Re: Money scandals
Harry Simmons (Harry_Simmons@IBM.NET)
Thu, 18 Jul 1996 20:11:26 -0700
I've been an ASM and SM for some 14 years. Never had or saw a
problem as SM or ASM, but as Disctict Chairman I have seen the
Let me offer the following guidelines:
1) As most units have done, name a separate adult or couple to act as
unit treasurer; handling all monies, checking, savings, etc. and
reporting directly to the unit committee on a monthly basis.
2) The monthly report should consist (at a minimum) of:
a. The checking account register (all income & expenses)
b. A "balance" statement showing the current savings and
checking balances, monies owed and monies due.
c. A reconciliation of the bank statement to the "balance"
3) The unit committee has the right to this information. Based on the
number of transactions a scout unit does, it does not take long to
produce ("1 hour a week"). If the treasurer will not deliver it
monthly....get another treasurer.
4) Deal in checks...not cash. Checks leave an audit trail, cash does
not. In my tenure as Scoutmaster, more than once I had the troop
checkbook. I never found a vendor who would not take a "troop" check
even though it did not have my name and driver's license number on
5) If a Scout/parent pays in cash, put it in an envelope with the name,
date, amount, and reason on it. AND GIVE IT TO THE TREASURER. If
you use cash income to pay cash expenses, you just lost track and
The above are common sense...and ensure that all know what is going on
with the finances of the unit. These will not stop a theft, but they
will leave an audit trail and a practice/policy in place so that you
will know who did it....and have proof.
As I said, I never had a problem as Scoutmaster. But I did have one
real-life practical experience that proved the value of following the
My family returned one Sunday evening from a trip to Williamsburg to a
phone recording: "This is North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation
(the NC State equivalent of the FBI) Agent ..... Please call me at your
earliest opportunity, as late as midnight tonight.
I called him immediately. Turned out they had records that my troop
had stayed at a NC State Park (reservation was in my name and home
phone number). Had I paid by check or cash? Did I have a receipt?
Had the check been cashed. Obviously, I had the audit trail to
Then he asked if I knew of any other Scout units who had visited that
park. "Sure, my wife's girl scout troop". And in checking, the girls
had paid cash and had a receipt.
It seems that the ranger was suspected of pocketing cash and not
reporting/depositing it. The agent came out and got copies of our
receipts, etc. I do not know what happened afterward...except that the
ranger was not there the next time we went to that park.
The moral to the story: Pay unit expenses with checks and keep receipts.
Just like the IRS was going to ask....
Harry Simmons "I used to be a Bear...."
Chairman, Sequoyah District
Occoneechee Council, Boy Scouts of America
Raleigh, North Carolina
Terry Howerton Sakima Group, Inc. SCOUTER Magazine Kansas City