Club bookkeeping requires a great deal of attention. While it is not expected that the secretary/treasurer become a CPA, the lack of accurate records can be the cause of friction among members.
The secretary/treasurer, by election, becomes the club's chief financial officer. However, he/she should not be expected to work alone. Another member should be appointed to assist the treasurer in record-keeping and paying the bills. This will relieve the burden of responsibility if a mistake is made.
There are three tools needed for the bookkeeping job. They are:
- Two-signature checking account. All bills must be paid by check. This will provide a record of payment. The two-signature check diminishes the opportunity for error.
- Permanently-bound, double-entry ledger book. This is used to keep a running total of expenses and income. It should be kept up to date with each item received and each check written.
- Large manila envelope. The envelope is used to file all bills and receipts. No item relating to the club's finances should be thrown away.
The budgets of all clubs will vary, primarily due to the extent of the sponsorship. However, it is important that an annual budget be developed. The budget can be divided into two sections:
Non-recurring expenses. These might include:
- Utility deposits
- Renovation costs
- Permits (plumbing, electrical, etc.)
Recurring expenses. These might include:
- Capital expenses - Tables, nets, barriers, cleaning and refurbishing supplies
- Operating expenses - Maintenance supplies, office supplies, postage, printing costs, utilities
Estimate the amount of money needed to satisfy each of the club's expenses, and this will give you an idea of how much income needs to be generated by your fund-raising activities, dues, and sponsorship.
Membership dues are an economic necessity to most clubs. If your club is fully sponsored and doesn't need the money, dues should still be required for membership. When a person pays for something, he pays attention to it. This brings up the area of free tournaments and coaching clinics - DON'T. Always charge something, even if no more than a token fee.
To facilitate bookkeeping, the membership fee should be due once a year. New memberships can be pro-rated. This means that the fee should be easily divisible by 12. Some clubs collect dues semi-annually. More frequent collection becomes a bookkeeping nightmare.
The individual membership fee for many clubs falls between $12 and $24 per year. Family memberships are usually twice the fee for individuals. Junior membership (usually for kids 17 years old and younger) is often one-half the annual fee for individuals.