No matter how much your troop plans on saving or spending, you’ll need a safe place to deposit your troop dues, product sale proceeds, and other funds. If you’ve stepped up to lead an existing troop, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new troop, you’ll want to open a new bank account.
Here are a few helpful tips you can take to the bank:
- GSCO requires troops/groups to maintain their funds at a federally-insured financial institution.
- At least two, unrelated, background checked, registered volunteers are required to be signers on any troop/group bank account. Note: GSCO currently defines “related” as marriage, partnership, family, roommate. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your volunteer support specialist.
- Troops/groups should open a single checking account. Savings accounts are not permitted.
- Be sure to find a bank that has free checking and low fees.
- Designate a troop treasurer, that is, one person who is responsible for troop funds and for keeping a daily account of expenditures.
- Ensure your account comes with a debit card that you can use during activities or trips. These transactions are easier to track at the end of the year. Using debit cards is encouraged, but no borrowing is allowed (including overdraft protection or credit cards).
- Be prepared like a Girl Scout, and make sure another troop volunteer has a debit card accessible for the troop account in case the main card is lost.
- Handle a lost troop debit card the same way you would a personal debit card: cancel it immediately.
- Keep troop funds in the bank before an activity or trip and pay for as many items as possible in advance of your departure.
Opening a new back account and changing signers on a bank account requires a bank authorization letter. Make your request online by completing the Bank Authorization Request form in the Forms section of the Girl Scouts of Colorado website at www.girlscoutsofcolorado.org/forms
Signers on group bank accounts are responsible for the money entrusted to that account. Responsibilities include:
- Maintain the highest level of integrity and uphold the spirit of the Girl Scout Law – namely being honest and fair, being responsible for what I say and do, using resources wisely, and being a sister to every Girl Scout – when managing group finances.
- Making sure that there are at least two unrelated volunteers as bank signers who have completed a background check and have a current membership registration. Note: GSCO currently defines “related” as marriage, partnership, family, roommate. If you have additional questions, please reach out to your volunteer support specialist.
- Keeping impeccable records of income and expenses with receipts. It is recommended that troops hold on to receipts for troop-related purchases for 7 years.
- Maintaining financial transparency with troop or group funds. Records must be open to girls, parents, the local service unit volunteers, and council staff. Issues with council debits following participation in the product programs and/or inquiries or expressed concerns about group finances from girls or adults connected to a troop or group will result in GSCO issuing a formal request for past bank statements and relevant documentation. Failure to produce the requested documentation could result in bank signers either being released from their volunteer roles or having a financial restriction placed on their volunteer activities.
- Always depositing money promptly to avoid loss or theft.
- Never mixing personal and group purchases on the same receipt.
- Avoiding the use of troop funds for personal reasons or purchases. Do not “borrow” troop/group money for any reason. Using troop funds for personal reasons or purchases for whatever reason is reason for GSCO to open an official investigation into the management of troop funds. Based on the findings of such an investigation, a volunteer may either be released from their volunteer roles or have a financial restriction placed on their volunteer activities.
- Using your best judgment in safeguarding the group funds.
- Involve the girls in managing group finances! For older girls especially, your role is to oversee as they manage and record their troop’s income and expenses.
- Ensuring that troop/group funds are spent based on the consensus and decision of the group
- Reporting concerns about mismanagement of group funds to GSCO.
- Completing a Bank Account Authorization form whenever banking information changes.
- Completing a new ACH form on an annual basis or whenever banking information changes.
- Supporting Troop Leadership Team members in completing the Annual Troop/Service Unit Report in May or June of each year.
- Closing the account and submitting official notification of disbandment when the group disbands.
Individual girls may not have separate bank accounts. A troop may make the decision to keep individual financial records for each girl for special travel or Highest awards projects. In this case, all decisions regarding troop funds must be made by the girls and communicated to families. Girls, parents, and volunteers must understand that if anyone leaves the troop/group or plans change, the funds do not belong to the individual and may not follow her should she transfer troops or choose to participate as an Individual Girl Scout or Juliette.