Bright Ideas and True Confessions: How and What to Do and Why


Where Do We Keep the Money?

From my experience:

small amounts - a cigar box or so.
The treasurer should report monthly in writing all monies in and out (even piddly amounts).
medium amounts - checking account,
but set it up so that there are two different people who can sign the checks (treasurer and seneschal, ordinarily).
large amounts (baronies and wealthy shires) - some in savings, some in checking,
with a set procedure for approving withdrawals or checks (like approval of the expense in a meeting, signatures of the seneschal and baron/ess, or whatever works well for the group).

Some banks will give you free checking for being part of a non-profit organization.[1] You'll need the SCA's federal employer ID number (get it from the kingdom treasurer), and maybe a letter saying your group is an approved chapter (get it from the kingdom seneschal, or treasurer). Some banks want a copy of the incorporation papers. Show them a copy of Corpora ($3.50 from SCA Inc.), which has the text of the incorporation papers in it. There's a photocopy of the current IRS determination letter (verifying that we're still a non-profit corporation) in the handbook which is sent to local treasurers at tax-time. If the bank wants more than this, don't get mad; either pay the monthly fee or write to the kingdom seneschal for help. It is possible to get a copy of the California incorporation papers or other odd bits if the bank really pushes.

To establish a new bank account, there's a card that needs to be signed by the corporation (since you're opening an account on their number and not your own personal social security number). Don't just put local people's signatures on for corporate officers! This is serious business. The card needs to be sent to SCA Inc., P.O. Box 360743, Milpitas CA 95036-0743. It has to be signed by the corporate secretary and entered in the minutes of a board meeting. (They won't make you wait until after the board meeting to get the signature card back, though.)

Now to contradict the "serious business" claim, it's possible to use your Society names as signatures if you want to and the bank doesn't mind. It's not illegal to use an alias (even as a regular signature) as long as you're not doing it to defraud people. (It's not in this state anyway; check in your own. The same laws which tell whether you can keep your maiden name when you get married, or make up last names for your children, might apply.)

Don't use your own social security number on these accounts unless you feel like paying income tax on interest the account makes, or answering to the IRS on why you had all this income you didn't claim.

All SCA accounts have to say Society for Creative Anachronism or SCA, but they can't just say SCA. It needs to say SCA-GROUPNAME. The bank doesn't care if you're a shire or a barony or what. Just leave that part off. "SCA-al-Barran" or "SCA-Mists."



[1] This section is good for most groups in the U.S., for none in Canada, I've heard, and Australian groups need to inquire there to see what arrangements are common. Sorry.
Copyright © by Sandra Dodd, 1991
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