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Thread: Chasing unpaid subs

  1. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    or you ask for the money in advance from the group.

    that is what i did for years. Even for small amounts. There were times when 20 quid near the end of the month was not possible from my account do i would ask for 25 from the treasurer to my account. do the shop and then leave the change and receipts in her drawer.

    that worked just fine and was not perfect world.
    Even that's open to abuse - asking for cash in advance of the outlay. Also, that just takes the pain in the **** bit from the end of the process and puts it at the front. So, I ask for a cheque (no cash coming from the treas), I need to stick that in an envelope leave work early/go in late so I can pay it in via a post office - or wait until a Saturday morning, wait for it to clear. Pay for what ever it was I was paying for, get the cash of the kids? Then give all that and the receipt to the treasurer?

    As I said, if I needed to buy something, I just buy it and get a receipt. If it's a case of the the kids paying for a one-off activity or me paying for it and collecting money from the kids - that's pretty much what we do.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BalooNav View Post
    In your Quazer scenario, are you saying you keep the cash handed in by the kids as you paid the venue on the booking, or does it go to treasurer and then you claim back for the initial booking outlay?

    Personally I'd avoid doing the former, and put it all through the accounts. I bl00dy hated handling cash, always a risk of something going wrong, or perceived as going so no matter how careful. How does this event show in your financial records? Is your treasurer and GSL happy with the arrangement, they really shouldn't be? If the group are too tardy in paying expenses, it would be sensible to look to remedy that in order to avoid the need for such activities.

    J
    Yup. I collect the cash on the night of the activity. I'd like to say we organise these things weeks in advance, but we don't. It's usually two or three weeks in advance.

    How would it show in financial records if the kids were just paying themselves in to Quazer Lazer?

    And we're doing all that other stuff, or rather, I am.

    But that all adds into the botheration. Currently, the application to CAF bank is being held up because I can't get the GSL's dob. He's busy and isn't answering emails.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 08-05-2019 at 12:37 PM.

  2. #62
    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    ...I need to stick that in an envelope leave work early/go in late so I can pay it in via a post office - or wait until a Saturday morning.......
    Err, why? Do they not have a postal service in darkest Scotland?

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    ...Then give all that and the receipt to the treasurer?...
    Again, why? Surely scanning and online storage would suffice?
    Peter

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  3. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    In group finances, it is not rocket science to operate a simple system that meets proper practices. The simple fact that people don't do so is what creates the issues in the first place.

    It seems to me that if you are having to wait for reimbirsement, and I know this happens, then you need an Exec that is a bit closer. I suspect that some groups have "remote" treasurers, but if two of the leaders are signatories and budgets are agreed then there should be no delays. We have always operated on a reimbursment on demand basis. If someone needs reimbursed today, they get paid today. But most people will accrue a couple of weeks and claim it all back at once.

    I read of groups where people wait months for expenses. That is not acceptable. I get berated by some for having 10 Exec meetings per year. But it means that in a worst case scenario the longest anyone waits in a month. Most are paid when the claim is received. I used to have to wait months for District expenses, but they were minimal and i never bothered about it that much, but as a rule, people should get reimbursed as soon as possible.

    If laserquest wanted paying in full in advance I would not be booking. The only bookings I have ever made that needed paying in advance in full have been hostels used on international trips, IYHA take a deposit, but the main residence always ask for full payment - but I will not pay in full in advance for an activity where some may not turn up.
    I know what rocket science is (and isn't). Pet hate that phrase... A pet hate...

    Our exec is pretty close, and even if it wasn't, given how hard it is to get people - do we just trade the existing lot in for people who are closer? There's that PWV again. As I said, now that the treasurer's kid is in Scouts, it so much easier. The last process was a lot more convoluted.

    Spend money
    leave receipt in hall for treas to pick up on Monday after Beavers/Cubs (if mum is on transport rota that week).
    following week mum leaves cheque in hall (if mum is on transport rota)

    Or we wait until the next meeting which could be weeks away. Even doing it by post took days. And I don't think she wanted a stream of people turning up at her door - and even then, would I do that for each receipt? Or do I wait until I have a month's worth?

    It's also really difficult to be pushy with people who are actually pretty decent about everything, and are just busy with their own kids.

    None of these places (Ryze, Laser Quest, etc etc etc) will let you book without full payment in advance. If it's a hostel, then the treas sends a cheque out as required. I'm only talking about one-off evening activities where the kids could pay directly, but for booking purposes I pay in advance. (I usually under-book numbers, it's usually easier to add kids on if you get more coming. But, as I said, these events are usually well attended and if kids do pull out, parents usually pay anyway because they're like that.)

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Err, why? Do they not have a postal service in darkest Scotland?
    We do, but it's really no quicker than waiting till we see the treasurer or leaving stuff in the hall.

    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Again, why? Surely scanning and online storage would suffice?

    Hahaha... Apparently not.

    (Actually, I have done that in the past, but I had to do it at work. I don't have a scanner at home. I've also photographed receipts and sent them on. But that got frowned upon...)

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    Senior Member big chris's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Even that's open to abuse - asking for cash in advance of the outlay. Also, that just takes the pain in the **** bit from the end of the process and puts it at the front. So, I ask for a cheque (no cash coming from the treas), I need to stick that in an envelope leave work early/go in late so I can pay it in via a post office - or wait until a Saturday morning, wait for it to clear. Pay for what ever it was I was paying for, get the cash of the kids? Then give all that and the receipt to the treasurer?
    dear treasurer, please may i have 240 to pay for abc

    wait a day... money appears in my account via online transfer.

    pay for abc... scan receipt, email to treasurer - and transfer the balance back if needed. (or, put receipt in drawer at hut with any change)

    the treasurer (and thereby the trustees) have a clear trail of where the money has gone.

    ...

    for other things, i would ask for a proforma invoice and treasurer would pay.
    ...

    crucial thing is that new volunteers know that they do not need a credit card or a buoyant current account to be a volunteer. We had leaders on housing benefit and they simply could not have large amounts of cash moving through their account so the treasurer would pay for all sorts for them or advance the cash where appropriate.

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    Senior Member Bushfella's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    Currently, the application to CAF bank is being held up because I can't get the GSL's dob. He's busy and isn't answering emails.
    And therein lies the problem. You do not have a close knit group.

    Your GSL is busy and doesn't answer e-mails? I guess he doesn't visit section meetings either? So what is he actually doing?

    I'm supposed to be difficult, according to some in Scouting, but as GSL - I visited sections, I dealt with the awkward parents, I made sure Leaders were supported. I made sure expenses were paid. I made sure that sections could buy what they needed. When I left, most of my team also left most because they felt the lack of support from the new masters, delays in waiting for expenses etc..

    I guess that if I want to play by the rules and no-one else has bothered reading them, then yes, I might be difficult
    Ewan Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by big chris View Post
    dear treasurer, please may i have 240 to pay for abc

    wait a day... money appears in my account via online transfer.

    pay for abc... scan receipt, email to treasurer - and transfer the balance back if needed. (or, put receipt in drawer at hut with any change)

    the treasurer (and thereby the trustees) have a clear trail of where the money has gone.

    ...

    for other things, i would ask for a proforma invoice and treasurer would pay.
    ...

    crucial thing is that new volunteers know that they do not need a credit card or a buoyant current account to be a volunteer. We had leaders on housing benefit and they simply could not have large amounts of cash moving through their account so the treasurer would pay for all sorts for them or advance the cash where appropriate.
    Our account doesn't allow for BACS transfers.

    New volunteers know they don't need any of that stuff because they wouldn't be asked to pay - if they needed to, then they can get receipts.

    I'm ONLY talking about one-off activities on meeting nights that need to be pre-booked that otherwise - kids would bring money and pay themselves in. I'm not talking about anything else. And I'd book that because that would be my responsibility.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    And therein lies the problem. You do not have a close knit group.

    Your GSL is busy and doesn't answer e-mails? I guess he doesn't visit section meetings either? So what is he actually doing?

    I'm supposed to be difficult, according to some in Scouting, but as GSL - I visited sections, I dealt with the awkward parents, I made sure Leaders were supported. I made sure expenses were paid. I made sure that sections could buy what they needed. When I left, most of my team also left most because they felt the lack of support from the new masters, delays in waiting for expenses etc..

    I guess that if I want to play by the rules and no-one else has bothered reading them, then yes, I might be difficult
    Hud the bus.

    I never said that. He does visit section meetings. He's of a certain age so doesn't carry a smart phone around with him, I can understand that. As for everything else, I dare say he's enjoying his retirement, or looking after his very elderly Mum who still lives down in Yorkshire.

    Seriously, am I supposed to tell someone who has almost 25 years dedicated service to the group and district, to get his finger out?

    Unfair.

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    Very Old Member BigBadBaloo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    .....But that all adds into the botheration. Currently, the application to CAF bank is being held up because I can't get the GSL's dob. He's busy and isn't answering emails............

    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post
    .........He does visit section meetings...........
    Hang on a minute - can't you just ask him when he visits the Scout meeting and then it is job done!
    Peter

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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Hang on a minute - can't you just ask him when he visits the Scout meeting and then it is job done!
    Easter Holidays.

    Jumble Sale.

    His schedule.

    Scouts being out.

    My schedule.

    Maybe I'm concentrating on running a section meeting, not an application for a bank account?

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    ESL and DESC ianw's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BigBadBaloo View Post
    Hang on a minute - can't you just ask him when he visits the Scout meeting and then it is job done!
    All right Miss Marple cool your boots!
    Ian Wilkins
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    Quote Originally Posted by pa_broon74 View Post

    Hud the bus.

    I never said that. He does visit section meetings. He's of a certain age so doesn't carry a smart phone around with him, I can understand that. As for everything else, I dare say he's enjoying his retirement, or looking after his very elderly Mum who still lives down in Yorkshire.

    Seriously, am I supposed to tell someone who has almost 25 years dedicated service to the group and district, to get his finger out?

    Unfair.
    My dad is 89 this year and he has a mobile phone - even though he doesn't really need it. Just saying.

    On the latter, yes, in not so many words. You can say, can we make this easier? I've got an idea that might make the burden of signing off expenses a little more streamlines for you, give you more time.

    On reflection, my 1st Group was a bitch with expenses. The CSL was signatory and she had the ear of the treasurer, and I had to argue the hind legs off a donkey to get anything ( this was the group where I had to break into the stores to get access to camping kit because the CSL would not give me the key!). When I moved to the that Group I stayed at for most of my time as a Leader, the GSL* and the acting SL, left as soon as they discovered that they had two new SLs. Scouts had been operating on a cash basis and nothing showed in the accounts other than subs. Same with Cubs and Beavers, though Cubs and Beavers did make submissions to the Treasurer. At my first Exec meeting, they went over the accounts, and I made the crass error of asking where the takings for the tuck shop were in all this? Of course, they weren't, it was an invisible income that went completely unrecorded. When the DC made me GSL, I made it clear that we followed the rules, all cash received must be recorded, all monies spent had to be recorded. Including the Tuck shop.

    I lost the Cub team, as soon as I said this, even though they agreed at the meeting. So, by default I was now running the Group, Cubs and Scouts. Essentially, they way it had been run, three pots of cash plus the Beavers. The BSL was not happy about handling cash. So, I had the opportunity to set up a single account and an expenses policy that gave a lot of freedom to the Leaders.

    The Exec agreed that expenses of up to 100 a month could be allowed without further Exec discussion. Expenses were to be reimbursed at the next monthly Exec, if not sooner. In reality, we would phone the Chairman or the Treasurer and say, "I've seen X at a bargain price, I'm going to buy it, That's okay, isn't it." We would usually get money back that week.
    Ewan Scott

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    Chasing unpaid subs

    Our treasurer was slacking last night - 23 minutes to pay my expenses and communicate he had done so .

    Bank rolling can be a a problem. I have had a tough couple of years. We are in an OK position now, but there was a stage where we were wondering how the mortgage was going to be paid. The food shopping had to reduce in cost so our quality of life did too. To bank roll Scouts, even for a short while, was nail biting. At the worst stage I bought something for District. I was only owed about 5, but it took six months to pay. That was 5 that could have bought bread for five weeks. It really was not good enough. Every time I complained I got told it was complex due to change over in treasurers. No one seemed to care about knock on consequences. It is OK now, but there are Groups and Districts that are unknowingly making their volunteers suffer.


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    When I was unemployed and sending out countless job applications, getting no responses, from even the most menial of jobs that I applied for. I felt pretty useless. One of the things that kept me going, that countered the negativity of being unemployed was being successful running the Scout Group. I felt that something I was doing was positive and worthwhile.

    If our expenses repayments had been delayed I would have had to step away from Scouting. By ensuring that expenses were paid quickly I was able to keep Scouts running as normal.

    I often heard of leaders stepping away because they had lost their jobs. I could never figure out why that should have stopped them doing something positive - maybe the issue of expenses was a critical point in making their decision to quit.
    Last edited by Bushfella; 09-05-2019 at 10:02 AM.
    Ewan Scott

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  19. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bushfella View Post
    When I was unemployed and sending out countless job applications, getting no responses, from even the most menial of jobs that I applied for. I felt pretty useless. One of the things that kept me going, that countered the negativity of being unemployed was being successful running the Scout Group. I felt that something I was doing was positive and worthwhile.

    If our expenses repayments had been delayed I would have had to step away from Scouting. By ensuring that expenses were paid quickly I was able to keep Scouts running as noral.

    I often heard of leaders stepping away because they had lost their jobs. I could never figure out why that should have stopped them doing something positive - maybe the issue of expenses was a critical point in making their decision to quit.
    I think that prompt expenses payment is essential. I am fortunate that I can afford to do so (I currently have a few cheques to pay into my account for gas, electric and water bills), but not all of my leaders can. So I am setting up a better process to be able to remove all cash from sections and have everything done online and with almost immediate repayment via BACS (though our bank is being really slow in setting up our dual authorisation).

    The issue is our previous Treasurer did not use any online banking at all. Everything was paid by cheques. It is taking an AGE to get this all sorted to DD etc.
    Chris Hawes, District Media Manager, Watford North Scout District and Watford Scouts; Group Treasurer and Webmaster, 9th North Watford Scout Group.
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    What Chris said.

    For what it's worth, I said our GSL didn't have a smartphone, he has a mobile phone (and he's not quite 89...) Also, he visits the scout section, he doesn't attend it. He's there maybe one week out of four - and do you know what? He's earned that right, he was the SL for near ten years and has been an ASL for twenty five years.

    He said - and if I'm being honest, I don't entirely disagree with him, he's not at the beck and call of a thing that goes beep or people who are no where in sight. I can actually get behind that. Somewhat frustratingly, it does make it difficult to get in touch with him.

    We've had this discussion before, we all do the best we can do. Sometimes that's tempered by financial concerns or other non-movable constraints, and sometimes it's just people deciding they're not going to do this, that or the other - for reasons only they can explain or justify. Either way, we're all volunteers and short of the must-do stuff, there's only so much cajoling you can do before you end up pissing folk off, and they just walk away.

    I say this entirely without rancour and include myself in this criticism. Sometimes we look down our nose at 1st Facebook (a place I've never actually visited), but things can get a wee bit pious on this forum. I think we all need to step back a little and accept that all things are not equal and people sometimes end up doing things that may not be entirely in line with POR. That absolutely does not mean, they should be made to feel as if they are engaged in fraud, are being negligent, or aren't pulling their weight sufficiently.
    Last edited by pa_broon74; 09-05-2019 at 09:30 AM.

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