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Uncovering financial issues

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#21 Tiger Foot

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:45 PM

Thanks for the advice everyone and quick responses.

I've sent an email to the rest of the pack committee that basically follows Qwazse's advice... have an official meeting, make an official motion and then vote to accept a 'starting balance' that we received from previous leadership.  Also an outline of stuff to cover and put in place for future financial accountability and transparency. 


If the rest of the gang isn't on board, then I'll follow the advice to move on.  At that point, I don't know what else I could do since it would be clear I'm the only one with this level of discomfort concerning the issue.

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#22 Tiger Foot

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Posted 02 May 2017 - 02:47 PM

Does anyone have an excel spreadsheet they would be willing to share?  Google has turned up the pack budget one from BSA, but that's all I've found.  A search here found mention of several, but I didn't see anything I could download.

Thanks again.

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#23 CalicoPenn


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Posted 02 May 2017 - 03:46 PM



In addition to moving on (probably best, as irksome as it is), there are a few more things that should be done.


You have a Pack Treasurer now - great!  Going forward it is no longer YOUR responsibility to keep track of pack funds.  It is the Treasurers.  If I were you, I wouldn't even get listed on the bank account as a signatory on the account.  The Pack Treasurer, the Committee Chair and one other Committee Member should sign the checks - and work with your bank to require 2 signatures on every check - no matter how small it is.


If you're doing a fundraiser and are taking in cash - two people count it at the end of the day - one who deposits it and someone as a check on it.


There has to be monthly treasurers reports - and you shouldn't accept an oral report if its not backed up by a paper report.  The oral report can talk about highlights - we have $X.XX in the bank, we raised $Y.YY this month, we spent $Z.ZZ this month.  The paper report should be more detailed - dollars in the bank, where money came from that was raised (maybe it all comes from popcorn sales but maybe you have a car wash at the beginning of the month and a bake sale at the end)  Expenses should be detailed - ex. spent $55.75 on awards, $12.36 on service project snacks, etc.

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#24 gumbymaster


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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:11 AM

As others have said, while it may not sit right with you, this doesn't have to be your  fight.


As the Cubmaster, your job is program.  Administration (including funds) is the job of the committee including the chair and the treasurer.


I am also of the "let if go" school of thought.  If you have made the COR aware of the issue and they do not want to follow up on it, that is their decision.


Maybe, have the current treasurer document how the prior year's funds were acquired and distributed - without comment (or maybe just to indicate where an expense was officially approved, or a receipt has been included).  Put it on record, and then leave it alone.  Let others pick up the mantle of outrage if necessary.  It is a stretch, but based on how you described the use of the funds - while not fair, could be justified.  Don't make it your fight if you don't have to.


Ask the committee to put in financial controls going forward.  (i.e. two signatures on any check, no cash disbursements, receipts required for reimbursement, pre approval (in committee minutes) of any expense above a certain amount, etc.).  As the leader of the Scout program, propose your budget - how much do you need for registration, activities, supplies and awards, ask the committee to approve the budget.  If the budget exceeds the funds available, propose fundraisers, or ask the committee to investigate fundraisers, review your unit membership dues and activity fees.


Give your boys the best program you can.  Thanks for all you do for them and on their behalf.

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#25 blw2


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Posted 03 May 2017 - 08:47 AM

I'm with those who say look forward not backward.  There is nothing here that you or anyone else can "fix".  Money was spent on a scouting activity by someone who apparently had the authority to spend it.  Maybe they shouldn't have spent it that way, maybe the authority wasn't so much authority as lack of any oversight that would have curtailed that authority.  Whatever the case, the pack is not going to get that money back.  No one is going to be able to rewrite what happened.  Your Pack has the money it has in the account today.  Set up a good structure for both accountability and transparency going forward.  


Every bit of energy you spend on what happened is going to be energy you cannot spend on the boys.  You might be able to show to someone that your view of what happened --- that there was some sort of either mal- or mis- feasance --- is what happened, but that will not change a bloody thing, and at the end of the process you won't feel any better about it than you do now.


Council cannot and will not get involved in this; likely your COR will not want to expend any energy on this.  Most COR s want first and foremost for their units to not cause them problems, make too big a fuss and they might drop the unit as being too much trouble.  If you can't let this go turn it over to someone who can, no good will come of your worrying it.

couldn't agree more.


I also agree that as CM you shouldn't have to touch the money.  It's not really your concern.  When i was CM I stayed as far from it as I could.


I didn't want this treasurer job at the troop, but that is where they needed the help and so I figured I would be cooperative.


You asked about a spreadsheet.  We use an online service called troopwebhost.  As treasurer I like it because it gives complete transparency.  parents can log in and see their scouts personal funds. Committee members can log in and see all the transactions that I'm entering, complete with attached receipts.  And it generates several different reports that are helpful.


A simpler approach might be something like google sheets, that can be shared with others....

But again, I mean this as a suggestion for your committee, not for you as CM to touch....

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#26 SSScout


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Posted 04 May 2017 - 08:14 AM

1)  Take Treasurer, ComChair and yourself (nascent CM?) to the Bank.  Cancel old account, decide whose signature will be on the account (two or three ?)  Create a new checking account and sign new signature cards. Cancel any Debit cards. Do not activate any new debit cards, ONLY do paper checks. 

2) GO back to Committee, announce new policy of MONTHLY financial reports from treasurer.  Start with present balance.   Decide /agree  who has permission to spend how much when. Who will keep the Check Book. 

3) Make sure CO and COR and IH are fully aware of past events, if THEY choose to pursue some form of recovery, fine. Do not put yourself or the present Unit leadership in any bind over it.  You are the "new sheriff in town". 

4) Move on.  Give your boys the Scouting they deserve and want.  

5) Be examples of the Scout Promise and Law for your boys, unlike what seems to have occurred previously.

6,7,8....) If none of this will work, if you have any push back from the other Unit parents/leaders,   find another Cub Pack that will live up to (not down from) the Scout Promise and Law. 

Good Scouting to you, Tiger,  See you on the trail.

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#27 Stosh


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Posted 04 May 2017 - 09:34 PM

When I was a pastor, I had no idea where the money came from or where it went.  That's why they have a treasurer.


When I was an ASM, I had no idea where the money came from or where it went.  That's why they have a treasurer.


When I was a crew Advisor, I had no idea where the money came from or where it went.  That's why they have a treasurer.


I was recently asked to be treasurer of our church's youth group.  I took one look at the financial situation of the current checkbook and politely said, "No thank you," and handed the mess back to them.


I volunteer to work the program.  It's not my problem what goes on with the operation of the unit/group I'm involved in.  I did hear, after the fact that there was a problem in the Venturing Crew.  A boy quit and didn't return borrowed equipment.  The treasurer took his parents to small claims court knowing that even if they won the case, they would be hard pressed to get the equipment back.  So when the parents didn't show up for court, he asked the judge to issue a contempt of court arrest warrant for them.  He did and we got our equipment back.  I never would have thought of that, but then I do better with programming than I do with the politics of running the group.


I have an ASM that does nothing but the paperwork for the unit.  I have treasurer that handles all the finances.  My CC handles rechartering.  And I spend my time working the program for the boys.


I found out a long time ago that one's tenure is longer if one stays in their own lane.

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#28 scoutldr


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Posted 05 May 2017 - 05:47 AM

OK, I will ask the obvious?  Why are you doing the Pack Committee Chair's job?  As CM, you do not even need to be a signatory on the accounts.  As stated above, the CM works the program approved and funded by the Committee.  The Committee (and more specifically, Treasurer) figures out the business and financial end of things.  Is everyone Trained in their position?  If you don't have a functioning Committee, I suggest one gets put into place before you continue with anything.

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#29 5yearscouter


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Posted 07 May 2017 - 06:54 PM

It's very easy to get caught up In who approved these expenditures of the funds and trying to prove it was approved or against the rules of the unit.  But overall, the important thing is here it appears that the $ was spent on scouting, and that's a good thing in your favor.


To give you an idea of how hairy it can be, sometimes the decision is made as a quiet covering of a scout's camp costs without discussion of the full committee, due to the pride of admitting out loud to others that you can't afford camp for your own child. 


Without further proof, I would assume that is what it was, and let it go completely.


While the $ likely should have been spread around a bit more to other youth in the program, sometimes the other youth's parents don't even ask, because they are too embarrassed or whatever, so the people who ask get the $.


My pack would always try to cover the cost of camp more for leaders--usually because In our council to go to camp, the leaders and parents ALSO can to pay full price.  IN boy scouts 2 leaders are free, but for cubs no such break.


So the people who have to pay for their kid plus their fee as an adult leader who watches over everyone else's kid, the pack would try to cover all or part of the leader fee.  Or if there were extenuating circumstances, like last summer the cubmaster or other leader paid all or part of kid's fees in the pack/den out of their own pocket, so this year when time to sign up, the pack decided to cover those fees to pay back to the committed leader.


Sometimes it's cause they were the scouts who sold more popcorn than anyone else, so part or all of the cost of their camp was covered by the pack out of popcorn profit.


Usually those variations were all discussed and approved in the pack committee meetings, but often didn't make it into any kind of minutes just due to the secretary missing the details, or not sure how to write it up. Unless your pack committee is a moved and seconded all in favor kind of formal meeting, those details tend to get lost in the write ups.


Verify the starting balance,

decide on policy going forward for spending,

Discuss variations of camperships when scouts can't afford camp.

and try to spend the $ judiciously in the future

and try to keep better records


When you know better, you do better.

Edited by 5yearscouter, 07 May 2017 - 06:55 PM.

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