With opening day for many youth sports leagues just around the corner, Nassau County Comptroller Howard Weitzman is reminding coaches, parents and those who serve on organizations' boards of directors that his office offers an informative brochure filled with advice to youth leagues on how to avoid financial pitfalls and help reduce the chances of any improprieties from occurring. The brochure, The How To's of Youth League Finances, is available by calling the comptroller's office at 571-2386 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org to request it.
"Often there are dozens of red flags that show themselves long before a person is caught with their hand in the treasury of an organization," Weitzman said, "but most boards are not lucky enough to have certified public accountants or auditors serving on their boards. Most board members and officers are just parents who are volunteering their time for their kid's sakes. They don't necessarily have any financial expertise, or experience in financial controls."
"So many people contribute their time, money and effort to making these leagues the tremendous success that they are," said Legislator Dave Denenberg (D-Merrick). "It makes sense to take easy steps to ensure that our investment in our children is protected."
The brochure explains some of the duties of a treasurer and board for nonprofit organizations, as well as a few key "red flags" that could signal financial trouble. Those red flags include:
A lack of any recordkeeping, poor records or invoices without shipping documents.
Conflict of Interest - Dealing with vendors related to any member of the organization.
Access to only photocopied documents or missing documents.
Payments to unusual vendors, high volume of purchases from new vendors or the same vendor.
Vendors without physical addresses.
"While a person doesn't need to be an accountant to perform the duties of a league's treasurer, a little education and awareness goes a long way," Weitzman said.