Guide: Treasurer

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2000-2001 Edition

Note Bene: Per Council decision, 22 October 2008, this Guide is meant to be a “living document” and must be maintained in a Word format to facilitate revision. Please feel free to revise as needed, adding your initials in parentheses after revision, thus enabling follow-up questions if necessary. At the end of your term, please forward a copy of this Guide to the ADE secretary for archiving. The ADE secretary will distribute the appropriate Guide to the incoming elected Council members, as well as forwarding copies of all Guides to the ADE president.


The ADE Treasurer is responsible for the financial management of the organization. This duty normally entails keeping checking and savings accounts, investing reserve funds in CDs or other instruments, overseeing the Boyd and Boydston Prize Funds, filing tax and other legal documents, participating in council deliberations, proposing a budget, reporting annually to the membership, filling out credit applications from hotels for annual meetings, and serving as chair of the Finance Committee. Other duties may include administering grants, investigating insurance or liability issues, or coordinating an audit or review procedure. If the treasurer is not employed by a project that will absorb costs for mailing, faxes, clerical supplies, and the like, a log of these expenses should be kept to support their payment from ADE funds.

The ADE fiscal year, by by-law, runs from September 1 to August 31. The treasurer is called upon throughout the year to deposit checks that come through the secretary for dues and other purposes and write checks upon the presentation of appropriate invoices or other documentation. Deposits swell in the late winter/early spring after the dues notice mailing and in the late summer after the mailing for the annual meeting. The other busy times for the treasurer are just after the close of the fiscal year when reports and supporting schedules must be prepared for the annual meeting and at the point between the close of the annual meeting and January 15 when tax form 990 is prepared for submission to the IRS.

Since Fall 1997, ADE accounts have been kept on the computer using Quicken 6 software. Earlier records reside in traditional ledger books. Similarly, there are electronic and paper files of annual reports and tax forms running back several years. All this material will be conveyed to the new treasurer during the transition process.

Transition Chronology

Early Summer

Treasurer-elect scouts banks and financial institutions for one that offers favorable terms and convenience.

Mid Summer

Treasurer-elect receives money from ADE treasury (typically by check) sufficient to open checking and savings accounts. By by-law, signatories for ADE accounts must be the ADE treasurer, ADE secretary, and ADE president. This requires sending signature cards to the ADE secretary and president and updating these signature cards as necessary.

Late Summer

Treasurer-elect receives full packet of annual financial reports and supporting schedules for review and comment just like other members of the Finance Committee. Treasurer-elect arranges to attend the ADE council meeting on the Wednesday afternoon before the start of the annual meeting on Thursday.

Fall/Early Winter

Treasurer-elect cooperates as necessary and appropriate with the “audit letter” review initiated by the treasurer as part of the transition process.

Treasurer-elect receives money (typically by wire) from Boyd and Boydston Prize Funds upon maturation of CDs for recalculation and reinvestment.

Treasurer completes payments arising from annual meeting and closes out checking and savings accounts, transferring remaining funds to accounts opened by the treasurer-elect.

Within a month following the annual meeting, the treasurer-elect becomes the recipient of checks for deposit and should write all checks arising from normal ADE business.

Outgoing treasurer will be responsible for filing the tax forms required for the prior fiscal year, but the new treasurer should be called upon to review forms prior to submission.

Transition is complete when the outgoing treasurer has sent to the new treasurer all ADE funds and all paper and electronic treasury records.

Fiscal Year Chronology

The volume and difficulty of treasurer activities varies over the course of the year. The following monthly breakdown shows the rhythm of tasks. (Depositing and writing checks occurs throughout the year to a greater or lesser extent. Only periods of intense or unusual activity will be noted.)


1) Prepare reports–primarily a balance sheet–and supporting schedules. Send these materials and the registers containing raw data to Finance Committee members for review and comment. All members of the ADE council should receive the reports and supporting schedules far enough in advance of the annual meeting to allow for intelligent digestion.

2) Deposit checks related to the annual meeting.

3) Stay in contact with members of the annual meeting local arrangements team in order to provide deposits and down payments as necessary.

4) Communicate with the ADE secretary to be sure that the secretary’s financial needs growing out of annual meeting preparations are covered.

5) Consummate liability insurance contract for the annual meeting.


1)Attend annual meeting from Wednesday to Saturday ready to report on the financial condition of the ADE to the council and membership and with sufficient funds in the check book to pay for both expected and unexpected demands. Council will deliberate on the proposed budget and likely revise figures for full membership vote. Be prepared to produce copies of the revised budget at the meeting site.

2) Work with local arrangements team to be sure that all payments related to the annual meeting are made in timely and appropriate fashion.

3) Reimburse secretary upon presentation of receipts for travel, food, and lodging arising from annual meeting, per by-law.

4) Send the balance sheet and a brief narrative summary of the annual financial report to the editor of Documentary Editing for publication.


1) Between November and January 15, IRS tax form 990 must be completed and filed. Be sure to have this form in hand at this time (November) and to mail all tax documents registered/return receipt to provide proof of their having been sent.


1) Complete tax forms if not already done. See November.

2) Consider mailing budgeted contribution to the National Coordinating Committee (NCC) if the treasury has funds available. NCC requests contributions in January, but early payment greatly facilitates their cash flow and has been appreciated in the past.


1) Complete tax forms by January 15 if not already done. See November.

2) Mail budgeted contributions to the National Humanities Alliance (NHA) and, if not already done, to the NCC.


1) Anticipate a surge of checks to deposit from dues renewals.


1) Anticipate a surge of checks to deposit from dues renewals.


1) Identify agent or broker that will supply liability insurance for the annual meeting.

2) Pursue special initiatives since this is typically the slowest period in the fiscal year.


1) Anticipate a surge of checks related to the annual meeting.

2) Begin preliminary arrangements to prepare annual reports and supporting schedules.


1) The ADE owns a rubber stamp to facilitate the depositing of checks. If you need to deposit checks before receiving this rubber stamp, write on the back “FOR DEPOSIT ONLY: ASSOCIATION FOR DOCUMENTARY EDITING”

2) At odd points during the year you may receive a call to fill out a credit application for a hotel. Refer to the files for past annual meetings to help with these applications.

3) As a treasurer’s term draws to a close, there is the prospect of the need for an “audit letter” or some official review procedure. Contact local CPA firms at least two or three months before the close of the fiscal year to make arrangements.

4) By tradition the ADE treasurer has written acknowledgment letters to all contributors to the Boyd and Boydston Prize Funds.