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Don’t Let a Math Phobia Keep You From the Treasurer’s Job

With Software’s Help, More Investment Club Members Can Manage the Books

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The people who fill club treasurer positions really aren’t born for such greatness — they’re made. There are some qualities that help a treasurer, and these qualities can be nurtured among all club members, increasing the chances of sharing this important position during the club’s lifetime.

Personally, I believe patience is a great quality in a treasurer. A treasurer will be waiting for information from companies on mergers, spinoffs and other complex transactions. Also, there’s the patience needed to wade through company websites for information on transactions. Then there’ll be waiting from club support venues when the information from the company isn’t explained well enough for you to enter transactions. Patience is also needed to get all the outside information needed to file tax returns, which includes waiting for the Internal Revenue Service (and state tax authorities) to finalize forms so that tax software can be produced for use by the club. Finally, there’s the patience needed to deal with impatient club members who want their Schedule K-1 on Feb. 1.
You’d think a penchant for math is essential to club treas­urers. Anyone with basic math skills should be capable of being a treasurer. The math isn’t that hard and the complex calculations are done by the software. Don’t let math phobia prevent you from experiencing the joys of being a treasurer.
Accounting knowledge also isn’t necessary. It may help a bit, but the basics for clubs aren’t difficult, and most of it is embedded in the software. The rules can be a little dif­ferent for partnerships and investments, so sometimes too much accounting knowledge in nonpartnership accounting is a small liability.  
Another good quality in a treasurer is the ability to take criticism. Treasurers receive criticism over why or how entries are made or because they can’t explain why a com­pany structured a deal a certain way. Many of the criticisms are about matters the treasurer has no control over. Good treasurers can politely let these remarks flow past them.
The final quality I’ll discuss here is the ability and desire to learn. Tax laws change. Accounting software will need to change with the law. Companies will devise new ways to structure deals that’ll stretch our ability to enter them into the software. A treasurer will need to be able to learn and should be happy to learn.
There are other qualities that make a good treasurer, but I won’t go into more detail now. To me, the qualities of a good treasurer are good ones for people in general. Nurture them among your club members as you would for friends and family. These qualities are also good for other positions. Your club will be better for it and you shouldn’t have a prob­lem rotating the position of treasurer among your members.

Russell Malley is the Club Accounting Adviser for ICLUBcentral.

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