PAC Finances

The School District Policy 1223 gives PAC’s the option of keeping their funds in trust with the school board.

This is being revised as of September 2010, so that PACs will need to have their own bank accounts. We will be providing more information on this topic.

It is recommended that PAC’s maintain their own banking account and have the monthly statements mailed to the PAC at the school address.

The decision on how funds are handled rests with your council and the processes for decision making should be included in your bylaws. Your PAC must be scrupulous with its bookkeeping practices.

When PAC’s are doing fundraising it is very important that it is clear why funds are being raised. Take care that funds are used for the purposes for which they were raised. So when fundraising for “Playgrounds” then ensure those funds go towards playgrounds. If fundraising for the operation of the PAC or, to send a parent to a conference, then it should be stated that the fundraiser is for ” PAC Activities”.

For large expenditures such as computers or playground equipment that may take several years to accumulate the required funds they should be put in a trust. Funds in trust should be clearly shown on all reports. As schools are not required to pay the full GST it is possible to order the item through the school district and save a portion of the GST. It is important not to just give the school district the funds but rather get an invoice from them and pay that, especially if gaming funds are used.
General Points

Like all organizations accountable to their members PACs are responsible for the money they hold on behalf of parents. PAC money wherever it comes from belong to the membership as a whole. It does not belong to the executive, treasurer, school or school district. The executive and treasurer may spend council money only with the authority of the membership and in accordance with the council’s bylaws.
Basic Principles

1. The council should have its own bank account, separate from the the school or school district’s accounts. Bank statements should be mailed to the PAC at the school’s address.
2. The treasurer is responsible for ensuring safe custody of the council’s money. The treasurer’s responsibility also includes safe keeping of all banking and financial records.
3. The president should be familiar with all financial records and should review the bank reconciliations regularly.
4. Money can only be spent according to the council’s approved budget or with authorization of a motion passed at a general meeting. The treasurer is responsible for ensuring that this authority is not exceeded. One of the most useful motions is the approval of a budget. This gives the executive the authority to make transactions included in the budget and only requires a motion at a general meeting for expenditures not included in the budget.
5. All deposits must be made to the council’s account and all payments must be made by cheque.
6. All money received must be deposited on a timely basis.
7. Cash received should be counted by at least two people and deposited within a day.
8. Receipts must be given for all money received.
9. All cheques must be signed by two of the three or possibly four authorized people. This will be spelled out in your bylaws. These should be parent members of the PAC who are not employees or elected officials of the school district or Ministry of Education.
10. A petty cash fund is not recommended as it is too easy to lose track of expenditures.
11. Some council bylaws allow the executive to spend small amounts without prior approval. This spending should be approved at the next general meeting.
12. If the council holds an event requiring advance payments, consider giving the purchaser a reasonable float. The purchaser should provide receipts and return any balance. Parents should not be out of pocket for council purchases.
13. Every council member has the right to see all financial records on reasonable notice.
14. An annual review of the council’s books and records should be conducted by two or three parents who do not have signing authority. The team of reviewers must be appointed by a motion passed by the membership. The review team can not include the treasurer and should be done at a neutral location.
15. All banking and financial records should be kept for five years from the end of the fiscal year to which they relate.

Adapted from the BC Confederation of Parent Advisory Council’s Leadership Manual