This first article comes to us from Joel Zabriskie. I have known him for years as both the Council Commissioner and as a local LDS Stake President. Several years back, Joel was able to finally put his accounting and finance degree to work when he joined our finance team as CFO and Comptroller at Utah National Parks Council.
When we asked him to explain the budget process, this was his response:
Utah National Parks Council (UNPC) is a Utah corporation chartered by the National Office of The Boy Scouts of America as a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. As any corporation, it has Bylaws which provides structure to the entity as well as instructions and requirements of its officers, employees and volunteers.
The council’s bylaws authorizes two governing bodies: the Executive Board and the Executive Committee. The Executive Committee is comprised of 15 to 20 volunteers who meet monthly to discuss and approve various topics and proposals. The Executive Board is made up of the officers of the Council, District Chairs, Council Committee Chairs and others approved and elected, all being volunteers. The Scout Executive is the Secretary to these committees, but has no voting power. The Executive Board meets quarterly.
One of the Bylaw requirements states:
“The Executive Board shall, preceding the commencement of each fiscal year, consider and adopt a budget of estimated expenditures by the corporation for such fiscal year.”
Since the fiscal year ends December 31st, the budget must be considered and adopted at the Executive Board meeting held in November of each year. Preparation of the proposed budget takes place months before the board meeting.
A Council Budget Committee is appointed with a chairman and several committee members, including the Council Treasurer, all who are volunteers. The proposed budget is prepared by the Scout Executive and the CFO, taking into consideration historical data as well as future anticipated changes. They meet together to discuss the various aspects of the budget, including the current financial status of the council. After careful deliberation and, in some cases, more than one meeting, the annual budget is revised, finalized and given to the Executive Committee for their consideration and approval.
In a regularly scheduled Executive Committee meeting the annual budget is presented by the Budget Committee Chair or the Council Treasurer. A motion is made to accept the budget with any revisions, and is forwarded to the Executive Board for their approval.
The Budget Committee Chair or Council Treasurer presents the annual budget to the Executive Board and answers any questions. It is then approved for the following year.
As can be observed, this is a lengthy ongoing process which creates discipline in managing the finances of the Council, requiring attention to detail, and fulfillment of fiduciary responsibilities.
Author: Joel Zabriskie | CFO/Comptroller, Utah National Parks Council, Boy Scouts of America