As part of my duties with ICLUBcentral, I help club treasurers with problems. For various reasons I tend to be assigned more complex issues. Many of the problems I encounter could have been avoided if treasurers had some guidelines for what to do as a treasurer.
This thought was highlighted by my recent reading of the book The Checklist Manifesto by Dr. Atul Gawande. Gawande is a surgeon, and the book details his findings on how simple checklists improve surgical results in hospitals in both developed and developing countries.
He includes several stories from money manager friends who applied the checklist process to their investment decisions with good results. So I thought, “Why not a checklist for club treasurers?”
Fortunately, such a list already exists. It’s included in the manual for myICLUB.com. The manual for ICLUBcentral’s desktop accounting program also includes some treasurer duties, but I think the manual for the online version organizes them a bit better. You can download the myICLUB.com manual here. It’s free, but you’ll be asked to provide an email address.
The myICLUB.com manual has a section titled “What to Expect as Treasurer.” Included in that section are lists of startup, monthly and occasional tasks.
A lot of future problems might be avoided if treasurers looked at the manual and took care to perform appropriate tasks. Making a written checklist and using it could be helpful.
Two things I might add to the monthly list are “reconcile cash account balances with statements” along with “reconcile number of shares owned with broker statement.” As Gawande showed in his book, even highly skilled and experienced surgical teams often miss small but important steps during surgical preparation and subsequent surgery.
Checklists help our fallible memory. Don’t let an imperfect memory cause problems with your accounting records — try a checklist.