Reimbursement of Funds

If you are doing an event or helping with an event and will need to spend money, I have compiled this post to explain Society and Kingdom laws and policies with regards to the reimbursement of funds.  I want everyone to know the rules ahead of time so there are no surprises when the time comes.

There are three ways to deal with purchasing items for an event:
1. Spend your own money and be reimbursed if you provide the receipts within 30 days of the expenditure or 15 days of the event (whichever is earliest) AND have your expense within the budgeted amount approved by the Financial Committee.
2. Receive a check for the amount budgeted for your expense and fill out a Cash Advance Form.  Within 60 days of receiving that check, you must return exactly that amount in receipts and/or a check.
3. Convince both the Senechal and Exchequer to come shopping with you so they can both be there to sign the check for the items in person (note, this option is not likely).

Please keep in mind:
-In order for funds to be spent by the Shire, they must be approved by the Financial Committee (as stated in a previous post).
– You must submit the receipts within the given time period to be ensured that you will be reimbursed for expenses.
– If you received an Advance, you may ask the Financial Committee for a one-time 30-day extension.
– If you do not make good on an Advance within the stated time period, administrative sanction or legal action may be taken against you.
-If no budget or request for funds was approved by the Financial Committee, a request for reimbursement may be made to the Financial Committee who can approve or deny reimbursement.
-If a budget for that event was approved by the Financial Committee, that means that the funds have already been approved for the amount in the budget that was submitted.

Here are some quotes from various SCA documents which restate what I have stated and may go into more depth in the details of reimbursement and advance funds.

The following excerpt is from page 36-37 of the Local Exchequer Handbook:
Reimbursements can be made only with receipts! Society Financial Policy requires advance approval for any monies  spent, either individually or as part of a budget. Obviously, if someone submitting receipts has not received approval for those expenses, you do not have to reimburse them. However, your Financial Committee may decide to reimburse them anyway. It would be polite to at least ask the Financial Committee if someone submits a receipt for an expense that hasn‘t been approved.  If receipts are not available for some reason, the financial committee may decide to accept a credit card statement or a written statement. But the financial committee is not required to accept either of these as proof of expense.  Do not write reimbursement checks for more than the amount owed. The SCA is not a currency exchange.

Using a check at a store for an approved expenditure is allowable and quite common. The receipt is simply collected at the time of purchase. When purchasing from a mail order company, the check must be made out directly to the vendor. The packing slip will be a sufficient receipt if no other receipt is available.”

The following excerpt is from page 37 of the Local Exchequer Handbook:
“A. Advances of Funds
In the case where large expenditures are needed and it is overly inconvenient to use a branch check, the Financial Committee may approve an Advance of Funds. Advances may be made for the approximate amount of purchases, and sufficient documentation as to the approximate prices must be submitted to the Chancellor of the Exchequer when the request is made. The amount of any Advance is considered a Receivable item, and must be reported as such until the entire amount of the advance is turned in to the Exchequer in receipts and/or cash. Advances must be reconciled within 60 days following the date of the advance. Failure to reconcile the advance within 60 days will be grounds for administrative sanction. The Financial Committee may grant one thirty day extension. Cash advances are not petty cash funds. Petty cash funds are not allowed. Cash advances are to an individual, are for a specific purpose and is reconciled against receipts from that specific purpose.

1.Issuing an Advance of Funds
When a cash advance is requested, the requestor submits a list of intended purchases with the estimated costs. Once the Financial Committee has approved the advance, a form is filled out with this estimated expense information, and the advance is issued by check. Most Kingdoms have forms to use for this purpose; check with your Kingdom Exchequer for the form you should use. Never issue an advance of funds in cash, because we need the audit trail a check will provide. The amount of the advance is reported under Receivables on the Comparative Balance Statement. Advances should be issued using a check made out to the person.”

The following excerpt is from page 38 of the Local Exchequer Handbook:
“Reconciling an Advance of Funds
When the advance is reconciled, the sum of the receipts and cash presented must equal the amount advanced. For example, Lady Maeve is advanced $200 for a feast. After the feast, she presents $175 in receipts and $25 in cash or personal check. The money is deposited into the branch bank account and the receipts are recorded according to their expense category (Activity Related ) and type (food, supplies, etc.). This advance is considered reconciled. The receivable item is removed from the books, the Advance Request Form is completed with the amounts of receipts and cash returned, and is filed. Failure by the recipient of a cash advance to account for or return the cash advance within 60 days of time may result in administrative sanctions, legal action, or reporting the amount of the advance to the government as income.”

The following excerpt is from page 3 of the East Kingdom Financial Policy:
“3. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may only reimburse allowable event expenses upon presentation of a receipt in accordance with the event’s budget and local branch procedures.

4. The Chancellor of the Exchequer may provide advance funds for budgeted event expenses with the approval of the local finance committee. A signed cash advance form will be required from the recipient prior to disbursement. The recipient must provide receipts and/or repayment to cover the total amount disbursed either within 30 days of the expenditure, or not later than 15 days after the event, whichever date is earliest.”

The following excerpt is from page 6 of the SCA Financial Policy:
A. Financial Committees will approve in advance annual and event budgets.
B. The Financial Committee must approve unbudgeted expenditures. Emergency situations are handled on a case by-case basis according to the entity’s Financial Policy.
C. No officer of any level has the power to authorize payments that do not support the SCA’s tax exempt purpose. [Overall guidelines for classes of expenses are delineated in the Society Chancellor of the Exchequer Officer’s Handbook.] If the reasonableness of any expense is uncertain, the superior Chancellor of the Exchequer must be consulted prior to any commitment.
D. Fully documented receipts must be provided to support all expenses. This rule applies to anyone expecting reimbursement.”

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