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Treasurers — Handle With TLC Around Tax Time

It’s a Tough Job, and Most Members Don’t Want to Do It

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This time of year usually sees a higher volume of support calls regarding club accounting issues. Calls from stressed treasurers on the brink of leaving their position or even the club also increase about now. Many times clubs disband when the treasurer leaves. So this article is dedicated to the care and feeding of the club treasurer and is directed more at the other members of investment clubs.

Have a little patience. Your club treasurer doesn’t control when 1099 forms from your broker are available. The deadline for brokers to mail these forms has changed. The current date is Feb. 15, not Jan. 31. If your club holds real estate investment trusts or any type of partnership, later dates are possible for receipt of tax infor­mation. So don’t expect your club’s Schedule K-1 form before Feb. 15.
Don’t put a treasurer in a sink-or- swim situation. The beginning of the year seems a good time to change officers. This can put new and possibly inexperienced treasurers in the situation of filing their first club tax return just as they start their new duties. Cut the stress and change treasurers after tax season. Or make sure the new treasurer has help for the first 1065 filing.
Give your treasurer some help. An assistant treasurer who learns the accounting software and can share some of the duties diminishes the stress on your treasurer. This policy also helps the club have a trained replacement when the position eventually changes hands. Also, let your treasurer know of the resources available for help such as BetterInvesting’s Discussion List for Club Treasurers and the association’s local volunteer chapters. 
Show some appreciation. I’ve heard many treasurers complain of a lack of appreciation for their work. Being treasurer is often a job no one else wants, but others want to reserve the right to complain (loudly) if it’s not done perfectly. Mistakes will be made; very few cannot be corrected.
So, give a thank you to your treasurer once in a while. (Personally, a bottle of champagne works well for me. Now I need to find a way for my club to read this.)

Russell Malley is the Club Accounting Adviser for ICLUBcentral.

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