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Treasurer's Report approved, Twice - How to record


keefe
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At our Annual Meeting, in an effort to save time the Chairman asked for a motion to approve all reports.  Whether good or bad, this was done so that all the reports wouldn't have to be read through and take so much time.  However, in that group of reports was the Treasurer's Report and it was approved without the Treasurer presenting the report, which is usually done.  Later in the meeting the chairman was informed that the Treasurer did not give the report and therefore was invited up to give the report.  Upon completion of the report the Chairman asked again for a motion to approve the Treasurer's Report, MSC. 

My question is, how does it get reported in the draft minutes?  Does the second motion to accept the Treasurer's Report get recorded?  Or should it just be left out? 

Any advice is appreciated.  Thank you.

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The minutes are a record of what actually was done, not what should have been done. So yes, both votes get recorded.

But if the assembly is voting to approve all reports, you need to stop doing that. If a report makes a recommendation, the recomendation should be moved, debated, and voted on, but not the report itself. And if there is no recomendation, then the report is simply filed, not approved (unless the assembly wants to adopt every word of the report as the assembly's own, which should be very rare).

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Weldon,

Thank you for the feedback, it is greatly appreciated.  And for what it is worth I agree that all reports shouldn't be approved at the same time, the same way I don't agree with casting a unanimous ballot, but I have lost that battle long ago.

 

jstackpo,

The approving of the TR is what I was writing about, not the Auditor's Report.  It has been common practice at our church to do that for as long as I have been a member.

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41 minutes ago, keefe said:

At our Annual Meeting, in an effort to save time the Chairman asked for a motion to approve all reports.  Whether good or bad, this was done so that all the reports wouldn't have to be read through and take so much time.  .

As noted, RONR does not recommend approving reports - except for the auditors report. But to compound the situation, why would your organization want to approve reports that haven't been read? Have these reports at least been circulated to the membership prior to the meeting so that members can see what's included in them?

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Agreeing with the others, the assembly should not be approving the treasurer's report. That is a no no. The chair should thank him for his report and then move on to the next item of business. The report itself should be placed on file or turned over to the Auditors for audit. It is the report of the Auditors which should ultimately be approved.

Edited to add: the auditor's report, depending on the complexity of the transactions, does not need to be anything formal or fancy. It could consist of one or two members who review the treasurer's report and bank statements on the spot and say yes, we have reviewed the treasurer's report and find it to be in order.

Edited by Richard Brown
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14 hours ago, keefe said:

And for what it is worth I agree that all reports shouldn't be approved at the same time, the same way I don't agree with casting a unanimous ballot, but I have lost that battle long ago.

I agree that the reports shouldn’t be approved at the same time, but additionally, most reports shouldn’t be approved at all.

Generally, for reports which contain information only, no action whatsoever is taken on the report. It is merely placed on file. If the report contains recommendations, one or more motions are made to implement the recommendations, but not to approve the report in its entirety. A motion should only be made to approve the report if it is to become an official record of the society, such as if the report is to be published in the society’s name. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 506-508 for more information.

In the case of the Treasurer’s Report specifically, for most reports, no action is taken on the report, and it is placed on file. For the annual report, it is submitted to the Auditing Committee (or to professional auditors, depending on the size and complexity of the society’s finances), and the report of the auditors is approved after it is received. See RONR, 11th ed., pgs. 479-480 for more information.

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By "approving" reports you, collectively, buy into everything in the report which, depending on what the report says, may be a bit much to swallow.

Suppose the treasurer  heads out to Cancun with the treasury tomorrow, but left an innocent looking treasurer's report at tonight's meeting, which was them approved.    I have no idea how the "approval" might influence later (legal) attempts to get the bank account back, but I suspect is sure wouldn't help.

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To add to Dr. Stackpole's answer: which is why you do approve the auditor's report. An unaudited treasurer's report is a bunch of claims no one at the meeting is able to verify. Why would you approve that? Or, look at it from the voter's perspective. As I'm sitting there at the meeting, I see a copy of the treasurer's report placed on the overhead projector. It says there's 10k in the bank account. I'm asked to approve. On what basis do I vote? How do I know anything about the bank account other than from the very report I'm asked to approve?

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If you're approving reports that ought not be approved, you're certainly expecting a majority to vote yes. If I were an officer in your group, and submitted a report, and then you voted on my report that I'd submitted, and a majority voted NOT to approve it, what then? Was my report not submitted? Of course it was. Are you rejecting it and telling me to do it over? No, because it's my report of what happened while doing the duties of my office.

By voting on these reports, where voting no is basically not an option, you're not doing much of anything. You're exercising rules of formality > rules of order.

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On 4/27/2019 at 4:49 PM, keefe said:

My question is, how does it get reported in the draft minutes?  Does the second motion to accept the Treasurer's Report get recorded?  Or should it just be left out? 

 

On 4/27/2019 at 5:06 PM, Weldon Merritt said:

The minutes are a record of what actually was done, not what should have been done. So yes, both votes get recorded.

I think that the full report should also be attached to the minutes since the full report was apparently adopted.

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