NIGP's Chapter Resource Library

Financial Management

Keeping accurate financial records is essential for all NIGP chapters. This resource will help chapter officers effectively manage their chapter’s finances to maximize budgets and deliver the most value for chapter members.

NIGP Chapter Banking

Opening a bank account is a critical step for all chapters. Here are the steps to find and manage your chapter’s bank account.

Tips for Opening and Maintaining a Chapter Bank Account
 

 1. Choose the right types of accounts for your chapter’s money

The two primary accounts to consider for your chapter are checking and money market accounts. You should also have a credit card and debit card attached to your account(s) to make it easy for officers  to conduct transactions.

You may also want to open a CD to accrue interest. If you do this, make sure you put the CD in the chapter’s name and not in an individual’s name.

 2. Know what to ask the bank before opening an account

Not every bank is best equipped to handle your money. Note that all banks will require an employer identification number (EIN), which can be obtained from the IRS with Form SS-4.

Before opening a new bank account for your chapter, ask the following questions:

  • Are there transaction limits?
  • Is online banking available?
  • Are there fees for the account?
  • What is required to close the account?
  • Does the account come with a debit card?
  • Can I open a non-profit business account?
  • How many signatures are required to open the account?
  • How do we change authorized signatures on the account?
  • What is the policy on checks written to the chapter that bounce?
  • What paperwork do you need to show that we are a non-profit?
  • What is the policy on checks written to the chapter that bounce?
  • What is the minimum balance required to keep the account open?
 3. Select a bank with branches in your entire chapter area

Your treasurer may change from year to year, so make sure you select a bank that all of your members will have easy access to, not just your current treasurer.

 4. Have a plan for signatures

Before opening an account, make sure you understand the procedure for changing names and signatories on the accounts. Consider having three signatures on the account instead of two to alleviate problems when one signatory is unavailable.

For transparency, it’s not a good idea to have the same person responsible for both check signing and reconciling bank statements. Finally, have a signature policy, such as one signature required for checks less than $500 and two signatures for anything over that amount.

 5. Monitor your accounts regularly

Make sure you monitor your accounts regularly to catch any discrepancies early. Have an annual audit on chapter funds, which can be run by either a third party or chapter members who are not on the finance committee.

Annual Reporting Forms

Governance

Bylaws, Succession Planning, Sample Job Descriptions, Policy Manuals, Strategic Plans

Membership

Membership Recruitment, Student Membership, Benefits of Chapter Membership

Marketing

Marketing Toolkit, Social Media

Events & Conferences

Reverse Trade Shows, Speed Buying

Legal, Taxes & Insurance

Insurance, Meeting Contracts, Policy & Agreement Documents

Webinars

For Chapter Leaders

Additional Resources for NIGP Chapter Banking

Debit Card Procedures

Adding a debit card to your bank account can simplify making transactions.

Record Retention Schedule

All chapters should have a system to securely retain financial records. Here is a suggested record retention schedule that NIGP put together for chapters. This ensures access to financial records for future needs.

Internal Financial Controls Checklist

The internal financial controls checklist from NIGP can help chapters find weak spots in their financial management process. If your chapter already has a process in place for managing your financials, you can use this checklist to determine its thoroughness. 

Sample Financial Documents

This documents provide a template for your chapter to manage and track your finances. Adapt them as necessary to meet your chapter’s specific needs.