Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Bills And Bank Statements

As many of you know, I am one of those people that checks all financial statements on almost a daily basis. I have had credit cards hijacked in the past and I know how much of an issue that can cause. I am also doing everything I can to pay off debt and keep our financials in a healthy position so the little bit of time each day is well worth the effort to ensure that all the numbers are where they should be. And this is just my personal accounts.

While not nearly as regular as my personal habits, I am also continuously cognizant of the financial situation of the lodge. This is just another one of the duties that I agreed to when I took office as Secretary. Just like my personal financial situation, we are not talking about big numbers so I make sure to know where every dollar is coming from and how much is going out. Lately, we have gotten a little behind as all of our summer schedules have hindered us from getting together. We were finally able to get everything squared away this evening… it really puts my mind at ease knowing where everything stands.

Of course, when some of the balances were brought to my attention I expected some inquiries to be made by some of the brothers at the lodge. After all, this is our budget and our accounts and this is why I keep a meticulous record of what has come in and what has gone out. It is required of me to do so and I would expect them to hold me personally responsible if I was unable to provide them with a receipt. And that is what we should all take away from this.

It shouldn’t matter if you are involved in the financials of a business, lodge, charitable organization, or your own personal accounts. Everything has to be accounted for. I know that if I want to be reimbursed for a purchase at work or for the lodge I have to have a receipt. No receipt means no check. While we have provisions in place to ensure transparency, I have heard of too many instances of fraud and downright theft both within lodges and outside of lodges. I am well aware of these instances and I made it known that the books are open to members and that I am happy to answer any questions.

Even when looking at my own debts I can account for all the credit that has been used… this is particularly important regardless of the type of account because you don’t want to wake up one day to the reality of owing 10 or 20 thousand dollars to a bank or credit card company. I know where all of my money is going (especially on the tight budget that we have had in recent years and the process of paying down debt that we are currently undertaking). I shouldn’t expect any less from the lodge and the lodge shouldn’t expect any less from me.