The back-to-school refresh is a chance to review and improve your money-handling habits. Checking PTA bank statements is one of the most important things you can do to safeguard your finances. Even a quick scan can reveal unauthorized or suspicious transactions. Another benefit of PTA financial accountability is it helps identify areas where your group can conserve money on expenditures. Also, staying on top of financial activity ensures compliance with relevant laws and regulations.
This piece explores the importance of PTA financial transparency and regularly reviewing PTA bank accounts. There are PTA financial review tips on how to do it right, what to look for, and what to do if you find issues of concern. You will also learn how to better protect your PTA finances from embezzlement, late fees, and other potential problems.
Why Review Every PTA Bank Statement?
There are a lot of reasons to follow best practices for reviewing bank statements. PTAs that regularly scrutinize their banking records are more effective at detecting errors and practicing nonprofit fraud prevention. That means better financial awareness, protection, and fund utilization. Maximizing PTA resources like this benefits the cherished causes you support.
Point to Note: Understanding PTA financial statements isn’t a job for just anyone. If you’re starting out, choose the best person or group for this role carefully. It’s best suited for someone with strong analytical skills. Persons who have great attention to detail, a sound understanding of financial management, and enjoy working with numbers.
Better Error Detection
Regular bank statement reviews are all about tracking PTA expenses. They help identify errors like duplicate payments, incorrect account numbers, and unauthorized transactions. Detecting these issues early on protects your finances. If you find anything suspicious in your statements, report it immediately. By detecting and correcting errors, you preserve your PTA’s finances so that your hard-raised funds fuel the cause.
PTA Fraud Prevention
PTA bank statement reviews help you find discrepancies and unauthorized transactions. Catching suspicious activity early on gives you time to intervene and investigate. All those involved in your PTA should know you have a transparent financial system in place. This approach deters potential fraud, ensuring financial accountability and clarity.
PTAs that review finances regularly and resolve problems fast are good stewards of funds. Their honesty and transparency help build trust with members and administrators, and make attracting new donors and contributors to your cause much easier.
PTA Requirements for Fidelity Bond Coverage Through AIM
Reviewing your PTA’s banking isn’t just a good idea; it’s required to maintain Fidelity Bond coverage through AIM. For any claim submitted to AIM under this coverage, your PTA must fulfill two clear policy requirements.
First, your PTA must conduct and provide proof of an annual review of your organization’s books by a review committee or qualified accountant. This review ensures your group is practicing good financial and banking habits and not making itself an easy target for theft or embezzlement of funds.
The second requirement is to provide proof of monthly bank statement reviews and maintain those records. As mentioned above, this isn’t just a good group practice but essential to protecting your PTA’s funds and ensuring they go into supporting your school and the enrichment of your student’s education experience. This monthly bank statement review must be initiated and reviewed by someone in your group who DOES NOT have bank signing authorization. Besides more eyes on your group’s financial transactions being a good idea, including a person who does not have signing authorization ensures the review is not being done by someone who can gloss over their own transaction history.
It’s important for each AIM policyholder to understand that your coverage is void if the above requirements are not met!
Revise Your Banking Strategies
Even a good accounting system often has room for improvement. Use the back-to-school refresh period to review how you handle finances. Of course, your PTA exists primarily to support child advocacy and education. That said, it should also be well-organized to thrive and survive long-term. Reviewing bank statements can help with that.
Areas to review—and potentially amend your finances—may include the following:
- How you deposit and make payments
- Reimbursements and payments to vendors
- Funding programs and initiatives
- Budget allocation and planning
- Record keeping and reporting
- Financial reporting and auditing
- Long-term planning and forecasting
Reviewing PTA bank statements is a fundamental aspect of financial management. Above points 1–4 offer a snapshot of how money moves in, through, and out of your organization. We’ll look more at how to scrutinize your bank statements shortly. But first, an overview of PTA banking best practices.
PTA Banking Best Practices
Accounting may not be the most glamorous side of running a PTA, but it is critical. In fact, nonprofit financial accountability can make or break an organization. Whether you’re a new PTA or an established one looking to improve your bookkeeping, the tips below will help.
This table breaks down banking tips into two categories.
|Financial Record-Keeping Best Practices||Financial Management Best Practices|
|Track all money in and out|
Get two statements for verification
Write monthly reports
File all records
Deposit money promptly
Count money in front of a witness
Have a second trusted member count the money and co-sign
|File all paperwork|
Require reimbursement forms
Only use funds for approved programs
Only pay authorized expenses
File paid invoices
Pay vendors by check when possible
Do not issue blank checks or checks made out to cash
Require two signatures on checks
Have three authorized signers
Provide EIN to bank and use it for PTA business only
Now let’s consider the potential consequence of neglecting PTA bank statement reviews.
Not Reviewing Your PTA Bank Statements
The consequences of not reviewing your PTA bank statements can be severe. Undetected embezzlement can drain valuable funds needed for programs and critical services. Overlooked late fees and interest incur unnecessary expenses and place undue strain on budgeting for the new school year. And even small, undetected errors can wreak havoc.
Also, be sure to file all bank statements for tax deductions. They serve as vital backup records in case your parent-teacher group is audited.
Protect Your PTA with AIM’s Embezzlement Coverage
Don’t let financial fraud jeopardize your mission. Instead, safeguard your organization’s finances with affordable, comprehensive AIM Embezzlement Coverage. We help secure the money of PTAs like yours so you can focus on what matters most—enhancing the student education experience.
Failure to catch errors or unauthorized transactions could result in the following:
- Compromised financial transparency
- Eroded trust in those responsible for accounting
- Lost credibility within the PTA community
- Hindered future PTA support and participation
As you can see, regular bank statement reviews are essential to protect finances and ensure accountability. Not only that, but accounting best practices safeguard your mission of supporting students and schools.
How to Review Your PTA’s Statements
The back-to-school refresh offers a great opportunity to discuss your current money management strategies. By adopting best practices, your fundraising efforts will yield maximum benefits for your various programs and initiatives.
Keep It Simple
Proper PTA financial accountability doesn’t need to take long. Simply create an effective system of regular reviews and stick with it. The secret is knowing what to look for, being thorough, asking questions, and documenting your findings. That’s it! This method prevents you from painstakingly going through multiple statements whenever there’s a discrepancy.
Financial accountability is a continuous commitment to promoting a thriving school community. Proper reviews of your PTA bank statements ensure ongoing financial stability. And that’s what helps build confidence in your PTA’s leadership. Consistent checks and clear documentation make perfect sense. They simplify future reviews and resolve issues fast.
Red Flags to Keep an Eye Out For
When reviewing your PTA bank statements, there are several red flags to watch out for.
Three examples are:
- Unusual fees
- Payments to individuals in round dollar amounts
- Recurring payments to the same entity
Our sample review form below helps simplify common red flags. And it provides a section for you to document any concerns to follow up on.
Sample PTA Bank Statement Review File
Use the PTA statement review below as a guide to check your banking records. Feel free to modify it so it fits your organization’s operations.
[Name] PTA Bank Statement for Review
|Add the beginning and end dates of the statement to the top of the file for accurate tracking. Include details of the account type(banking/credit card) and the account number.|
PTA Statement Review
|Review your bank statement for the following items. Then, accurately document any transactions that match the specified criteria in the transaction detail section below. Improper number of signers for checksMatching payee and check signerNon-sequential or missing check numbersNon-sufficient funds charges or unusual bank feesPayments for non-approved servicesPayments to individuals in round dollar amountsRecurring payments to the same entitySuspicious opening of statements by othersUnusual cash withdrawals and electronic transfersThese checks do not assume wrongdoing. They simply imply that further review is needed.|
PTA Credit Card Statement Review
|Review your PTA credit card statement for the following items:Payments such as utilities and personal services not aligned with approved PTA expendituresMissed/late payment, interest, or unpaid balanceCredit card balances over or close to your organization’s credit limitCash advancesThese checks do not imply wrongdoing, just that further review is needed.|
Financial Transaction Details
|DATE||PAYEE||AMOUNT||ITEM OF CONCERN|
|Disordered/absent check numbers|
Bank Statement Review
I declare that I am not an authorized signer for the aforementioned account. After reviewing the identified statement, I have documented transactions needing further examination.
Date: ____________ Printed Name: ___________________ Observer Signature: ________________________
Date: ____________ Printed Name: ___________________ Observer Signature: ________________________
The club’s secretary keeps the original review document, and the non-signer should also have a copy. PTA treasurer responsibilities stipulate that they also hold a copy and the bank statement. The secretary then presents their report at the next PTA board meeting.
Once you have an evaluation format that works for your PTA, create a blank template for future bank statement reviews.
When You Find an Issue of Concern
If you find a discrepancy or other issue in the bank statement, remain calm, specific, and cooperative. This is not a burden you have to carry alone. Investigating anomalies is a job shared by either the board of directors (BOD) or an elected finance committee. Together, you examine the issue and agree on what appropriate action to take—if any. As treasurer, you should keep a copy of the documentation for your group’s records.
How AIM’s Directors & Officers Coverage Protects Your PTA
AIM’s comprehensive policies protect officers from decisions leading to accidental fund misuse, perceived wrongful acts, discrimination, by-law violations, misrepresentation, and more. Stay protected. Safeguard your PTA from potential lawsuits and fortify it with our Directors & Officers Liability coverage.
Make your parent-teacher association bank statement analysis a part of your back-to-school refresh. Reviewing PTA bank statements is vital for catching errors and unauthorized transactions early. Regular reviews safeguard your mission and help foster a trustworthy PTA community. If you find discrepancies, be calm and cooperative while addressing the issues. Your BOD or finance committee will help investigate and decide what action to take.