calculator and money on PTO Treasurer's desktop

PTO Treasurer Basics: Expert Tips for Successful Parent Group Treasury Volunteers

Beyond the obvious, just what does a volunteer elected to the position of Treasurer actually do in their parent group?

This post will cover not only the job duties of Treasurers, but also how to be effective and organized in this role as well!

Ultimately, this posts covers how to be a good Treasurer, so it’s a good read not only for incoming Treasurers or newly elected Treasury officers looking to get the lay of the land, but also for volunteers considering stepping up into the Treasurer role.

Why PTO Treasurers are so important

First and foremost, it’s worth highlighting that the Treasurer role is one of the most important positions in the PTO.

Treasurers are trusted to safeguard the group’s money and ensure funds are being spent in accordance with the group’s budget, but there’s more involved.

Before we jump into the specific job duties of PTO Treasurers, let’s first talk about the skillset Treasury volunteers should have.

What are the Ideal Skills a Treasurer Should Have?

Great Treasurers have a bunch of skills that make them well suited for the essential position, including:

  • Fantastic communication skills
  • Understand numbers and basic accounting concepts
  • Is a team player
  • Pays attention to detail
  • Has or develops organized systems

These skills are the same ones that PTO Treasurers can share on their resumes since all of these skills have a direct transference into the business world!

Who wouldn’t want an employee who has all of these assets?

What are the duties of a PTO Treasurer?

The role of parent group Treasurers extends far beyond just signing checks and being on the group’s bank account.

Treasurers are tasked with keeping a close eye on money on at least a weekly basis, tracking every penny of income and expenses.

They should also make sure that money is being spent appropriately, with receipts to back up purchases made by fellow PTO members documenting that the money being spent was for a PTO event or program.

Basically, Treasurers should cross every t and dot every I to make sure everything is on the up and up, with money being spent as it was intended.

Treasurers also sit on the Executive Board of the PTO, and should feel free to actively contribute to the discussions of all PTO matters, not just things that are money related.

Given their position, Treasurers have a say about the direction of the PTO, just like any other Executive Board member.

The specific duties of parent group Treasurers, outside of attendance of and participation in Executive Board meetings and General Membership meetings, include:

  • Being a signatory on the group’s bank account
  • Develop annual budget
  • Issue checks for PTO expenses
  • Reimburse PTO members for purchases made on behalf of the PTO
  • Order checks to replenish supply
  • Purchase stamps and envelopes for remitting payments
  • Monitor cashflow, income and expenses
  • Deposit checks and cash
  • Withdraw cash for Cash Start Up Boxes in advance of events
  • Prepare monthly Treasurer’s Reports
  • Prepare for the Annual Audit
  • Keep committee chairs informed of pertinent line item balances
  • Follow Bylaws and Standing Rules

Notice that not included in the list is being an accountant!

It is probably really helpful for both the individual volunteer serving as Treasurers, as well as the larger PTO to have such a knowledgable volunteer heading up that role, but it totally isn’t necessary.

Someone with a comfortable sense of working with numbers, and putting together reports is enough.

How to be an effective PTO Treasurer?

Aside from making sure you’re following the above list of specific responsibilities, tapping into the good communication skills and being organized are the primary ways volunteers can be an effective Treasurer.

To really be useful, Treasurers should share the financial information with the officers and members of the parent group so they can have a sense of the current footing of the group since finances have so much sway in what happens.

For example, if a fundraiser is super successful, the group can figure out how to reallocate the budget to make the most of the windfall.

And on the other hand, if the fundraiser flops, then the group should be armed with that information to make a change in spending habits, if not adjust the overall budget accordingly.

What is the most important rule of a Treasurer?

The number one rule all Treasurers must follow is one that’s pretty obvious on it’s face: don’t steal!

Having elected the volunteer to the very important role of being the money minding Treasurer, the PTO members are entrusting the Treasurer to act in the best interest of the group and to not be a thief. It really is as simple as that.

Here’s more information on how to prevent theft from your PTO, whether it stem from the Treasurer or another parent volunteer.

Why do you want to be a Treasurer?

There are so many benefits for parents to serve as a Treasurer!

First, it allows them to have a say in the direction of the group, fulfilling a job that is often a thankless one.

So many parents are intimidated by the thought of being Treasurer because they assume that the role is super time intensive or that it’s just too much for them.

But, the Treasurer role is really one that you can make your own, operating mostly in the background of the group if desired.

A semi-secret reason volunteers love being Treasurer

Now that we’ve covered the specific job duties of PTO Treasurers, you’re probably thinking that this job sounds like it’s a lot!

It can be at times, especially when there are many deposits to be made, like during fundraisers or at the end of the school year when there’s a crush of PTO business to be wrapped up before the end of the school year.

But it’s also a job that can be done on the individual volunteer’s timeline.

Most of the job responsibilities can be done at the relative convenience of the Treasurer.

For example, the checkbook can be balanced at the time of their choice and doesn’t have to be done on any particular day or any specific time, unlike say the role of the Family Events Chair, who generally holds events after school, usually between 5-9 pm.

So this means that Treasurers can really set their own schedule of when to do their volunteer work.

The only real deadlines are the monthly PTO meetings, where the Treasurer reports must be presented, so that the other members have an idea of the financial health of the group and know how to proceed.

Tools to make life easier as PTO Treasurer

Looking to make your Treasurer life easier? It’s smart to use tools to make the task more manageable, and even enjoyable!

Instant Systems

laptop with screen showing Treasurer's Finance Manager on white desk

The Treasurer’s Finance Manager is the top treasurer money management software that is perfect for all parent groups, no matter their name!

It’s unlike anything else available to manage nonprofit money down to the penny, while generating reports with a few clicks and drastically reduce both worry that something is being overlooked and the time Treasurers spend managing the books.

Plus, the program features a one-time cost, meaning there’s no subscription fee to pay each year.

The Treasurer’s Finance Manager has a growing legion of raving fans who credit it with being both a game changer and a lifesaver for them and their parent groups!

Instant Paper and Receipt Organization and Money Management Systems

PTA PTO Treasurer's Success Kit digital resources on white background

The Treasurer’s Success Kit includes tons of forms to help Treasurers stay organized and instant systems to benefit the entire group.

The kit boosts transparency, accountability, makes audit preparation easy and the series of forms and template provide instant structure and a method to follow for easy reimbursements, payments and pretty much every aspect of a Treasurer’s function.

What’s more, the resource bundle also includes a monthly checklist of the specific tasks to address each month to keep all Treasurers perfectly on track and has a report template to provide members with the exact information they need to make informed decisions..

After all, without the financial information on hand, it’s really hard to make effective decisions, so it is crucial for the financial information to be up to date and current at every meeting.

Recommended Reading

Want to get deeper into how to be the best Treasurer?

We have covered this topic more than a few times since the Treasurer role is so key to the functioning of all parent groups, no matter their name, so you can read the Ultimate Guide to Being PTO Treasurer right here.

Over to You!

Now that you know the fundamentals of what it takes to be a fantastic Treasurer and the expectations and job duties of this volunteer role, are you ready to step up if asked by your PTO?

Silly question, I know.

Of course you are because you’re awesome like that and you also have practical information to use in the role!

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