How Can We Avoid Club Treasurer Burnout?
by Douglas Gerlach

Q. Our club has been running for 4 years and as the treasurer I am getting burnt out. No one else in the club feels they have the ability to do the bookkeeping (we use the NAIC computer program). What have other clubs in position done? We would appreciate any suggestions.

A. The job of a club Treasurer can be tiresome, although there's no excuse for anyone in your club to claim that they don't have the ability to do the bookkeeping. Anyone can use NAIC's Club Accounting software program, without any prior bookkeeping or accounting experience.

Here are some additional ideas for you to consider:

Many clubs create an Assistant Treasurer position in order to split some of the responsibilities of the Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer could help with some of the banking tasks, such as receiving checks from members at the meeting, completing deposit slips, and making the actual deposits, for instance. In some clubs, the Assistant Treasurer is considered the "treasurer in training," and is expected to take over the reins of the Treasurer's position in the following year. A new Assistant Treasurer would follow in his or her footsteps.

If you have both a bank and brokerage account, consider getting rid of your bank and opening a single account with a brokerage firm that offers free checkwriting. Many online brokers, such as TD Waterhouse and Ameritrade (to name just two), offer free checking to customers. In addition to eliminating some of the paperwork (such as tracking monthly account statements from two financial institutions), you might also be able to eliminate some banking fees and perhaps receive a higher interest rate in a money market fund offered by your broker.

If you have several DRIPs (dividend reinvestment plan accounts), consider opening an account at or and consolidate all your DRIPs in one account, with just one monthly statement that tracks all your DRIP transactions. You could also transfer all your DRIP stocks to your brokerage account, even if it means paying higher fees or commissions to purchase shares. Again, if you have just one or two accounts to deal with, then your job is that much easier, with fewer statements to file and fewer transactions that you have to track.

Strengthen your policies relating to late member dues. Often, members who forget their checkbooks or miss a meeting still desire to make their member contributions, but then the Treasurer ends up making multiple deposits or is forced to keep track of paper checks until the next meeting. If these kinds of problems are causing you a hassle as treasurer, try getting your club to set their dues policy in stone. That might mean not accepting any dues that aren't paid at the meeting.

Finally, you can simply refuse to serve another year as Treasurer. Either the club will want to continue and someone will step up to the plate to serve, or they will decide that no one is willing to serve and the club will disband. In that case, I'm not sure that I would want to be in a club where other members weren't interested in carrying their share of the club's operations. Many clubs have one-year term limits so that all members have to serve as officers, in an attempt to make sure that no one gets to be in the position you're in now.

Good luck!