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Transfering Funds


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As a new Treasurer I have a maybe stupid question. Do I need the vote of the general membership or just the exec. board to transfer funds. We have a lot in the checking and I want to transfer it into savings, but not sure the proper proceedure to do it. Any help would be GREATLY welcome.

You may not need anyone's vote.

Check the bylaws to see just what authority the treasurer has, as well as what authority the board has. The ultimate authority rests with the general membership.

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Do I need the vote of the general membership or just the exec. board to transfer funds?

Q. Which body controls the transfer of funds?

THAT body is the body who can vote and render a decision.

Under the default rules of Robert's Rules, the executive board is powerless.

All power resides with the general membership.

The wildcard, as always is your bylaws. - You may have granted your executive board powers which include the authority to "transfer funds" (whatever that means).

But no one knows if this is the case until SOMEONE READS THE BYLAWS.

Q. Do you even know what authority your executive board holds?

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The trouble is our byl-laws are SO messed up.

Nevertheless, they're the rules you've got to live with. They either give the treasurer the authority to transfer funds or they don't. Or maybe they're ambiguous and you need the membership to decide on an interpretation.

Assuming the treasurer has the authority to sign checks, I can't see much of a problem, if any, with signing a check and depositing it in a savings account. It a reversible decision with an upside (1% interest?) and no downside. I think someone would be hard-pressed to challenge it on any reasonable grounds. You could always transfer $1 as a test case. Of course, as noted, none of this has anything to do with RONR and everything to do with your bylaws.

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The trouble is our byl-laws are SO messed up. As a new member along with a few others are trying to fix them, but the older members are set in their ways.

Well who in the past has authorized the Treasurer (you or the past Treasurers) to do what needs authorization to do? While that won't mean that the body giving the authorization is the correct one under the bylaws it at least would be a start towards figuring things out.

Also, when in doubt the safest course of action is to go to the General Membership because barring the bylaws giving the Board (or some other body) the exclusive authority to handle such matters the Membership would have the authority to deal with it as well.

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I recommend that every organization should adopt a "statement of financial accounts and signers" in which they detail the names of the financial institutions in which they have money of securities deposited including safe deposit boxes, the purposes of each account if there is more than one, the name(s) of the persons authorized to write checks on the accounts, and the number of signatures required for each transaction.

While you cannot use this motion to amend your bylaws, you can use it to increase the "transparency" of the organization and head off misunderstandings. While such a motion designating the signers could refer to the positions rather than person's names, there is some hygiene in naming the persons and then passing a superseding resolution when changes occur.


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