In a short answer, they protect the event. In the long answer, they make sure checks and balances are in place and take a broad brushstroke look at the event to make sure the “business” of running a business, which all events are, is done correctly. An event treasurer oversees anything related to finances – expenses and revenue.
Ideally, your treasurer should have some finance experience, like someone who works for a bank, or a certified public accounting (CPA) firm. A bank’s human resources department would have checked references before making their hire and professional credentials with CPAs better assure these individuals not only understand money handling but bring integrity and ethics to the table. Your event should require it and his/her career depends on it.
An event treasurer will typically oversee a variety of things:
- Research online payment processors fees, both traditional ones such as Authorize.net® and non-traditional new technology resources such as Stripe, developed by some of the original investors of PayPal. Your treasurer can make recommendations as to the best option.
- Research onsite credit card processors, if you do not have an existing retail set-up. Retail credit card processor set-ups differ from online ones.
- Research various online ticketing and registration services, based on the needs of the event. For instance, do you want to sell merchandise along with your tickets? Do you want to allow the sale of tickets onsite? Do you need to keep a certain number of tickets in reserve for your VIPs? Do you want to use your ticket sales page as your event page or flow it into your website? Would you like to sell tickets on your Facebook page?
- Research the possibility of selling discounted tickets in advance to drive pre-sales and premium pricing for last minute sales.
- Set up cash handling policies with checks and balances for everyone who comes in contact with the money.
- Research cash for coupons or tickets as a possible cash handling method.
- Arrange for “banks” so onsite transactions have enough cash to make change for customers throughout the event.
- Arrange for bank deposit drops at the closest bank to the event; these are done without a routine or pattern.
- Arrange for periodic “safety and security” visits by the local enforcement in and out of uniform; uniformed officers can “walk” to the bank with the volunteer when the deposit is made.
- Meet with the concession chairman to determine if any common denominator needs that can be purchased by the event and then re-sold throughout the event to the individual concessionaires. Ice is a perfect example; one delivery with access throughout the day and payment received at the close of each day from each concession for the amount used each day.
- Research sales tax.
- Coordinate payments for entertainers and the signed receipt process; obtain legal names, addresses and social security numbers for individual entertainers (when not paid to an agency or a corporation) so Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form 1099-Miscellaneous Income can be sent to the entertainer early the next year and filed by the event with the IRS.
- Ask key questions about insurance, contracts and other business matters.
If your organization does not have the following, the treasurer can:
- File proper paperwork to obtain a Federal Employer Identification Number (FEIN).
- Arrange for a bank account, such as a checking account.
- Assist in locating accounting software for event bookkeeping and in setting up the chart of accounts and ordering checks.
Having a named treasurer also adds credibility to your event.
To learn more about event and festival management, check out “Secrets to Successful Events: How to Organize, Promote and Manage Exceptional Events and Festivals.” For those with event planning experience, consider, “Secrets to Successful Events Resource Guide: 42+ Easy-to-Use Tools and Resources.” Both are written by internationally known author and speaker Lynn Fuhler and are available on Amazon and at major booksellers.