NESFA® Treasury Procedures – Table of ContentsLast updated 20-Sep-2011

NESFA® Treasury Procedures:  Expense Reports

An expense report is a report of money spent on behalf of NESFA by an individual on their advance account.  It is not a bill paid by check (those are dealt with under Writing Checks and Paying Bills) nor is it a request for a check to be written (we don't have any special forms for that; that kind of expenditure is treated the same way as a bill paid by check after the check is written.)

It's typical for an expense report to report expenses to multiple accounts -- people usually save up their reports and turn in one or two a month.  It's also not uncommon for expenses on behalf of Boskone or MCFI to be reported on an expense report.  (This is deprecated, but what can we do?)  For ease in balancing the checking account statements, expense reports involving the NESFA debit cards should be limited to a single calendar month.  Expense reports for any form of payment must not cross fiscal year boundaries.  If such a report is submitted, ask the person to split it up.

NESFA requires documentation of all expenses, normally in the form of receipts attached to the expense report.  The Treasurer can waive that requirement for non-officers in cases where he has independent reason to believe that the expense was actually incurred.  (E.g., a software package was acquired and no one else has claimed it as an expense.) In the case of officers or of the Treasurer, or of the Treasurer's family members, such waivers should be granted by the E-board and not by the Treasurer alone.  Waivers should be documented in writing and attached to the expense report.

Here is an Expense Form blank which can be printed.  If possible, please print it on colored paper, rather than white.

The total for the report is entered as a credit to the person's advance account, AD-name, and a debit to the appropriate expense account for each item.  When a debit card is used, however, the credit will go to the account representing the checking account to which the debit card is associated; e.g., AS-Chk BN.  The description for the line can simply be Expense report.  The individual expenses (you can aggregate multiple lines which represent the same kind of expense to the same expense account) are then listed as debits to their various EX-xxxxx accounts. The specific account to put a given expense in is usually clear, but sometimes confusing.  See the discussion on Program and non-Program expenses for some confusing details.

An expense which is Boskone's or MCFI's is listed as a debit to the AS-Bxx or AS-MCFI cross-charge account.

Receipts and Proof of Expenditure

Ordinarily any expense report filed by a member must be accompanied by receipts which document any expenses claimed. 

The Treasurer may accept an expense report without receipts when it is accompanied by an explanation of what the expenditure was and possibly why there is no receipt, and when there is independent evidence that the expenditure actually took place.  (The evidence might be as simple as that a new piece of equipment has arrived, or that a vendor is not longer billing us for something. It need not be elaborate.)  This process is not intended to be complex or onerous; the Treasurer is expected to exercise reasonable diligence to assure that the claim is legitimate. 

The Treasurer may not approve expenditures without receipt by him- or herself, by members of his or her family, nor of other members of the E-board without approval by the E-Board.  The Treasurer should seek E-Board approval in cases involving other people where the amount is large or there are other extraordinary circumstances. 

As a matter of policy NESFA does not wish to be in the position where a member claims to have spent a significant amount of money but, due to lack of documentation, cannot get it credited to his advance account.  (Annoying volunteers this way is not in NESFA's best interests.)  It is the Treasurer's duty to resolve this sort of thing promptly.  The Treasurer should seek the advice of the E-Board if uncertain. 

Reference numbers

In general, an expense report will get a reference number of the form yynnn, and will be entered as a single general ledger entry with that reference number; e.g., 44123.

Each purchase made with a debit card will appear as separate bank debit.  In order to make balancing the bank statement easier at the end of the month, break up the debit card expense reports into separate transactions, so that one transaction will cover only the merchandise bought on one receipt.  If the expenses on a single expense report are supported by two or more receipts, enter each purchase with a separate general ledger entry, and append a different letter of the alphabet or a hyphen and a sequential number to each of them, e.g., 44123A, 44123B, or 44123-1, 44123-2.  Mark the suffix letters or sequence numbers on the expense report next to the line items and on each attached receipt.

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