By cash, I'm referring to money that can be received or spent by the group. It should be in a bank.
I'm not going to go over the information that is in the Treasurer's Handbook. What I'm going to go over are situations that can arise, and how to deal with them.
Anyone who gives money to the SCA for any reason can request a receipt. This includes site fees, merchant fees, buying a T-shirt, donating to the newsletter (or subscribing to the newsletter if you have subscriptions.) Luckily for us (and all the people in line at troll) most people don't want receipts for most things. But they can ask. It is a good idea for anyone who is authorized to accept money on behalf of the SCA (and that is a finite number of people (you can define the people in your Financial Policy)) to have a receipt book available.
I highly recommend a 3-part receipt book if you can get one. The top part goes to the "donor", the second part stays with the money and the third part stays in the book. The 2nd part staying with the money is the key here. Please don't let other people in your group give you money without some kind of paperwork saying why they had this money. You do not want to spend a day making calls to figure out where some money came from.
All checks written to the SCA must have a mundane name, address and phone number. If your group wants to request further information, be sure it is posted (and put it in your Financial Policy.)
All checks must be made out to SCA Inc - yourbranchnamehere. Under no circumstances may checks be made out to you, the autocrat, the feastocrat, or any other individual.
If someone wants to donate money for a specific purpose and the group doesn't want or need that purpose, you don't have to accept the money. This is a hard thing to do (turn money down), but it is neccessary at times. When in doubt, consult a superior.
The SCA does not borrow money from individuals. Not even for just a little while. Not even for troll starter cash. Once money becomes SCA money, it is ours. If the group needs money, there are several fundraising ideas in the Handbook. Money can be borrowed from another SCA group (Funds transferred from another SCA group.) If you need starter cash, the group can "buy" it with a check from an individual, just like it does from the bank.
Troll needs cash, no one remembered to get change before the event. Lord Bubba whips out his cash card and goes to the bank/store and gets $60 in change. Lord Bubba should write a brief note (something along the lines of "provided $60 cash for troll for eventname signature date") The invoice/receipt (I don't care what you call it) should ideally be signed by someone else as receiving the cash. The treasurer can reimburse Lord Bubba at any time for the $60 with a group check, marking the receipt/invoice as paid and filing it.
Expenses must be approved by the Financial Committee. If someone wants to be reimbursed for something they did not get pre-approved, it is up to the Financial Committee to decide if it will happen.
The money we are dealing with does not belong to us. It belongs to the group, and it is not just your local group, but the whole corporation. Every US group from cantons to kingdoms must follow the same rules.
The rule about SCA money cannot benefit an individual applies to flowers for a funeral. I know it doesn't seem like a "benefit", but the money was given to us to further the stated purpose of the SCA. Expressing sympathy for a member's loss isn't part of that purpose.
If you are unsure about any proposed expense, look it up in the handbook. If you are still unsure (or can't find it) CALL A SUPERIOR. It is far better to have a definite yes or no than to get an ulcer worrying about it. Non-treasurers are rarely good judges of what is ok. What was ok in the past may not be ok in the future, rules change as the IRS adds or redefines them.
If someone wants reimbursement for an approved expense, they must have a receipt. This receipt must indicate what they bought. I know that not every store has nice clear receipts, in that case what they bought must be written on the receipt. If the receipt has a bunch of stuff and only part of it is the SCA's, circle or check the items that you are reimbursing.
If the person has no receipt (and this should be a fairly rare thing) they may sell the SCA the stuff. They should write out an invoice (it doesn't have to be really formal) stating what they have that they are selling to us. This sort of thing should only be done when neccessary, retail stores all give receipts, produce stands and garage sales often do not.
No check should leave a signatories possession unless the Payee, Date and Amount are filled in. The people who sign the checks are legally responsible for what ends up coming out of the account.
There are many ways of dealing with the expenses of a group or an event. Cash advances and store accounts are other possiblilities.
The SCA does not lend or borrow money from individuals. The group can "loan" money to another group (Transfer to another SCA group) and can "borrow" money from another group (Transfer from another SCA group.) These are not really loans, they are transfers, and if a group is unable to transfer the money back, it is not a bad debt or a receivable.