Fraternity chapter treasurer is one of the most crucial positions a brother can hold. The treasurer is widely considered third in line behind the chapter president and vice president. This is largely because a fraternity chapter’s very existence relies on a properly balanced budget and the collection and management of membership dues, as well as other fees, alumni donations, monies raised for philanthropic purposes, and more.
According to Fortune Magazine, a fraternity treasurer may be tasked with the management of upwards of $100,000, though this amount will vary based on chapter size and other factors.
Considered the central conduit of all financial matters within the chapter, the fraternity treasurer must understand not only his own duties inside and out, but those of all other officers as well. This is because no other officer or brother can function in his duties without the proper management and distribution of chapter finances.
While a treasurer’s role has evolved somewhat in recent years, made somewhat easier by the use of fraternity software, he remains nonetheless a vital component of the chapter’s hierarchy.
A fraternity treasurer’s duties may include: consulting with chapter officers and other fraternity officials to balance and finalize a budget; maintaining that budget throughout his term and adjusting when necessary; ensuring membership dues and other fees are collected, and that all members, parents, university officials and fraternity officials are properly informed regarding financial responsibilities and the state of the budget; ensuring proper payment of fees, taxes, utilities, and other outstanding balances by the chapter; training the incoming treasurer when his term ends; and following all additional duties outlined in the chapter’s guidelines.
Let’s take a closer look at the Fraternity Treasurer and His Duties.
A fraternity treasurer needs first and foremost to be trained in his duties, preferably by the outgoing treasurer. He needs to read and understand the guidelines laid out by his fraternal organization regarding his duties and responsibilities. It is also beneficial for him generally to understand the duties of other chairs. This will help him in weighing the needs of each chair as it pertains to budgeting.
Working in tandem with the chapter president and other chairs, a treasurer will ensure that a budget is drawn up and finalized with the needs of each chapter chair, agreed upon chapter goals and any outstanding chapter debts met. Some chapter expenses to factor in will include insurance and taxes, housing costs, IFC dues and dues to nationals. The treasurer will allocate funds and, if possible, budget for savings and potential shortcomings. Each committee will then be responsible for how their portions of the finances are managed.
During chapter meetings, a fraternity treasurer will present weekly financial reports and remind brothers of due dates, payment plans and delinquencies with membership dues. He needs to create a paper trail with all financial matters and ensure brothers have transparent access to the budget’s balance and upcoming expenses.
Additionally, one of a fraternity treasurer’s most important duties is to ensure there is open, transparent and accurate communication and reporting of all financial matters between the chapter and university officials, the housing corporation, and other authorities such as the province president, chapter advisory board chairman and leadership consultant.
The fraternity treasurer is not required to be a financial expert. The treasurer is not required to study in a degree field involving finance, although certainly this can benefit him in his duties. He is not the sole party responsible for the chapter’s financials. He is not responsible for single-handedly pulling a chapter from past debt and delinquency. Nor is it his fault if, despite constant warnings and penalties, a brother continues not to pay membership dues. The fraternity treasurer does not make personal determinations regarding the chapter finances, but instead works with other chapter officers and advisors and follows a set of detailed regulations.
He is not a debt collector as he has no legal powers to force a brother to pay, beyond simply sending reminders of amounts owed, following disciplinary guidelines and, if all else, fails, seeking financial recourse through a collections agency. A fraternity treasurer, in other words, cannot and will not succeed on his own. Instead he must be supported by his brothers and the structure and integrity of the chapter itself.
It’s becoming less and less common for a fraternity chapter and its treasurer to approach annual or semesterly budgeting without the use of budgeting software, such as OmegaFi’s Vault. The concept of budgeting software for fraternities is that an electronic, internet-based, all-in-one interface can replace and enhance older methods of drawing up and managing a fraternity chapter’s budget. Software can enhance budgeting by offering centralized access to the budget and individual outstanding debts, sending delinquency reminders and other financial communications, simplifying bank transactions, offering brothers and their parents an easy online payment method and more.
Other advantages of fraternity budgeting software are that it also eases the transition from one treasurer to the next and gives your national organization a broad-picture idea of your chapter’s financials. It does this by maintaining a constant and up-to-date database over the entire time a chapter uses this software. As a piece of premier budgeting software, Vault also offers access to professional financial advisors who can guide a fraternity through the chapter budgeting process and beyond.
A fraternity treasurer must first and foremost represent his letters and his chapter as an upstanding member of his community, his university and his brotherhood. He must be an arbiter of good morals and treat his fellow brothers with respect regardless of their financial standing with the chapter. He must carry out the duties of his office with the utmost professionalism and to the best of his ability. It’s a sobering responsibility, but treasurers don’t have to do it alone. Help is available.
Learn more about how OmegaFi is dedicated to helping fraternity treasurers fulfill their duties each and every day!