Use of Cash, Reimbursements, Troop Account and Debit Card Tips
Cash withdrawals are not to be used unless necessary and must be
completed at a bank teller to allow an audit trail. A detailed
accounting of how cash was used must be reported with the troop
financial records. Do not reimburse for expenses using cash; reimburse
someone who used their own funds to purchase troop items using a
check. If a troop leader is being reimbursed, they cannot be one of
the signers on the check. Relatives, spouses, minors, and members of
the same household as the primary signer may not be the secondary
signer on troop checks.
Do not store debit card information on-line for any website in order
to protect the Girl Scout funds.
Troop Budget and Finance Reports
Troops are encouraged to submit a budget report at the beginning of
the year to aid in the planning of the troop experience and management
of troop funds and are required to submit a finance report at the end
of the year. The budget report should be a realistic plan for how the
troop intends to spend their money throughout the year. The finance
report should account for all troop income and expenses throughout the
year. Amounts in the troop account of $300 or less at the end of the
program year may be carried over to the next program year. If the
troop has more than $300, the girls should plan and carry out
activities, so they benefit from the money they have earned. Troops of
Girl Scout Junior grade level or above planning an extended trip in
the near future may retain amounts greater than $300 for that trip.
Failure to turn in the troop finance report by the deadline determined
by the service unit will prevent the troop from participating in
product sales in the next membership year, may lead to troop
leadership not being reappointed, and troop funds being transferred
into the Service Unit Account until the finance report is received.
Account Management and Support
Contact your Service Unit Accounting Coordinator and follow your
council’s financial policies and procedures for setting up an account.
Most council-sponsored product program activities have specific
banking and tracking procedures.
Individuals listed on an account are responsible for all account
activity. Responsibilities include but are not limited to account
maintenance, keeping accurate records, retaining receipts, and any
overdraft fees. The troop adult leadership team should:
- Adhere to all local, state and federal laws and
- Help girls prepare a group budget.
- Ensure funds are being used in support of the Girl Scout
experience and that the troop benefits from the money that is
earned. No troop funds are to be used for personal benefit. For
example: A troop may pay for girls to attend an event, but not for
adults not needed for safety ratios, siblings not in the troop, or a
girl attending without the troop. A troop may pay for a leader to
attend a training to be certified for an upcoming troop activity,
but not for a training unrelated to the troop activities.
- Keep group money secure at all times by establishing a group
- Maintain financial records, keep receipts and
make them open and available to parents.
- Help girls
establish the amount of weekly or monthly dues to be collected.
- Using the girl and adult partnership, set goals for income from
council-sponsored product programs and other money-earning
- Inform girls and parents of the benefits of being
philanthropic and inform them of the benefits of supporting the
Family Partnership Campaign.
- Recruit and supervise a group
product program coordinator.
- Prepare and submit to the
Service Unit accounting coordinator an annual Budget/Finance
Your Service Unit Accounting Coordinator is your primary contact and
support in regard to managing your troop banking account. They will
provide training when opening the account and/or as part of onboarding new leader(s). They are the
primary recipient of the troop bank account statement to allow for
monitoring of activity.
Troop finances/bank statements should be reviewed by girls regularly
and parents should receive periodic updates. All financial documents
must be available for review upon request. Actions related to Girl
Scout banking and money management that are not in line with council
policies, result in loss of funds, or could be considered negligent
will result in consequences up to and including removal from all West
Central Florida roles and possible legal action.
Council reserves the right to audit troop and service unit accounts
and financial information without consent of the account signers at
Council reserves the right to process ACH (Automated Clearing House)
direct electronic debits and credits to or from troop or service unit
accounts at any time.
- Troops and service units are responsible for ensuring they
have sufficient funds in their account on the dates of scheduled ACH
debits related to council’s Cookie and Sweets and Treats programs.
Council publishes these dates and requirements annually.
Bad Debt / Mismanagement of Funds
Although it should rarely occur, troops/groups and service unit
teams can be the recipient of bad debts, such as a parent/volunteer
bouncing a check or not paying for cookies. Troops/Service Units are
discouraged from taking checks from parents and other members of the
community. Troops that receive NSF checks or any other type of bad
debt should attempt to resolve the situation first, themselves. For
instance, a parent may pay for dues with a check that subsequently
bounces. Leaders should inform their service unit team accounting
coordinator about the situation (as a fee will be incurred on the bank
statement) and then work with the parent to recover the value of the
check plus the fee charged by the bank. In the event the leader cannot
resolve an issue with a bad check, the fee is a liability of the
person who accepted the payment.
All communications and information regarding a case of suspected
misappropriation of funds is to remain in strict confidence with ONLY
those parties involved. The concerned party should report suspected
misappropriation immediately to the Community Membership Manager. The
CMM will review and investigate the situation. A final determination
will be made and notification of such findings to the Chief Operating
Officer and Chief Executive Officer for final action. A determination
of misappropriation of funds is cause for immediate release of a
volunteer from all appointed positions.
Helping and coaching girls to earn and manage money to pursue their
goals, is an integral part of the
Girl Scout Leadership Experience (GSLE). Volunteers/adults that owe
money to the council, service unit, or the troop for product sales,
bad checks, non-payment of summer camp fees, or misappropriation of
troop funds, cannot serve as role models to volunteer at the troop,
service unit or council levels, or earn Adult Awards.
Volunteering includes, but is not limited to:
- Troop level - Troop leader (DP), fall or cookie program chair,
troop treasurer, troop helper, transportation coordinator, record
keeper, adult/girl ratio on trips, camping or activities, designated
trained adult for Girl Scout trips, camping or activities.
- Service Unit level- Any position GSWCF considers administrative
including delegates, volunteers needed for adult/girl ratios for SU
events, programs, encampments
- Council level- Any position
GSWCF posts as a volunteer opportunity or participation in special
committees and/or advisory groups at any level.
How these adults' guardians can participate if they owe money to the
council or troop:
Provide permission for the girl to participate in Girl Scout
activities, provide additional consent for activities that take place
outside the scheduled meeting place. Drive the girl to and from
meeting place or to locations outside the scheduled meeting place to
attend events and activities. As a helper if the girl has special
needs or abilities.
How their Girl Scout can participate if her adult guardian owes
money to the council or troop:
Girls can attend all meetings and activities of the troop including
product sales but are limited to selling in the online programs and at
cookie booths only. The adult guardian should be the person to explain
to the girl how she can participate in the product sales. This should
not be up to the troop leader or the troop fall/cookie chair.
Digital / Online Payments
Cheddar Up is the preferred method of collecting
digital and/or online payments for troops. Cheddar Up is the leading
group payments platform and allows troop or service units an easy tool
to collect payments, forms and information for troop and service unit
expenses online, with no fee to the troop or service unit.
Girl Scout troops and service units may also open a PayPal account
if it is helpful for collecting dues and activity payments. All fees
charged by PayPal are the troop/service unit’s responsibility.
Guidelines for using PayPal:
- Set up an independent PayPal account, not an organizational or
- Troop funds are not to be intermingled
with other organization / personal funds. The PayPal account set up
must be for Girl Scout use only.
- Link the PayPal account to
your troop / service unit checking account.
- Transfer funds
to your checking account monthly or when balance is greater than
$100, whichever occurs first.
- PayPal statement(s) are to be
submitted with annual troop finance report.
- If a troop
disbands, the funds must be transferred to the troop account prior
to closing the account. The PayPal account is also to be closed once
the funds have been transferred.
Cheddar Up and PayPal may not be used to collect payment for Cookie
or Sweets and Treats product programs. (See Product Program specific
guidelines for credit card processing options).
Service Unit Accounts
Girl Scout service unit teams must maintain checking accounts to
meet the expenses of supporting Girl
Scouting in their area. A CMM and Service Unit Manager will jointly
appoint accounting coordinators to handle the bank account. All
guidelines that apply to troop checking accounts apply to service unit
team checking accounts as well. Individuals listed on an account are
responsible for all account activity.
Responsibilities include but are not limited to account maintenance,
keeping accurate records, retaining receipts, and any overdraft fees.
The service unit adult leadership team should:
- Adhere to all local, state and federal laws and
- Provide budgeting guidance as needed.
- Help troop leaders/advisors establish a troop bank account.
- Ensure safe money practices by monitoring the troops’ monthly
- Establish a service unit team bank account.
- Provide regular service unit team treasury reports to the
accounting coordinator for your service unit.
- Ensure funds
are being used in support of the Girl Scout experience and that the
service unit benefits from the money that is earned. No service unit
funds are to be used for personal benefit.
- Review and
approve Supplemental Money-Earning Permission Requests from
- Assist troop leaders/advisors with preparation of
Budget/Finance Reports as needed.
- Collect and review
service unit team and troop finance reports; submit finance reports
to your Accounting Coordinator, and/or review and approve the Troop
- Submit service unit finance report to
community membership manager at program year-end.
Amounts of $1,000 or less may be carried over at the end of the
program. If the service unit team has plans that will benefit girls
and will make use of the money in the near future, an amount greater
than $1,000 may be retained for that purpose, but it must be clearly
outlined in the annual finance report.