You are here

Finances

All Board members have fiduciary obligations to the organization and the treasurer, in particular, must guide the organization’s finances. The resources in this section will help you to understand your fiduciary obligations and provide tools to help you manage your chorus’ finances smoothly.

Role of the Treasurer:

Serving as the treasurer for a chorus can be a daunting undertaking. The documents in this section help to define what is expected of a treasurer and an example of a treasurer’s report. The treasurer frequently has a financial background but it is important to remember that other members of the board probably do not. A good treasurer learns to communicate financial information in a way that is understandable to all.

Treasurer Job Description
This document provides a description of the responsibilities of a treasurer in general terms and can easily be modified to match a particular chorus’ staffing and circumstances.

Treasurer Board Report
PDF
An example of a treasurer’s board report designed to present the financial information in easily understood components with text explanations of important points about deviations from budget, cash flow problems, etc.

How to Read Financial Statements:

So what am I supposed to learn from the treasurer’s report on the financial statements? What questions am I supposed to ask?

Reading Your Chorus Financial Statements
Use this document for a quick education on what you are supposed to learn from reviewing the chorus financial statements.

IRS 990 Filings:

Most organizations exempt from income tax under section 501 of the Internal Revenue Code must file an annual information return (Form 990 or 990-EZ) or submit an annual electronic notice (Form 990-N), depending upon the organization's gross receipts and total assets. Form 990 must be filed by an organization exempt from income tax under section 501 if it has either (1) gross receipts greater than or equal to $200,000 or (2) total assets greater than or equal to $500,000 at the end of the tax year. If an organization has gross receipts less than $200,000 and total assets at the end of the tax year less than $500,000, it can choose to file Form 990-EZ, Short Form Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax, instead of Form 990. If an organization normally has gross receipts of $50,000 or less, it must submit Form 990-N, Electronic Notice (e-Postcard) for Tax-Exempt Organizations Not Required To File Form 990 or 990-EZ. Failure to file the required annual returns can result in the loss of your exempt status.

A Board Member’s Form 990 Review Checklist
PDF
A document created by the accounting firm Grant Thornton that walks you, as a Board member, through how to review your organization’s Form 990 filing.

State Filings:

Many states have annual reporting requirements in addition to the Federal Form 990 requirements. Make sure you are familiar with the requirements and stay in compliance. If you do not know what your state’s requirements are you can ask your accountant.

Insurance:

Board members have a fiduciary responsibility to the organization which includes the protection of its assets. Most choruses carry general liability insurance which covers liability for any injuries to an attendee at a chorus event and property insurance which covers damage to chorus property and damage to any property the chorus rents. Be aware that these types of policies generally do not cover injury to a chorus member participating in a chorus activity – if the chorus wishes to have that type of coverage you will need to work with your insurance agent.

Many choruses with outside Board members also carry directors and officers liability insurance (D&O). It has become more readily available and at more reasonable prices over the past few years. If your chorus does not carry D&O insurance you may want to get a quote from your insurance agent – it may be more affordable than you think.

Choruses with employees will also need to carry workers compensation and unemployment compensation insurance. These policies are generally required by the state and are provided through the state.

Insurance Descriptions
This excerpt from about.com describes each of the types of insurance that a chorus is likely to be interested in.

 

Financial Statements

Want to Put Your Chorus in the Spotlight?

Submit a request to have your chorus in the Member Spotlight.!