Best Practices 101 – Financial Accountability

Does the same person submit expenses, write checks, and balance the books?

One way to get your campaign in a lot of trouble – both legally and financially – is to yield all financial control to one individual. When a campaign treasurer assumes all of the above responsibilities, your campaign can go downhill fast. Just take a look at some recent headlines:

Former Florida GOP-Chair sentenced to 1-½ years for stealing

“Prosecutors said Greer funneled almost $200,000 to a company he had formed with his right-hand man, Delmar Johnson. He kept $125,000 of the money funneled to Victory Strategies for himself.”

Campaign treasurer admits she stole $7 million

“In a federal court in Sacramento, Durkee admitted to stealing more than $7 million from roughly 50 clients during an 11-year period.”

How a campaign manager spent $250,000 he embezzled from Chris Shays

“According to the indictment, Sohn wrote unauthorized checks to himself and used the campaign ATM card to pay for personal expenses. In 2008, he made more than 70 unauthorized transactions converting campaign money to his own use.”

All of these campaigns share a common problem: one individual in control of all treasury operations. Without internal controls and a monthly review of bank statements, accountability is elusive and data is unreliable.

Test the security of your campaign funds – to how many of the following questions do you know the answer?

  • Do bank statements match reports?
  • Are bank accounts reconciled monthly?
  • Is there an established procedure for approving campaign expenditures?
  • Is documentation to support reimbursements, invoices, or reattributions readily accessible?
  • Are dedicated bank accounts in place for specific expenses (i.e. contribution refunds)?

Imagine if your campaign practiced the financial controls of a Fortune 500 company – you would automatically have peace of mind that each compliance and accounting question is answered with certainty.

Enter Red Curve Solutions. We incorporated private sector best practices and technology to build a platform exclusively for the complex financial logistics of modern political campaigns. Our multi-layered expense portal generates up-to-the-minute cash reporting to facilitate transparent spending decisions in fast-paced, high-spend environments.

Our services give staff, consultants, and vendors more time to focus on counting votes instead of dollars. Partnering with Red Curve Solutions proves that your campaign is serious about staying ahead of the curve and out of the red. 

Keywords: technology, FEC, compliance, best, practices

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