Hey you! Yeah, you. I’m calling out to all the fraternities and sororities out there! Are you ready for another school year? Here are some things to make sure you have set up for your fraternity or sorority to start the year off right.
1. Check to make sure the current officers are listed with the bank accounts as authorized signers. It’s important to have the correct and current authorized signers on your bank account at all times to avoid fraud and to always know what’s happening with the account, such as transactions in and out.
2. Ensure there are adequate funds in the checking account before expenses are incurred. Make sure you have a good way of tracking your transactions flowing in and out of the bank account. An Excel spreadsheet is a great tool to know the true bank balance at all times. This should be monitored often to avoid overdraft fees.
3. While writing checks throughout the year, if it’s for a service costing more than $600, a W9 needs to be completed by the vendor for 1099 status. It is easier to keep things in check throughout the year rather than having to track vendors down in January when you are up against a tight IRS deadline. If you are unsure, please reach out to your accountant for help.
4. Review the house rules and regulations with membership to verify the respect of property is understood by all. With stricter guidelines on campuses with Greek life, it’s important that the membership is following the university and national guidelines to avoid mishaps that can lead to termination of the organization.
5. Complete room inspections upon arrival to moving into the house. It is important that room inspections are done before a new tenant is moving into the room to avoid duplicate assessments or wrongfully charged assessments. There should be a document to track the distribution of keys to the room number and who was assigned which keys. This should be accounted for when the tenants move out as well.
6. Present and accept the proposed budget with the executive board before spending starts. It is important that all members of the executive board know how the money is budgeted before the spending starts for the year. It is helpful to have regular meetings with to ensure that everything is staying on track and that if an issue arises, the group can work together to figure out how the problem will be rectified (e.g., what event is going to be cut because formal went over budget?).
7. Make sure that all employees have completed the necessary employment paperwork and that there is a signed contract between the Greek organization and the employee. It is important from an IRS and state standpoint that all employers have proper documentation on file for each of their employees. There are filings that are necessary every month, as well as every quarter to be payroll compliant. Contact your accountant for help, if necessary. It’s also helpful when there is a contract between the employee and the organization to lay out all the specific responsibilities, so that there are no questions as to what is expected of the employee.
This is just a handful of helpful hints to make sure your organization has everything in order as the new school year begins. If you don’t already have an accountant and are looking for help to make sure everything is compliant with IRS, state, university, and national regulations, please contact us today.
By Kassandra Sinn, Susan Sullivan, and Carolyn Austin