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Corporate Spending Policy

(Approved by the Board of Directors February 16, 1994)

  • INTRODUCTION
    • Ultimate control of corporate spending rests with the Board of Directors who approve the annual budget presented to them by the Financial Committee each Winter Term. This policy describes how the Board of Directors delegates authority for the various aspects of corporate spending, and how spending control is to be achieved.
    • The basic premise of any corporate spending is that it should be done when it benefits SCA in both the long and short runs, and that it should not be done when it does not benefit SCA, especially if it does not benefit in the long run or will create financial problems in the future.
  • THE ANNUAL BUDGET
    • In Winter Term of each year, an annual budget shall be presented to the Board of Directors by the SCA Corporate Treasurer on behalf of the Financial Committee. The Board of Directors reserves the right to question, and if necessary, alter the budget as presented. The budget shall be categorized into areas of corporate and house revenue and expense.
    • Once the annual budget is approved, the Board of Directors, SCA staff, committees, and houses may incur expenses according to the provisions which follow.
    • During the course of the fiscal year, the Treasurer and the Financial Committee will review the budget as necessary. Any revisions and reallocation over $200.00 must be presented to the Board of Directors for their approval.
  • TYPES OF EXPENSES AND THEIR APPROVAL
    • SCA Corporate Expenses
      • Non-discretionary corporate expenses are those which are incurred by the Co-op on an automatic and recurring basis, and are not the result of a specific purchase. Examples of non-discretionary expenses are property taxes, utilities, mortgage payments, approved contracts, and staff salaries, benefits, and payroll taxes (as long as the position, salary, and benefits have been previously approved by the Board of Directors.) These expenses do not need individual approval; however, at least two corporate check signers (preferably one being the Corporate Treasurer) must review each one.
      • Discretionary corporate expenses are those which are incurred by option, such as office supplies, professional or consulting services, and collective education. A budgeted discretionary expense of up to $200.00 may be approved by the SCA Business Manager or committees providing such expense does not exceed the total budgeted for the term. All unbudgeted discretionary expenses, or discretionary expenses which exceed $200.00 or the total amount budgeted for the term, must be approved by the Board of Directors.
      • All contracts into which SCA enters (including individual houses) must be first approved by the Board of Directors upon recommendation by the appropriate committee, and then signed by two (2) corporate check signers on behalf of SCA.
    • House Expenses
      • House Expenses are for house education and discretionary purchases, and are incurred at the option of the house. Houses may spend up to the total amounts budgeted for each term for their education and social purchases at any time.
      • House education expenses must be approved at a house meeting, or by an officer designated by the house at a house meeting.
      • House discretionary expenses must be approved at a house meeting, or by a officer designated by the house at a house meeting.
    • Food Expenses
      • Food expenses are incurred at the option of the house, and include household cleaning supplies, toilet paper, pots and pans, plates and silverware, and small kitchen appliances (such as toasters) in addition to actual food purchases. Van driver mileage and meal refunds are also included in this category.
      • All house food expenses must be approved by the individual houses' kitchen coordinators, or by an officer designated by the house.
      • Meal refunds are approved by the kitchen coordinators in accordance with the Meal Refund Policy. Meal refunds are paid by check out of the house food account or credited to a member's account by submitting a Meal Refund Request form to the Business Office. For more details, see the Meal Refund Policy.
      • Van driver mileage is approved by the kitchen coordinators in accordance with the Van Driver Mileage Reimbursement Policy. Van driver mileage is paid by check out of the house food account or credited to a member's account by submitting a Van Driver Mileage Reimbursement Form to the Business Office. For more details, see the Van Driver Mileage Reimbursement Policy.
      • Checks for meal refunds or van driver mileage may not be written for less than $5.00 unless it is the end of the term. In addition, checks may only be written to members whose fee payments are current: if the member requesting a meal refund or van driver mileage is delinquent in payment of his/her membership fees, the meal refund must be credited to his/her account.
    • Building Expenses
      • Maintenance (non-discretionary building expenses) are those that are incurred through the normal deterioration of SCA's assets. Like other non-discretionary expenses, they are automatic in nature, but they are not fixed in price. Building Supervisors may approve expenditures up to $200.00 to repair or replace assets of SCA to their original condition, providing there are sufficient funds remaining in the budget. Any expenditure over $200.00, or those that exceed the amount available in the budget, must be approved by the Board upon the recommendation of the Maintenance Committee.
      • Discretionary Building Expenses are those which serve to change the building or upgrade its contents, and include all capital expenditures. Building Supervisors are responsible for approving expenditures up to $50.00, and amounts between $50.01 and $200.00 must be approved by the Maintenance Committee. These expenditures may be approved providing there are sufficient funds remaining in the budget. Any expenditure over $200.00, or those that exceed the amount available in the budget, must be approved by the Board upon the recommendation of the Maintenance Committee.
      • Maintenance Contingency Budget: This is a corporate maintenance "reserve fund" that may be use by any house, with Board approval, for non-discretionary building expenses upon recommendation by the maintenance committee. This fund may only be used if there are not enough funds left in the given house's maintenance budget.
    • Emergency Expenses
      • Emergency expenses are those which must be incurred immediately because a delay will risk property damage or endanger personal safety. Emergency expenses are not those outlined in sections (1) and (2) above that simply did not receive the appropriate approval prior to incurring the expense.
      • An emergency expenditure may be approved by two corporate check signers (preferably the Corporate Treasurer and SCA Chairperson) along with the SCA Maintenance Coordinator up to a maximum of $500.00. In their absence, any two corporate check signers may approve an emergency expenditure up to a maximum of $250.00.
      • All emergency expenditures must be paid out of the SCA General Account and reported to the Board of Directors at its next meeting.
  • OBTAINING BOARD APPROVAL
    • All expenses requiring Board approval must be submitted to the Chairperson in writing at least 48 hours prior to the Board Meeting in order to be placed on the agenda for that week's meeting. For more information on submitting proposals, see the "PROPOSAL POLICY."
    • In all cases in which approval is required, approval must be received before the expense may be incurred.
  • DISBURSEMENTS AND CHECKS
    • All co-op funds shall be disbursed by check, and a receipt or other form of written documentation must be provided for each disbursement. All SCA checks require two (2) signatures.
    • For house food expenses, checks shall be drawn on the house food account and signed by two (2) of the approved signers for that account. Signers on house food accounts are both kitchen coordinators, a menu planner, the van driver, and the SCA Corporate Treasurer.
    • For house maintenance, discretionary, and education expenses, checks shall be drawn on the house checking account and signed by two (2) of the approved signers for that account. Signers on the house checking accounts are the house president, building supervisor, social coordinator, house treasurer, and SCA Corporate Treasurer.
    • For all corporate expenses other than the Business Manager payroll and benefit checks, checks shall be drawn on the general checking account and signed by two (2) of the approved signers for that account. Signers on the general checking account are the SCA Chairperson, Corporate Treasurer, SCA Speaker, and the Business Manager.
    • The Business Manager payroll and benefit checks shall be drawn on the general account and signed by the SCA Chairperson and Corporate Treasurer. In the event that either the Chair or the Corporate Treasurer is not available, any two corporate check signers (other than the Business Manager) may sign these checks.

IMPORTANT: No person may approve a purchase or payment which will directly benefit that person: signing officers and/or employees may not sign checks which are payable to them, nor may they approve any amounts that will be directly credited towards their member fees.

  • REIMBURSEMENT POLICY
    • Should it be necessary to reimburse a member or employee for personal funds used for co-op expenses, the following apply:
      • All reimbursement requests must be documented using the SCA reimbursement form, with receipts attached.
      • All reimbursement requests must be turned in within two weeks after purchase, but no later than one week after the end of the term in which the expense was incurred.
      • All reimbursement requests must be approved and disbursed as outlined in parts (3), (4) and (5) above.
    • Violation of the above reimbursement policy shall result in the revocation of the member's right to receive a reimbursement. In cases in which the member has already been reimbursed, the amount of the reimbursement will be charged to the member's account.
    • Reimbursement checks may only be written to members whose fee payments are current: if the member requesting the reimbursement is delinquent in payment of his/her membership fees, the reimbursement must be credited to his/her account.
  • OPERATING AND INVESTMENT ACCOUNTS
    • At no time shall SCA keep more than $90,000.00 (ninety thousand dollars) in one financial institution to ensure that the invested monies are federally insured. The Board of Directors must approve any transfers of money between institutions, and all funds must be kept in federally insured institutions.
    • Corporate Operating Accounts - In order to disburse funds according to the above policies, SCA shall maintain the following corporate bank accounts:
      • General Account: This is a checking account used to pay bills, buy equipment, transfer money to other operating and investment accounts, and for other financial uses as needed. The Business Manager disburses checks.
      • Savings Account: This is an interest-bearing money market account. It is a temporary investment account used to earn a higher rate of interest than is earned by the checking account, while keeping the funds completely liquid at all times. The Financial Committee oversees deposits to and withdrawals from this account.
    • House Operating Accounts - In order to disburse house funds according to the above policies, SCA shall maintain the following house bank accounts:
      • General House Accounts: These are three (3) checking accounts (one for each house) used to pay for house-specific maintenance, discretionary, and educational expenses. The house treasurers are responsible for these accounts.
      • House Food Accounts: These are three (3) checking accounts (one for each house) used to pay for house food and related expenditures. The Purchasing Accountant is responsible for these accounts.
    • Reserve and Investment Accounts
      • In addition to the above daily operating accounts, SCA Shall maintain reserve accounts in which to accrue funds for long-term capital improvements and to cover large unforeseen (unbudgeted) expenses.
      • Funds from these accounts can only be disbursed upon approval by the Board of Directors. The signers on these accounts are the SCA Chairperson, the SCA Corporate Treasurer, the SCA Speaker, and the Business Manager.
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