While probably not as exciting as being John Malkovich, being your Orchestra Committee’s Treasurer can be a pretty interesting gig.
As we enter the “homestretch” of our 2013-14 seasons, orchestras are reassessing themselves internally, and looking towards the future. If you’re Orchestra Committee Treasurer is “making noises” about stepping down, consider the possibility of your stepping up. You don’t need a background in finance to serve your colleagues in this important role.
Our inimical colleague, Robert Levine, has written a primer on how to be an orchestra treasurer, called Treasuring for Dummies. (He’s also written a very funny synopsis of Robert’s Rules — more about that in another post.)
His article about being the OC Treasurer is also amusing, but it truly provides you with all the information you need to assess whether this is a role you could assume for your orchestra.
The bottom line is this: “The job of a union, or orchestra committee, treasurer is to operate (and, if necessary, design) a financial system so that
1) decision-makers have the necessary information to make informed decisions about finances;
2) members can see how their money is being spent; and
3) the union or orchestra committee is protected against theft.
That said, Robert also talks about fiduciary responsibility, cash vs. accrual accounting, compliance, and the need for documentation and internal controls.
Trust me — if you’ve ever thought about volunteering to be your orchestra’s treasurer, read this article and it will alleviate all your concerns!