Introduction To Finance

The Phi Kappa Tau Fraternity is a business and our business is brotherhood. This business begins at the chapter level and exists because of the National Fraternity much like that of a franchise operation. Our chapters can expect certain services from the Fraternity or Executive Offices and in turn, are expected to provide a product; that being the member.

With that in mind, our chapters should be seen as strategic businesses units, requiring the proper allocation of income and expenses. The care and control of fraternity funds is very much a prerequisite to a sound, progressive and healthy chapter. Money is the tangible means by which fraternities continue to exist. Poor planning or implementation of the financial process, regardless of how successful the chapter has been in the past, can bring instability and disillusionment to the chapter.

The member entrusted with these responsibilities is the Treasurer. The Treasurer is one of the most important officers in the chapter. His duties include the responsibility of preparing, submitting and administering the chapter's budget, collecting and disbursing chapter funds, maintaining complete and accurate uniform records concerning the financial operations of the chapter, making sure that membership reporting practices are followed, and communicating with the Board of Governors, House Corporation and Executive Offices regarding financial matters.

It is not unusual for the Treasurer to be entrusted with the responsibility of controlling a budget in excess of $100,000, a sum of money that may exceed the yearly financial operations of a small business. Thus, capriciousness on the part of the Treasurer can result in the downfall of the most stable chapter. To combat this, the Treasurer must have some knowledge of the "techniques and tools" of financial management.

One duty a Treasurer has is to restrain the ever-increasing desires of the chapter to spend money it does not have. There is a tendency among chapters to allow their standard of living to continually creep upward. The chapter always wants more and is never satisfied. The purpose of the Treasurer is to set a course for the chapter financially, and then to restrain the chapter when it tries to deviate from the set course. The Treasurer, in short, often has the unpleasant task of saying NO when members are saying YES!

The down side about the position is that few members ever truly realize the amount of work and the responsibility with which the Treasurer is entrusted. The Treasurer's duties go far beyond keeping the books. He is a business manager, not a bookkeeper. There is a difference between the two. Bookkeepers work for managers. The Treasurer is a manager who must plan, budget, organize, coordinate and direct the income and expenses of the chapter. A sound financial operation does not just happen. It is the result of hard work, definite enforced policies, knowledgeable officers and an informed and concerned membership. A sound financial operation follows the axiom, "Brotherhood begins when the bills are paid."

The selection of the right man for the job of Treasurer requires a great deal of thought, consideration and care. A good candidate for treasurer is one whose personal integrity and honesty are above reproach. He must have a deep sense of loyalty and devotion to his fraternity and his personality must combine specific qualities of leadership and conscientiousness and possess some knowledge of finance and accounting procedures. An accounting or finance major would be ideal but is not a prerequisite for the job.

Every area of chapter activity is dependent upon the Treasurer. If he does not carry out his duties properly, it will present problems in many areas of chapter activity and a morale problem for the chapter.

It is mandatory that the Treasurer's term in office be for one year, so that he will have a maximum amount of time to become proficient in his job. Unfortunately in some chapters, by the time the Treasurer becomes proficient in his duties, his term expires and a new man takes over. Thus, it is extremely important that a thorough transition takes place to train the new Treasurer. The Treasurer's one year term should begin in December, January or February so that his predecessor will be available to assist him during the first few weeks he is in office.

Each chapter might also select an Assistant Treasurer. The Assistant Treasurer can be trained so that if he proves successful he may be elected Treasurer for the following year. The Assistant Treasurer may be appointed by the Executive Committee based on the President and Treasurer's recommendation, with the approval of the Resident Council.

The position of Treasurer is unique for a young man in college. He may handle annually very large amounts of money depending on the size of the chapter. With this in mind, the Treasurer must be an honest individual. He must have an eye for the future with the working knowledge of accounting. The Treasurer must be able to maintain rigid control over the chapter's income and expenses. He must be able to work successfully and get along with his chapter brothers and alumni. He must have a sincere interest in his work.


assistant treasurer
Finance Committee
Financial provisions of the Phi Kappa Tau Constitution

Did you find this information useful? Do you feel you can improve upon it? Are you an expert in another area? Join the site and edit or create new resources for Phi Kappa Tau.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 3.0 License

SSL configuration warning

This site has been configured to use only SSL (HTTPS) secure connection. SSL is available only for Pro+ premium accounts.

If you are the master administrator of this site, please either upgrade your account to enable secure access. You can also disable SSL access in the Site Manager for this site.