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Financial Conversations with Fitz #110 - How are the finances handled with your nonprofit group? - 06/05/2012

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It is summer! With the weather even if it is not June 20th.  Ground temp finally above 66 degrees.  Corn and beans are growing.  Now we just need lots of sun and some moisture.    Had a nice rain here on Sunday.   Heard quite the varying amounts for rain.  Was in NW Iowa on Friday.  They have had too many heavy pounding rains.    Our crops look good.  A little uneven and somewhat yellow in spots - probably have to do some side dressing.    Looks like the DOW is opening flat this morning after a tough Friday.    Grains looked to be mixed.   Rain makes grain.  Have you taken a walk past the Blue Birds in Forest City yet?   A great group of young people from colleges all over the country and I guess even several foreign countries.   They will be having a farewell concert on Tuesday night at 5:30.   Stop out to see a National group perform.

Remember to vote Tuesday in your area.   I voted last Thursday.   It is neat that you can change your party if you like at the polls if you don’t have a contest in your area.

Had our 20th annual Hospice of North Iowa Golf Open on Saturday.  Had breakfast before I went to the office and went out for the finish?    Didn’t see anyone that wasn’t having fun.   A great fundraiser for Hospice.

I want to visit a bit this week about a sensitive but necessary process for your nonprofit.   My entire career has been spent in either accounting or banking, along with investing of money.  A question I always ask…”do you have a good cash control program in effect?"  I usually get the same answer - "OK, we can always trust our members."  A study last year by a Massachusetts risk management consultant found that employers in Iowa were at comparatively high risk regarding large scale embezzlement.   The state ranked fourth in the nation in 2011 for risk of major embezzlement cases, defined as involving more than $100,000 according to the study.   The problem is also going down into small groups.  We have had recent episodes in Iowa of band trip money and Girl Scout money disappearing.    This can be avoided with some cash control.   We have daily rigid cash controls for us as employees in the bank required by policy and law and our insurance companies.   So your small group should do the same.   Here are just a few thoughts.  Have two people count the money twice, have a third person deposit it and turn the slip into the accountant; don’t take money home over night or leave it in your car; always review invoices.   I know this is boring to a meeting but necessary.  If you like have two committee or board members review before the meeting, make sure all volunteers know the procedures and understand why they are in place.   It is best for all involved to have a good system.   Your group can get help in training from us here at the bank or Extension has a program for nonprofit groups on having a good meeting and how to handle policy with your group.    They even help you with planning your agenda.   Just give us a call and we can meet with you.

Things are progressing with clean up in Tyke.    The drawings are in place for our new bank.

Remember that you should deal with people in community banks and organizations that when they put something together for you that they will be sitting with them at ball games, church or community events.  So, if in doubt give us a call.