Calculator and financial document with handwritten notes

Guide to Conducting an Internal Financial Review

School support organizations (booster clubs) should conduct a financial review of the organization’s financial practices each year. This review is intended to ensure that appropriate financial policies are in place, and that each organization is following these policies.

Step #1: Gather financial documents including:
  • Copies of all written financial policies
  • Copies of treasurer’s reports for the year (or other period) to be reviewed
  • List of all bank and investment accounts, including names of persons authorized to sign on each account
  • Copies of all bank and other financial statements for the period to be reviewed
  • Copies of all bank and investment account reconciliations for the period to be reviewed
  • Cash tally sheets / Cash receipts journal
  • Invoices, receipts and other documents
  • Documentation of any restrictions on the use of any particular funds or donor gifts
  • IRS letter documents including most recent Form 990, IRS letter recognizing tax-exempt status, and IRS letter assigning an EIN (employer identification number) to the organization.
Step #2: Review financial documents and processes.
  • Check the organization’s EIN (employer identification number) as assigned by the IRS against the EIN used on the organization’s bank and other financial accounts. Make sure the school’s EIN is not being used.
  • Check names of persons authorized to (a) approve transactions and (b) sign checks, against:
    • persons authorized to conduct these activities in the organization’s minutes; and,
    • bank records indicating who is authorized as a signatory.
  • Check to ensure that the same person(s) who sign checks are not the same/or only persons reviewing monthly bank statements.
  • Check all bank reconciliations to determine that the beginning balance of one month is the same as the ending balance of the previous month. Also note whether the balance listed on financial statements is the same as the balance listed on the treasurer’s reports presented to the organization.
  • Pick one month and perform a bank reconciliation using the original records. If you find a discrepancy between your reconciliation and the reconciliation provided by the person who performed the original reconciliation, research the discrepancy to find the error or explanation for the discrepancy.
  • Count all cash in petty cash accounts to ensure that the count agrees with the books.
  • Check to see if the organization carries fidelity bond coverage on people handling the organization’s funds; if insurance is not held, propose that the organization consider obtaining bonding coverage.
Step #3: Review income and receipts.
  • Determine if the deposits listed on the financial reports provided to the organization match deposits listed on bank statements.
  • Check to see if cash tally sheets match the amount of cash reported as received from an event on financial reports, and also match the deposit indicated on bank statements.
Step #4: Review disbursements.

Test to be sure that payments made were properly authorized – by a line item in the approved budget, an approved amendment to the budget, or an appropriate vote authorizing the expenditure. Test purchase orders to be sure that they were properly approved and match the actual disbursement or invoice. Review records to ensure that there is an invoice, receipt or other appropriate written documentation for each disbursement, and that the amounts match.

Step #5: Review Tax/information returns.

Review financial records to ensure that appropriate federal (IRS Form 990) and state income tax/information returns have been timely filed.

Step #6: Review financial control systems.
  • Check to evaluate whether financial duties have been appropriately separated. Although it can be difficult for small organizations to separate financial duties, certain separations are essential for appropriate financial controls. These separations protect both the organization, and the individuals handling the finances. Specifically:
    • Individuals with signature authority should NEVER approve the transactions/disbursements for which they sign. All expenditures should be approved in an annual budget, as originally approved or amended, or by a vote of the board or membership as appropriate. All disbursements should be documented by an invoice, receipt or other appropriate written documentation.
    • The individual(s) with signature authority may reconcile bank statements. However, at least one additional officer or director should review monthly bank statements, or bank statements may be included with the treasurer’s report to the board/membership.
    • Finances should be reviewed annually by an audit committee that consists of two or more individuals who do not routinely handle the organization’s finances, such as by being a signatory on the accounts.
    • Cash should always be counted by at least 2 persons at/near the time received, and then recounted by the treasurer or other individual prior to deposit.
Step #7: Review reporting systems to ensure adequate information is provided for the organization and its officers/directors to make reasonable decisions.
  • Are reports from the treasurer timely and complete?
  • Are financial policies, including separation of financial controls, being followed?
  • Are all records being gathered (invoices, receipts, cash records, checks and disbursement records, bank records, treasurer’s reports) so that they can be reviewed as needed, and only discarded in accordance with the organization’s record retention guidelines?
Step #8: Write a report.

The financial review/audit report should document at a minimum:

  • Steps taken in the financial review
  • Current fund(s) balance and balance sheet
  • Comments, if any, on any concerns or discrepancies found and the audit committee’s recommendations to correct these concerns or discrepancies.
FEATURED BLOG

Booster Club Fundraiser Ideas That Work

Sandra Pfau Englund

Jan 08, 2020

Raising money for the students at your school is always important. Government tax funding usually doesn’t cover all the costs of a great education system. So, it's essential for parents, administrators, and teachers to all pitch in on fundraising. One of the best, and structured, ways to raise money is by creating a booster club. All you have to do is incorporate, obtain your tax exemption, get an EIN, and register with your state. A booster club then allows your group to raise funds for your school with all the benefits of making charitable donations for donors. The primary goal of a booster club is to raise support for the school, including extra funding, so let's take a look at the top booster club fundraiser ideas.

Community Fundraising Ideas for Booster Clubs
1. Membership fees must comply with law

One of the top booster club fundraiser ideas is to accept membership fees. However, it's important to note that while you may charge membership fees, it is vital to understand the laws regulating that revenue. Thus, for more information to ensure you comply with all laws, take a look at experts in the field, such as Parent Booster USA.

2. 5K Fun Runs bring together your community

Do you want to get everyone in your community involved in one of your fundraising ideas for booster clubs? Well, a 5K walk/run might be the right fundraiser for you. Recruit a team of volunteers who will help you plan this kind of fundraiser. Then, charge all participants for walking/running the race. You'll need to get the necessary permits for the route, but a 5K fun run is great because it involves your entire town. So, take a look at these tips for planning your fun run for great success.

Digital Fundraising Ideas for Booster Clubs
3. Charity auctions with or without an event

Have you ever considered an online charity auction? It's one of the best booster club fundraiser ideas, done conveniently online. Sure, you can combine an online auction with a fundraising event (e.g., sporting match, dinner, etc.), but it's also a great stand-alone fundraiser. So, all you have to do is get a charity auction platform, auction items, and then promote away. Remember, travel, spa, and sports items do very well in this fundraiser. Check out these dos and don'ts for an auction.

4. Email flash fundraiser for one day only

Yes, email still works. In fact, one-third of online fundraising comes through email. For a flash fundraiser, pick a day where you're going to blitz your donor base through email. For success, you'll want to ensure you have a compelling story and a sense of urgency for the funds. And don't forget to include videos and photos for your flash fundraiser. Also, remember that while you will get responses to this fundraising idea through email, you will want to also share across social media. Set a financial goal and tell everyone that you need the funds by the close of the day. 

Sports events for booster fundraiser ideas
5. Championship event fundraiser for your booster club

Playing sports is a big part of school life, and it can serve as the center for fundraising events. As a result, one of the most fun (and competitive) booster club fundraising ideas is a fundraiser tied to a championship. Perhaps your students have made the cut at the national level, state, or local levels. Or, maybe it's the last game at your school before vacation. Whatever the reason, select a game that is special and then raise money around it. Ask all parents to get involved and promote your event on social media. When people arrive to see the game, you can charge an admission fee for entrance to this special game.

6. Raise money with a pitch-a-thon

Everyone likes a little bit of competition. Therefore, with that in mind, one of our other excellent booster club fundraising ideas is a pitch-a-thon. It's easy to get one together during any time of year. Before any sporting event at your school, get the crowd motivated by inviting anyone to throw the fastest baseball pitch. But, you're not limited to baseball. See who can kick a soccer ball the farthest or throw a football. You can plan it yourself, or work with a third-party partner to help you prepare it. However, charge participants and attendees to this fun event.  

Creative fundraising with no selling or asking for money
7. Shoe drive fundraiser

Finally, one of the most creative booster club fundraising ideas is a shoe drive fundraiser. You can raise school and team spirit by having different grades and classes compete against each other. All your booster club has to do is collect gently worn, used and new shoes. And, once the event is finished, you get a check. Not only will this fundraiser raise funds for you, but it's a socially responsible fundraiser. Meaning, you support the planet and also micro-entrepreneurs working to help themselves out of poverty.


The easiest way to get and keep tax-exempt status

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