Financial oversight

I posted some thoughts a few days ago about an SPJ list of recommended financial best practices.

One recommendation is: “Require two signatures on all checks.”

I wrote that my SPJ chapter – Washington, D.C., Pro – doesn’t follow that particular practice, but I think it should.

At our summer meeting on Sunday, the chapter board talked about the best practices document, including the double-signature recommendation.

Bill McCloskey, who is on both the chapter board and SPJ’s national board, said that even though our chapter isn’t as geographically spread out as some, it’s not always easy to get two people to meet whenever we need to write a check.

McCloskey suggested a different approach: giving a second person on the board read-only access to online bank statements.

Our treasurer, Amy Fickling, already prepares a monthly financial statement and shares it with the board before our meetings. We review and ask questions, if we have any, before approving each report.

But having a second set of eyes watching transactions as they occur is a good financial safeguard.

As we made clear at our meeting, this was not a judgment about the integrity of our current treasurer, who keeps our books in good order. The change is to add a layer of security for the chapter, no matter who our treasurer is in the future.

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