It’s back-to-school season, and a key to getting a great start to a new school year is to ensure that the end-of-the-year responsibilities were fulfilled.
- Has your outgoing treasurer completed the financial year-end report? This report will be essential in completing tax-filing requirements that all nonprofits, including PTAs, must file 5.5 months after the close of your fiscal year.
- Before the new board conducts business, have the financial books been audited?
- Have the required PTA officers – president, treasurer and secretary – been elected? Be sure to share their contact information with your council and/or district PTA so they receive support, resources and information.
Another essential component for the new school year is to make sure your PTA is in compliance with its bylaws.
- Review the bylaws together as a board. This exercise will help officers understand individual roles and responsibilities, work as a team on essential areas such as finance and meeting business timelines, and help the team learn how to use committees to work smarter. Can’t find your bylaws? Contact your council PTA, if in council, or district PTA parliamentarian or president for assistance.
- Authorized check signers are listed in your bylaws. Please change the check signers, if necessary, or file new signature cards at your bank so that the new officers are able to sign checks.
- Fill any vacant positions. PTA positions are listed in your bylaws. Work together to ensure everyone is on the same page about what it means to be a PTA leader.
- Use your bylaws to plan your PTA calendar. Your bylaws state the months that general “association” meetings are to take place. Every PTA must have monthly executive board meetings and at least three general “association” meetings per year – the first to adopt the budget, annual financial report, year-end audit, and program(s) for the current year; the second to elect a nominating committee and adopt the mid-year audit; and the third to elect officers for the next year. Remember, you can combine these meetings with program nights and events to maximize attendance.
The third priority is to plan for the first association meeting of the year.
- Your association (the membership) approves all plans; the following should be presented and recorded in the minutes:
- Financial Year-end Report presented
- Year-end Audit must be adopted
- Minutes of the last association meeting must be approved
- Proposed plan of goals, programs and sufficient fundraising events to support the programs need a vote of approval
- Budget for the year must be adopted/voted upon
- Remember that PTA is NOT a fundraising association. PTAs should only raise money to meet annual activities and projects as outlined in your budget.
- Remember, also, that copies of your audits, end-of-the-year financial reports, budgets and tax filings are to be submitted through channels, i.e. to your council PTA, if in council, or to your district PTA.
Be sure to share the resources you receive from California State PTA and National PTA with your board members.
- The California State PTA Toolkit is available online as well as resources and tools from the Service Mailing Leadership Kit, which was mailed to PTA presidents this summer. The National PTA Back-to-School Kit is also available online.
- You can also encourage your officers and members to sign up for electronic communications.
- Please check the archives of this Leadership Essentials publication for other issues and topics that may be of interest.