Bank Accounts

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Mnemosyne
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Bank Accounts

Post by Mnemosyne » Thu Dec 19, 2013 7:32 pm

So, I talked to our organizations guy, and he told me that clubs at my school just go to a bank and set up their own account. I have no idea if this is normal or not for other schools, which means people may or may not have gone through this process before.

Anyway, I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations before I go and do this. My main concern is if I should set up an account at a local bank (we'll call it Bank of Ruston) or a national bank (say, Chase). It seems kind of natural for me to set up a local account since it's a school club and all, but wouldn't it be good to have a national bank account if I'm across the country or something? Assume the natural quiz bowl expenses.

I don't have a detailed knowledge of banks so if I'm overlooking something and this is a stupid question help me out.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Thu Dec 19, 2013 8:06 pm

Yeah this is completely normal. You should be able to get a business checking account (or something similar) at a bank, which comes in handy if you'd like to have more than one person be able to write checks.

As for which bank to choose, that's all on you. WKU went with a local bank, which I like because there's a bunch of branches near my apartment, although of course that means you have to pay ATM fees when you travel outside of your bank's area.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:15 pm

Mnemosyne wrote:So, I talked to our organizations guy, and he told me that clubs at my school just go to a bank and set up their own account.
Is this actually normal? We would be dissolved if we even considered doing this.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Cody » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:47 pm

It depends on the school. This is the recommended practice for student organizations at VCU. My only advice is to be very wary of being charged fees for a business account.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by fett0001 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 10:59 pm

Transparent Pudding wrote:
Mnemosyne wrote:So, I talked to our organizations guy, and he told me that clubs at my school just go to a bank and set up their own account.
Is this actually normal? We would be dissolved if we even considered doing this.
Why is that?
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Galstaff, Sorceror of Light » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:05 pm

Renesmee LaHotdog Voight wrote:It depends on the school. This is the recommended practice for student organizations at VCU. My only advice is to be very wary of being charged fees for a business account.
Yeah, I have to buy something with our card once a month or we get charged a $15 fee (we have a Bank of America business account). Make sure you know what you're getting into before you commit to anything. Since you have options, you can see which bank has the better account setup and then work from there.
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dtaylor4
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by dtaylor4 » Thu Dec 19, 2013 11:54 pm

fett0001 wrote:
Transparent Pudding wrote:
Mnemosyne wrote:So, I talked to our organizations guy, and he told me that clubs at my school just go to a bank and set up their own account.
Is this actually normal? We would be dissolved if we even considered doing this.
Why is that?
Huge potential for squirreling away funds for non-club purposes.

I see that there's a credit union that appears to be affiliated with the school (Tulane-Loyola FCU), and that it is part of the Co-Op network. If you can get a business account there, then when you travel, you just have to find a branch or ATM in the network, which you can do at co-opsharedbranching.org

/plug - In the interest of full disclosure, I am currently employed by a local CU.
Last edited by dtaylor4 on Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:28 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by I'm a goff (in case you couldn't tell) » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:10 am

Seconding the credit union recommendation; they've been nothing but great when it comes to working with the VT club.

Something to note: unless you want your SSN associated with the club account, you'll probably want to request an Employer Identification Number for the group from the IRS.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Huntur » Fri Dec 20, 2013 12:13 am

Most, if not all, of VT's clubs maintain their own bank accounts. Our quizbowl team uses a local credit union for our banking. There's a branch right in our main student center so it's (usually) convenient for us. I believe we're set up as a standard account rather than a business account. You should be able to work with whatever bank you choose to come up with a setup that will work well with your needs. I'd say most quizbowl clubs are non-profit and that may give you different options dependent on where you end up choosing. The key features I like about our setup is access to online statements and, since Sarah mentioned it, our inactivity fee doesn't kick in till something like 6 months of inactivity.

As an aside, we also maintain our own expenses spreadsheets to ensure we're tracking all of our cash flow. I highly recommend doing the same.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by 1992 in spaceflight » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:37 am

Truman's quizbowl team has an account set up at the Bank of Kirksville (a local bank in town, although I think this was set up around the time the club was founded in the late 1990s). I can't really remember any details about how our account is set up (and I used to be treasurer).
Huntur wrote: As an aside, we also maintain our own expenses spreadsheets to ensure we're tracking all of our cash flow. I highly recommend doing the same.
Also this. For the love of God, do this if you don't want to end up with no money.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Rococo A Go Go » Fri Dec 20, 2013 4:04 am

The Motley Eye wrote:Seconding the credit union recommendation; they've been nothing but great when it comes to working with the VT club.

Something to note: unless you want your SSN associated with the club account, you'll probably want to request an Employer Identification Number for the group from the IRS.
That's a good point. We're required to have an EIN because of school regulations, although that's more for SGA funding purposes.

As far as having a spreadsheet, this is actually one area where you should make sure you have a system that you specifically understand, lest you end up forgetting what your records mean and have no idea how much money you should be spending on things. There's no one system for going about this, in fact my personal system (which is to make a budget at the beginning of each semester and re-work it after every major cash inflow or expenditure) is probably not something I would recommend for other people.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Fri Dec 20, 2013 1:27 pm

All of our money is controlled by the Center for Student Engagement and we have to submit forms 4-6 weeks in advance if we want to see any of that money.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Holla! » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:15 pm

From my time working at a community bank, I'd wholeheartedly recommend trying either that or the credit union route. Those banks are more likely to have lower thresholds for minimum balances, usage requirements, etc, and are generally more willing to work with you and value your account/business. Some banks also have affiliations with larger banks (i.e. mine with US Bank) where you can use their ATM card at branch ATMs without fees.

Do make sure, as several others have mentioned, that you know how you want to proceed with either an SSN or a tax ID number. One of the problems with putting it in one person's SSN is that that person would technically be liable for the funds (should they be levied or something stupid) and could walk off with them or refuse to transfer authority of the account if intra-organization politics ever went pear-shaped. Something like an EIN is a much better decision; perhaps LaTech could even help you with that.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by vcuEvan » Fri Dec 20, 2013 2:33 pm

Transparent Pudding wrote:All of our money is controlled by the Center for Student Engagement and we have to submit forms 4-6 weeks in advance if we want to see any of that money.
If you held a separate bank account how would they find out and punish you for it? Practically, is there anything other than punctilious rule following preventing you from opening a separate account?
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Angry Babies in Love » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:12 pm

vcuEvan wrote:
Transparent Pudding wrote:All of our money is controlled by the Center for Student Engagement and we have to submit forms 4-6 weeks in advance if we want to see any of that money.
If you held a separate bank account how would they find out and punish you for it? Practically, is there anything other than punctilious rule following preventing you from opening a separate account?
If we had one, we would have a hard time putting money into it because we couldn't take all the money out of our school account and if we ran a tournament to make money, they'd know we hosted a tournament because we would have rented the rooms so they'd wonder where the money is.

Basically our school's bureaucracy re: student orgs is incredible in its strictness and incompetence. Their job is to make things difficult, for whatever reason.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by alexdz » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:20 pm

When I was treasurer of the Mizzou club, we had an account with the Tigers Credit Union, and they had a branch right on campus so that was very handy. It was really easy to get everything taken care of there.

As secretary of the Missouri Quizbowl Alliance, I am also responsible for the MOQBA finances. We have a Bank of America business account as well, and while I sometimes forget to buy something each month to offset the maintenance fee, it seems to work well for us.

To reiterate/expand on other people's tips:
- Definitely get EINs for any account you open that isn't for your personal use.
- Keep a spreadsheet. I color-coded our income and expenses by tournament (red for Mizzou Fall, blue for Tiger Bowl, etc.). The data itself was simple enough.
- Keep documents in an organized, secure place. Check stubs, deposit receipts, and all that stuff. You never know when you'll need to reference it.
- Try to stay on top of keeping the books in order. I got behind a lot and it took a TON of time to go back through all the sources and update things.
- If someone else takes money on behalf of the club (say, a TD at a tournament), be sure they keep a list of financial-related stuff. Jeff Hill does this every year for our NAQT Qualifier and it helps me immensely - I can immediately see who paid, who hasn't, who needs an invoice/receipt, etc.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Skepticism and Animal Feed » Fri Dec 20, 2013 5:46 pm

Transparent Pudding wrote:
vcuEvan wrote:
Transparent Pudding wrote:All of our money is controlled by the Center for Student Engagement and we have to submit forms 4-6 weeks in advance if we want to see any of that money.
If you held a separate bank account how would they find out and punish you for it? Practically, is there anything other than punctilious rule following preventing you from opening a separate account?
If we had one, we would have a hard time putting money into it because we couldn't take all the money out of our school account and if we ran a tournament to make money, they'd know we hosted a tournament because we would have rented the rooms so they'd wonder where the money is.

Basically our school's bureaucracy re: student orgs is incredible in its strictness and incompetence. Their job is to make things difficult, for whatever reason.
Many, many quizbowl teams are trapped in this kind of hellish Bureaucracy. Why? Because they require resources from their school (namely, rooms) and must abide by the school's rules to get those rooms. If they did not need rooms, they could do whatever they please: they could be not an official student organization but merely a group of students who does quizbowl in their free time with their own resources.

This is yet another way where quizbowl moving past the physical world would be a huge benefit. If tournaments were all held in the cloud, GWU could do what it wants, have its own bank account, incorporate as any sort of state-recognized entity, etc.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by dtaylor4 » Sat Dec 21, 2013 1:00 am

Re: managing expenses, many financial institutions allow you to download account data to various programs (quickbooks, whatever the MS program is), which should make the task dramatically easier.

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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by evilmonkey » Sat Dec 21, 2013 11:19 am

Notre Dame explicitly forbade an off-campus bank account.

Texas A&M doesn't forbid the off-campus accounts, but provides banking to sanctioned student organizations free of charge.

I wonder if the difference is a public/private split.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by bradleykirksey » Sat Jan 04, 2014 10:01 pm

Skepticism and Animal Feed wrote:
Transparent Pudding wrote:
vcuEvan wrote:
Transparent Pudding wrote:All of our money is controlled by the Center for Student Engagement and we have to submit forms 4-6 weeks in advance if we want to see any of that money.
If you held a separate bank account how would they find out and punish you for it? Practically, is there anything other than punctilious rule following preventing you from opening a separate account?
If we had one, we would have a hard time putting money into it because we couldn't take all the money out of our school account and if we ran a tournament to make money, they'd know we hosted a tournament because we would have rented the rooms so they'd wonder where the money is.

Basically our school's bureaucracy re: student orgs is incredible in its strictness and incompetence. Their job is to make things difficult, for whatever reason.
Many, many quizbowl teams are trapped in this kind of hellish Bureaucracy. Why? Because they require resources from their school (namely, rooms) and must abide by the school's rules to get those rooms. If they did not need rooms, they could do whatever they please: they could be not an official student organization but merely a group of students who does quizbowl in their free time with their own resources.

This is yet another way where quizbowl moving past the physical world would be a huge benefit. If tournaments were all held in the cloud, GWU could do what it wants, have its own bank account, incorporate as any sort of state-recognized entity, etc.
Not entirely relevant, but I tallied it up last year, and if I took all the time I spent last year dealing with our bureaucrats and spent it working at McDonalds for minimum wage, I would have raised more money than I actually did with UCF. It's hellish really.

But, yes, most UCF programs have checking accounts. For us, the school makes us put two officer names and the adviser's name on it to make sure no one embezzles any money, but it makes it much easier if we need to cut a check to someone like ACF.
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Re: Bank Accounts

Post by Mnemosyne » Tue Feb 11, 2014 7:37 pm

In case anyone needs this info for future use, here is how it went down for me.

I went to two local credit unions, and both places seemed clueless and said they needed like 10 documents from me and I would have to get these epic business accounts and crazy stuff like that, which completely freaked me out. I was dejected for a few days, and I talked to my organizations guy again, and this time he told me that a lot of clubs just used Chase. So, I went to Chase, and they knew exactly what was going on. They helped me get a business, non-corporate account, or something like that. No fees, got everything I need. Success.

Thanks to everyone who responded in this thread. I appreciate it.
Nick Collins
C. E. Byrd '12 (Shreveport, LA)
Louisiana Tech '16, '17
University of Virginia

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