Tracking and reporting your finances is important for GEL chapters and SIGs.
Keeping good financial records is not hard, but it does require tracking the money that your chapter or SIG takes in from dues, events, and other activities,
and the money that it spends during the year. Your treasurer will need to to keep
these records, to create the two financial reports that your chapter or SIG posts to the ICG website
shortly after the end of each calendar year.
Balance Sheet. A balance sheet is a statement of the assets that your chapter or SIG has at the end of the reporting period, and your liabilities. The assets are how much money is in each bank or online (e.g. PayPal) account. The liabilities are any amounts that are owed but not yet paid. Here is a sample.
Income and Expense Report. The Income and Expense report lists all income that your chapter or SIG took in, categorized by the source, such as dues, donations, and events. It also lists all expenses that were paid out, such as ICG dues, computer services, rentals, food and drink for events, office supplies, and permits. The report adds up the total income and the total expenses, and shows the net income for your group. Here is a sample.
For other examples, look at the financial reports for participating chapters and SIGs available on the GEL main page, and the ICG financial reports.
The ICG offers a free copy of Quickbooks from Intuit to every participating chapter and SIG. Quickbooks is software the helps keep track of account balances, and income and expenses. It can help track the source of the money taken in and bills that are paid. It can even automatically update itself by connecting to your bank accounts to capture deposits, cheques, and ATM payments. This is a great time-saver!
The best part is that Quickbooks can automatically create the Balance Sheet and Income/Expense report for any reporting period. Quickbooks will also let your chapter or SIG set up a budget for the next year, and track how well you are doing relative to the budget.
The GEL staff will help your treasurer set up the software, define income and expense categories, and offer basic advice on using the software. Your treasurer can also join the ICG-Finance Yahoo group and get answers from the GEL staff and other chapter and SIG treasurers who are using the software. Your treasurer can get started by contacting the GEL staff at firstname.lastname@example.org.
There are a number of books and videos available for free that will teach your treasurer the basics of financial record-keeping, as well as how to use Quickbook. Here are a few suggestions. Additional links will be added as we discover ones that are useful. If you have know of others, please contact the GEL staff.