If your group is earning and spending money, they need to set up a bank account within 30 days of starting as a troop. If you’re taking over an existing group, you may inherit a checking account, but with a new group, you’ll want to open a new account. This usually happens when there is money to deposit, such as from group dues, product sales, or group money-earning activities. Consider these tips when working with a group account:
- Keep group funds in the bank before an activity or trip, paying for as many items in advance of your departure.
- Use debit cards during the activity or trip*.
- Make one person responsible for group funds and for keeping a daily account of expenditures.
*Debit cards can only be used if the troop account is held at one of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio preferred banks.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio has established a process with several area banks, to provide troops and service units with checking accounts having no or minimal monthly service charges and to simplify the document requirements resulting from the Patriot Act*. Outlined below are the procedures to open, change and close a troop or service unit checking account.
*Please note: Some banks may have a minimum balance to open the account or charge a small monthly service charge for the mailing of monthly statements. Please check with your bank when opening a Girl Scout account to see if they have an “opt out” option for mailed statements with the free option for online banking access.
Opening a New Checking Account
When a new Girl Scout troop is established, the Girl Scout leader and at least one other approved adult volunteer must complete the forms required to open a new checking account – one signer will hold the check book/debit card, while the other receives the statements or has access to the account through online services (this procedure safeguards girls’ monies). Both signers must be approved, actively registered members of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. (This includes the successful completion of volunteer application and background check approval process.)
The checking account forms are available from the regional offices or can be printed from the website. These forms are submitted to the bank you have chosen for your account. Banks require original signatures and will usually request to see a copy of the volunteer’s appointment/welcome letter from Girl Scouts of Western Ohio. Because many savings accounts earn interest, this type of account is NOT permitted for Girl Scout usage.
Completion of a Troop/Group Financial Report
All Girl Scout troops are required to submit information regarding the troop’s finances annually as part of the appointment and reappointment process. All new troops must complete and submit a Troop/Group Financial Report within 30 days of opening their new Girl Scout account. In addition, all troops including new troops must complete a final Troop/Group Financial Report and submit a copy of their bank statement by June 30th each year. Girl Scout leaders will not be eligible for reappointment the following year if there is not a current report on file with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.
The Troop/Group Financial Report form can be accessed, completed and submitted online at the council website. The bank statement should be emailed to email@example.com or mailed to the regional Girl Scout Center.
When changes need to be made to existing accounts the procedure is similar – both forms must be completed, including the account number and any changed information, i.e., address, signer information, etc. Changes in the bank account can be made directly with your bank.
Closing a Checking Account
Before closing an account, be sure all checks and other debits have cleared the account. You may have to close the account in person. If a troop makes the decision to disband, the troop’s treasury should follow the girls that remain Girl Scouts to their new troops. The funds should be distributed fairly and appropriately, if the girls do not move to the same troop. If none of the girls chose to remain active in the Girl Scouting, the remaining funds must be returned to the Girl Scout council for use in the Financial Assistance Fund. The service team will work with paid staff to ensure that troop funds are handled appropriately and in a timely manner. A final Troop/Group Financial Report must be completed noting that this is a "closed account" . (Be sure to include account number.) Girl Scout money left in accounts when groups disband become the property of the council.
Since records and other property belong to the troop, not an individual, they should be passed along to the next leader within 30 days from a change in leadership. If a disbanding troop’s girls are placed in multiple troops, the disbanding troop’s treasury may be pro-rated to each new troop based on the number of transferring girls and the financial decisions made by troop members.
Disbanding A Troop
Troops that are not reregistering for the upcoming membership year must complete the Disbanding Troop Report Form and follow the procedures below:
- If a troop is disbanded and the girls are not placed in one or more new troops:
- Complete a Disbanding Troop Report Form.
- Give supplies to service team personnel.
- Give the bank account checkbook/debit cards and records to the service unit manager or service unit financial consultant.
- Money may not be given to the individual girls or adults.**
- Disbanding troop funds contribute to financial assistance, which are available to assist girls with financial need to participate in Girl Scout activities.
- The individual girl’s badge record should be given to the girl for her future reference and use.
- If a girl moves from one troop to another, her portion of the funds may follow her to another troop based on decisions previously made by troop members about how money will be handled. When a girl leaves Girl Scouting, the funds remain the property of the troop.
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio Preferred Banks
Girl Scouts of Western Ohio has established standard procedures with the following banks. By opening a Girl Scout checking account at one of the preferred banks, the troop will have the option of obtaining a debit card for the account. The use of debit cards is not acceptable if the account is opened at a bank that is NOT a preferred bank with Girl Scouts of Western Ohio.*
- Fifth Third Bank – Contact Heather Bowling, 513-563-7900 option 3
- PNC Bank – Contact Johnda Keuffer, 513-563-0395, ext. 21773
- Mutual Federal Savings Bank – Contact Lynn Williams 937-773-9900
* If you would like to request a bank in your community become a preferred bank of Girl Scouts of Western Ohio, please contact your regional Girl Scout Center.
Troop dues are an option for activities the girls plan to participate in and for costs of snacks, supplies, and other materials used by the girls at regular meetings. Troop dues are meant to supplement cookie and fall product activities. NO girl shall be denied membership in a troop, or have her participation restricted based on her lack of ability to pay troop dues. When setting the amount of troop dues, the fees should be decided on by all members and consideration given to the income levels of all of the girls in the group.