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RedMenace
Posted 3/18/2007 12:51 PM (#23676)
Subject: Attention USCA members!



Posts: 673
Location: GoodLiver, Oregon
This amendment appears to be pretty harmless, boring club business stuff. Perhaps it is, but it has generated some controversy amongst the USCA Board, behind closed doors.

"Motion by Tod, Second by Tom

Duties of the Board:

The treasurer and president shall be empowered to open and maintain a checking account with a national bank of their mutual choice that operates in the states our treasurer, president, vice-president and secretary reside, as well as in our state of Incorporation.

Business of the Association shall be amended by:
D. The treasurer shall prepare and sign all checks. Then forward to the President if available, or in the absence of the President the Vice- President to be co-signed. In the adsence of the President and Vice-President, the Secretary will be the co-signer. In the absence of the Treasurer the check is to be prepared and signed by the President, who will become the Acting Treasurer until the Treasurer is again available, and co-signed by the Vice President. In the absence of three or more of the above officers the remaining board shall appoint exsisting board member(s) to temporarliy fill the position(s) of the missing officer(s) specifically for the purpose of disbursing funds as needed for the ongoing activites of the USCA until the absent officer(s) are again available. In all cases two signatures, that of the Treasurer, or acting Treasurer, and a second officer will be required for the disbursement to be considered valid.

E.Four signature cards shall be obtained and filled out by the President, Vice-President, Treasurer and Secretary. At such time that convience and acessability dictate, the Treasure and President, at their joint descretion may move the account to a bank that better suites the USCA's needs. The full board must be notified at the time the new account is opened and signature cards obtained from the Treasurer, President, Vice-President and Secretary at the new bank.


This Amendment will be published to the membership for 30 days before a vote is taken."




At issue is:
a pressing need to get our banking set up in a convenient and cost effective manner so the officers can access and distribute funds from their various locales. Originally this was tied to a need to move our corporate location to comply with the legal requirements of incorporation. Boring stuff that needs doing, no problem.

Hidden in this amendment is the stipulation that the treasurer sign checks for the corporation. Seems like common sense, but the USCA secretary has pointed out that common business practice requires that the person keeping track of funds,ie: the treasurer, not be the one who signs the checks. This is to place a block in the way of fraud and embezzlement. Keeping the treasurer off the list of signees for club funds protects the club and also
shields the treasurer from suspicion of impropriety. For this reason, some board members feel this amendment is not a good idea.

This amendment was offered as a constitutional amendment to the USCA bylaws. It was published in the Sidecarist so the membership would have a chance to voice an opinion regarding it. I urge members to give this some thought and contact your board members, making your wishes known. The board votes on this motion in about a week.

You can find out more about the issues involved by signing on to the USCA board's private forum, RacedisII. The information included at the bottom of this post tells you how to do that.

Any of our members who are accountants or have experience with business fraud and risk management are especially encouraged to let us know your views. We are just muddling along, trying to improve the club and could use some sound advice!

"... if you are interested in auditing the forum[RacedisII], send an email to secretary@sidecar.com with your name, membership number and user name on this forum. She will verify that you are indeed a member in good standing and will give you further instructions as necessary."


Edited by RedMenace 3/18/2007 12:55 PM
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tkpinsc
Posted 3/19/2007 5:32 PM (#23760 - in reply to #23676)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


Posts: 425
Location: Columbia, SC
The proposal requires a second signature along with the treasurer. This allows the Treasurer control of disbursments, without the ability to disburse funds on their own.

If you remove control of the account from the Treasurer they can no longer perform the duty of Treasurer and control disbursments. Control of the account does not mean the ability to disburse funds without the oversight of a second boardmember. It does mean that funds can't be disbursed without the Treasurer's approval.

Possession of the checkbook gives little control over an account. Anyone on the signature card can walk in and request a counter check, or cashiers check be drawn on the account, eliminating the need to involve the treasurer in the transaction, unless the treasurer is also required to sign the check.

It may still be possible to secure funds from the account, if the bank does not check for both signatures when honoring the check, but a fraud will have occured with civil and criminal recourse, and in most cases the transaction will be reversed by the bank.

If we only require one signature on a check, and it is not the Treasurer, we are still where we are today, except it is someone other then the treasurer, someone who was not elected to control the club's funds who has control of them.

As far as normal business practices, most, if not all the checks I receive at my business from similar organizations, non-profits and churches, are signed by one person if under a small amount, usually around $200 and require two signatures one of which is the treasurer or cfo if over that amount. In my experience when checks are prepared by other than the signer it is by clerical help to lighten the load of the signer, not to control disbursments. You control disbursments by signing not preparing the check.

As Al Olme stated in his post It is important to keep in mind we are discussing a person elected by the membership to be trusted with the clubs funds. A system that has worked reasonably well for around 30 years.

If we transfer that function to other then the treasurer we have misled the average rank and file member who is not going to read the constitution to find out that the usca treasurer does not perform the duties of treasurer as defined by Webster.

Edited by tkpinsc 3/19/2007 5:38 PM
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OlBroad
Posted 3/20/2007 12:57 AM (#23784 - in reply to #23760)
Subject: BOARD DISCUSSIONS "RED FLAGS"



Location: Riverside, Ca
EVERYONE SHOULD CARE ABOUT THIS>
I requested "read" status for all your discussions regarding the organization's processes for handling OUR monies and find it UNBELIEVEABLE that it has gone on for so long. CHECKS & BALANCES..... for an organization that has been around as long as this has been apparently, I am shocked at your checks & balances in this organization. Having your finances fall on one individual members SS# is a no no, and you are not allowed to collect interest on a nonprofit organization if I remember correctly, again legal council is needed. As well as one individual pay taxes on this organizations funds is not acceptable, nothing should go without CHECKS & BALANCES, on and on and on. You need restructuring NOW and you need a tax lawyer that deals with these types of situations/organizations to make sure your up to snuff legally in all your transactions being done. It looks to me like right now you’re on a very slippery slope. Get a lawyer and get this organization set up right, your accounting practices aren't acceptable, you’ve grown considerably it appears over the years, it is time to manage the USCA as should be, in a professional manner for liability purposes. The secretaries last post in the “RED FLAGS” thread couldn't be any clearer as she broke it out. You need a professional to restructure ASAP.
You have some major liability hanging out there gang. Getting legal council will fix all this without any further argument, real simple.

That is my two cents for today.

AND in my opinion, why the heck is anyone getting paid for registration?? That is ridiculous. If anybody at all was to be paid, you better be rethinking paying your editor which is a huge undertaking for goodness sakes. GEESH!
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Al Olme
Posted 3/20/2007 1:29 AM (#23787 - in reply to #23784)
Subject: BOARD DISCUSSIONS "RED FLAGS"


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
There's no question that we need to get better procedures in place but we have to be careful to be practical and efficient. If the procedures are so onerous that folks aren’t willing to follow them they will do no good. Make a rule tough enough and it’ll get ignored. Think prohibition.

Maybe the issue is that the BOD is trying to come up with something on their own instead of getting professional help. I agree with OlBroad on two things…

1. Get professional help NOW. BEFORE YOU VOTE ON SOMETHING THAT YOU'LL HAVE TO GO BACK AND FIX!
2. Why are we paying the Registrar? - déjà vu all over again ;^)


Edited by Al Olme 3/20/2007 1:30 AM
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Ron Campbell
Posted 3/20/2007 3:21 AM (#23789 - in reply to #23676)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


Posts: 136
Location: Tucson Arizona
In my humble opinion two signatures on all checks is a must. NO position on the board of directors should be paid.That is not necessary or proper in a origination like oursRon Campbell Colorado State Rep
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solo1
Posted 3/21/2007 9:57 AM (#23841 - in reply to #23676)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


I have been reading about the financial options of the club.
I am a member of the Board of Works in New Haven, In. and have been for 15 years It's a three member board of which two people are appointed by the elected mayor who presides. All checks written, signed and issued by the clerk/treasurer, also elected, must be reviewed and ok'd by the BOW, after the fact. The board meets twice a month. All major expenditures are brought before the board for questions, review, and final approval before the fact.. The final "books" are reviewed by the State Board of Accounts at their time and descretion.
Indiana, like most states, have a series of checks and balances. They seem to work.

One way, maybe,in our club, is to have the treasurer issue and sign the checks, and have the Board review the expenditures every month, and have a unbiased professional review all finances biannually.
The different locations of the club's officers makes things more difficult.
Just my .02 cents
Wayne
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tkpinsc
Posted 3/21/2007 11:17 AM (#23845 - in reply to #23676)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


Posts: 425
Location: Columbia, SC
Thank you Wayne, Al, Olbroad, Ron and others I may have forgot for your input. The more input the board has from its members, the better it can serve.
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OlBroad
Posted 3/21/2007 11:34 AM (#23847 - in reply to #23845)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!



Location: Riverside, Ca
Originally written by tkpinsc on 3/21/2007 10:17 AM

Thank you Wayne, Al, Olbroad, Ron and others I may have forgot for your input. The more input the board has from its members, the better it can serve.
I apologize if my comments were a little over zealous, I get a little too passionate about things, need to kick it down a notch, no offense intended toward any individuals, I was just trying to say get council before you vote/make decisions. Do it right the first time & KIS.

Edited by OlBroad 3/21/2007 11:36 AM
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Al Olme
Posted 3/21/2007 12:57 PM (#23850 - in reply to #23847)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
OlBroad,

I don't thiunk you are at all over zealous. It's good to see folks with genuine concern and strong opinions. Just for the record, the business of paying the Registrar is a thorn for many folks but it has been our practice for many years. It is done so that there is a "gauranteed stability" for contacting the USCA and so that we had a "designated representative" to represent us in the State of Illinois where we are incorporated. This was much more important before there was an Internet but it remains important as ALL of our membership is still done on paper. (Yes, the BOD is looking at ways to join and renew on line.)

For many years the Regstrar (an appointed and paid position) was also the club Secretarty (an elected and unpaid position). This created a curious conflict in that we had a voting member of the BOD being paid. That was a clear conflict of interest and was changed sometime within the last year. The two offices have been separated and the Registrar is no longer on the BOD.

Since the jobs are now separate, the BOD is looking at ways to keep the stability and ensure continued operations if the Registrar quit or became unable to do his job. This might lead to competition for the position in the future but that is still very much in question. If you have an opinion on this, I'm sure that your board members would like to hear from you.
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grasslander
Posted 3/21/2007 5:22 PM (#23854 - in reply to #23850)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!



Posts: 149
Location: Eastern Kansas
Originally written by Al Olme on 3/21/2007 11:57 AM
If you have an opinion on this, I'm sure that your board members would like to hear from you.


Absolutely. That would include other matters or concerns you may have about club direction or matters of club business as well!



Edited by grasslander 3/21/2007 5:23 PM
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Bob Madigan
Posted 3/21/2007 6:46 PM (#23862 - in reply to #23676)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!



Posts: 130
Location: Indianapolis, IN
I just wanted to clarify a few points so that there is no misunderstanding. This issue has been one of the most difficult and involved issues the current board has dealt with. While there has been a great deal of discussion and disagreement there hasn't been any arguement or fighting. The board has traded thoughts, ideas, and suggestions back and forth. There have been some strongly held opinions but there has been NO angry exchanges.

There has been NO thoughts at all that our current treasurer is anything but honest, straightforward, and trustworthy. There have been NO questions at all about Dave's integrity. I want that to be clearly stated to the membership.

Most of the Associations business has been fairly routine (some might say, rightly, BORING.) This is an issue that we all seem to agree is of importance to the membership.

Despite what may appear to be fighting amongst the Board members, nothing could be further from the truth. Your Board of Directors is working toward a goal of seeing that this organization is on solid footing to continue growing and improving.

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Al Olme
Posted 3/22/2007 12:39 AM (#23881 - in reply to #23862)
Subject: RE: Attention USCA members!


Posts: 1736
Location: Minneapolis, Minnesota
The BOD should be congratulated for defeating the current proposal regarding "the Business of the Asscoiation" (actually about how the finances work). The proposal as it was advanced was not unsound but apparently the majority of the BOD has agreed that they should seek advice from an outside expert before acting to create an amendment to the Constitution that would have to be subsequently undone. That shows a lot of good judgement.

In particular Tod Parks (who authored the defeated proposal) showed a lot of initiative in getting a document drafted that would draw out this discussion. I believe that after we get professional help, many of Tod's original ideas will end up in the ultimately successful amendment.

Thanks to the BOD for hashing this over and then having the restraint to rethink the issue. It's an example of our BOD doing the right thing, the right way.



Edited by Al Olme 3/22/2007 12:40 AM
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