Ask the Expert: Should units carry a balance in their unit accounts?

expertlogo1Carrying a balance in your personal checking account is always a good idea.

But should your pack, troop or crew’s bank account have a large balance you carry over from year to year? Unit accounts were on the mind of Rich K., a Scouter from Ohio who contacted me recently.

I went to BSA finance experts Russ McNamer of the BSA’s legal department and Mark Moshier of ScoutingU for the answer.

Find the question and answers after the jump.

The question

Bryan,

I was wondering what the Boy Scout policy is for carrying a balance in troop accounts. I had heard that because we are a nonprofit we should not being carrying much over from year to year in our troop accounts. Is there any truth to that?

Thanks,

Rich K.
Medina, Ohio

The experts’ answer

McNamer writes:

I think there is a difference between cash flow for a pack and a troop, but in general there is no reason to carry a balance larger than the unit annual budget.

Troops may have to budget for high-adventure trips that may not occur on an annual basis, or other expenses such as holding funds for boys going to the jamboree.

If they are charging dues or activity fees and have a lot left over, they may be charging too much. If they are raising more money than they spend in a year, they may need to review their dues and activity fee structure.

Moshier writes:

I agree completely with Russ’ explanation. This is the kind of advice we have been providing. The “nonprofit” issue raised by the volunteer is not an issue as individual units are not nonprofits.

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About Bryan Wendell 2817 Articles
Bryan Wendell, an Eagle Scout, is senior editor of Boys’ Life, Scouting and Eagles’ Call magazines.