each time we pay for something and make deposits.

Craig,

The leaders pay for the item and get reimbursed by the unit.

See BSA discourages unit-owned credit cards, debit cards

It really depends on what your Charter Org wants to do.

In my Cub Pack it’s the Charter Org Executive, the Cubmaster, Committee Chair, and Treasurer that have signature authority on the accounts. Generally no one else wants that authority.

Cash (such as show-n-sell popcorn) is handled by the adults on the scene until turned in to the treasurer.

I could see a unit CO only wanting members of the CO to have such authority. I could also see a unit CO delegating that to a wide span.

Most banks now have in the fine print that it is the responsibility of the account holder to review checks to make sure they are appropriate. Banks no longer manually review for two signatures. Now, our local banks will do so - if you pay an additional fee each month for them to do so. Then they take on the liability.