The ASMC Chapter Handbook exists as a reference for all ASMC chapters, those just getting started, those with a long history and questions about what to do next, and those with unexpected leadership transitions working to pick up where their predecessors left off. The Chapter Handbook was first published online in 2009, and while the content is still vital, expect to see an update coming soon incorporating new technologies like Engage, and lessons learned over the years.
To view each section of the handbook, click on the red vertical tabs below.
The American Society of Military Comptrollers is a professional organization of persons primarily in the field of financial management in the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard having responsibilities in financial management and related areas. The Society was established in 1949 and now has over 140 chapters. It maintains its National Headquarters in Alexandria, VA. The Society is designated a non-profit professional society under the provisions of Section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code.
The purpose of the Society is to promote the education of the individual for the improvement and development of the member’s capabilities relating to military financial management. More specifically, the purpose of the Society is to serve the public interest by:
- Promoting the education and training of its members, and accordingly, supporting the development and advancement of the profession of military financial management;
- Sponsoring research in military financial management subjects and publishing the results of such, as appropriate;
- Encouraging a free exchange of techniques, approaches, and problem solving; and Providing communication facilities to keep members and other interested individuals abreast of current events in military financial management which can be beneficial to them, their employing organizations, and the public.
In fulfilling this purpose, the Society will:
- Conduct institutes, seminars, and other educational meetings;
- Assist local chapters and members in activities to achieve the purpose of the Society;
- Publish the Armed Forces Comptroller and other publications dealing with military financial management;
- Cooperate with other educational and professional organizations in matters of mutual interest;
- Give formal recognition to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of military financial management; and
- Undertake any other activity that the National Council or National Executive Committee deem appropriate.
2. National Executive Committee
The executive body of the Society is the National Executive Committee consisting of:
- National President,
- Seven National Vice Presidents (one each representing Department of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard),
- National Secretary, Treasurer, and General Counsel, and
- Executive Director
3. Legislative Body
The legislative body of the Society shall be the National Council. Membership of the Council shall consist of members of the National Executive Committee and Chapter Presidents.
4. Responsibilities of National Vice Presidents
The National Vice Presidents are elected for a one-year term from each organization designated: Office of Secretary of Defense, Defense Finance and Accounting Service, Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. The principal responsibilities of the Vice Presidents are to promote the objectives and welfare of the Society in their organization and to facilitate communication and understanding between chapters and the National Headquarters. These functions are fulfilled by such means as:
- Keeping themselves and the National Headquarters informed of activities, problems, and other matters affecting the chapters of their service organization.
- Helping chapters by offering guidance, assistance, and suggestions regarding chapter activities.
- Promoting participation and understanding by chapters in such Society activities as education and research.
- Encouraging the growth of chapters and membership.
- Representing the organization’s viewpoint through membership in the Executive Committee of the Society.
The National Vice Presidents should make every endeavor to visit chapters during the year. Visits should be timed to coincide with chapter meetings. At these visits, the Vice President will discuss the problems and accomplishments of the chapter and solicit suggestions as to ways in which Society operations may be of maximum value and assistance to members. The Vice President should be particularly concerned with (a) special programs or other activities of the chapter which might be of value to other chapters, and (b) the participation of the chapter in Society activities. The Vice President will observe the morale of the chapter and the manner in which the chapter meeting is conducted.
The National Vice Presidents should give consideration to the possibility of new chapters in specific locations where there appears to be a potential for a strong and active chapter or consolidation of chapters if in the best interest of the Society. Once local interest has been developed, the major initiative should be assumed by local membership in the prospective location. Since the National Vice Presidents are the liaison officers between the chapters and the National Headquarters, it is essential that they keep the National Headquarters informed of chapter activities and progress. The National Vice Presidents should continuously maintain a friendly, open and intimate contact between the membership and the National Headquarters.
5. Responsibilities of the Treasurer
The general duties of the Treasurer are described in Article V111, Section 8 of the Constitution. The Treasurer shall be responsible for over watch of the financial management of the National Headquarters. He will work with the Executive Director to insure prudent and proper financial management practices are followed. His specific duties will include but not be limited to:
- Insuring that internal controls are followed for the receipt and deposit of all monies flowing into the National Headquarters.
- Insuring that the society pays its bills on time.
- Determining that a competent accountant is maintaining the books of account for the society.
- Transferring funds between the savings and checking accounts to insure a proper balance of liquidity, and yield.
- Insuring that an annual audit is performed by a reputable accounting firm
- Make appropriate reports on the financial condition and operations of the National Headquarters.
The National President will designate a member of the National Executive Committee to serve as acting Treasurer in the event of the temporary absence or incapacitation of the Treasurer.
6. Responsibilities of the Secretary
The general duties of the Secretary are described in Article V111, Section 7, of the Constitution. The Secretary shall record the proceeding of the National Council and the National Executive Committee. He/she shall prepare written copies of these proceeding (minutes) and provide these minutes Executive Director. He/she shall make appropriate reports of these minutes to the National Council and the National Executive Committee. Said minutes, once approved, will become the permanent record of the business of the society.
7. Responsibilities of the General Counsel
The general duties of the General Counsel are described in Article V111, Section 9 of the Constitution. The General Counsel shall advise the National President, the Executive Director, the National Executive Committee, and the National Council on all legal matters affecting the society.
8. Responsibilities of the National Committee
- The Professional Development Committee
The Professional Development Committee will be responsible for the programmatic content of the annual Professional Development Institute. This will include extended learning associated with the PDI such as the degree we should use video tape, audio tape and satellite TV. In addition to PDI related extended learning the committee will evaluate a variety of resource management extended learning products being offered in the private sector and recommend those which ASMC should endorse.
- The Membership and Chapter Development Committee
The committee is responsible for establishing and achieving national membership goals. The responsibilities of the committee include chapter leadership development activities and Chapter Newsletter improvements. These responsibilities include development of new chapters, improving internal communication within chapters, special support for distressed chapters, and chapter development roundtable’s at the PDI. The concept of the Membership and Chapter Development Committee is that the greatest impact on membership is the quality of chapter leadership. The activities which develop and strengthen leadership serve to maintain and increase membership.
- The Operations Committee
The Operations Committee is responsible for the overall master calendar and member services. The calendar will include the schedule of bi-monthly National Executive Committee meetings, a strategic planning meeting, a corporate member activity, mid-year and PDI national council meetings. The committee will review and enhance the current portfolio of member services which now include PFCU membership, SATO travel support, and rental car discounts. The committee will establish an electronic outreach subcommittee. This subcommittee will manage improvements in HQ ASMC computer support, electronic membership processing, and cost effective applications for ASMC of emerging computer based networks such as the Internet, Finance Net , and the Worldwide Web.
- Strategic Planning Committee
The Strategic Planning Committee is responsible for organization the annual Strategic Planning meeting and maintaining the resulting Strategic Plan. In addition, the committee will provide assistance to chapters in setting goals and planning for the future of the chapter.
- The Research Committee
The Research Committee is responsible for the development and implementation of the National Research Program.
- The Constitution Committee
The Constitution Committee is responsible for the maintenance of the National Constitution and By-Laws. The committee will review chapter constitutions and provide recommendations.
- The Editorial Board
Responsibilities for the Armed Forces Comptroller reside with the Editorial Board. In addition to deciding and editing the editorial content of the magazine, these responsibilities include reviewing manuscripts, providing guidelines for contributors, setting and monitoring the editorial calendar. The Board will contribute to improving national and chapter newsletters.
- The Awards Committee
The Awards Committee will be responsible for all individual, team, and chapter awards. The committee will receive input on the Professional Development Award from the Professional Development Committee, and the Newsletter Awards from the Membership and Chapter Development Committee. The committee will publish the annual awards guidance section of the AFC magazine, update the awards section of the Chapter Handbook, and prepare the awards brochure for the PDI.
9. The National Headquarters Staff
- Executive Director
The general duties of the Executive Director are contained in Article VIII, Section 10 of the Constitution and By-Laws.. The Executive Director acts as the Executive Officer of the society and performs or directs all Headquarters administration and management duties as authorized in the ASMC Constitution. The Executive Director works closely with and for the National President, and the National Executive Committee, to further the goals and the objectives of the society. The Executive Director manages the headquarters office and its staff in carrying out the plans, policies, and procedures, and tasks approved by the National Executive Committee. The Executive Director supports standing committee chairpersons, Chapter Presidents, other chapter officers, chapter committee chairpersons, and the membership at large.
- The Associate Director for Membership and Chapter Development
This is a staff position as outlined in Article VIII, Section II of the ASMC Constitution. Duties of this position include maintaining the membership supplies and records of the Society, assisting chapters with membership recruitment and retention, providing support and service to chapters, contributing to the content of the AFC, designing and distributing the National News, serving as an ad-hoc member to the National Awards, Professional Development and Membership and Chapter Development committees and any other duty specified by the Executive Director.
- The Associate Director for Professional Development
The position of Associate Director for Professional Development was developed in 1993 under the provisions of the Intergovernmental Personnel Act (IPA Mobility Program. It is reserved for a government employee on a developmental assignment with the American Society of Military Comptrollers. The IPA Mobility Program allows assignment of government personnel to nonprofit organizations whose principal functions include the offering of professional advisory, research, educational or developmental services or related services to government personnel. The parent organization pays salary and benefits. The announcement for this position is published in May. This assignment is usually for one year beginning 1 October and ending 30 September and involves a variety of duties. The position duties include but are not limited to chapter training support, National PDI support, DoD and Coast Guard liaison, assist in the organization of Career 2000, support special projects as deemed appropriate by the Executive Director.
- Assistant Director for Administration
The Assistant Director for Administration will have primary responsibility for the administrative management of the National Headquarters. This is a staff position as outlined in Article VIII, Section II of the ASMC Constitution. The duties of this position are to provide support to the Executive Director, administratively manage the communications of the National Headquarters, work with accountant and National Treasurer to insure prompt payment of bills, maintain internal controls, and implement a office safety program. Addition and deletions to these duties may be made by the Executive Director.
- Membership Assistant
The Membership Assistant is a part-time hourly worker who assists with administrative tasks associated with membership in the National Headquarters
ASMC National Headquarters
415 North Alfred Street
Alexandria, VA 22314
(703) 549-0360; (800) 462-5637; Fax (703) 549-3181;
Local ASMC Chapters
Chapters and their points of contact are listed in the Chapter Information section of this web site.
Constitution and Bylaws
The Constitution and By-Laws of the American Society of Military Comptrollers is maintained by the National Executive Committee. Suggested changes to the document should be send to the National Headquarters.
Sample Chapter Constitution and ByLaws (Cleveland Chapter)
ARTICLE I – Name
Section 1. The name of this organization shall be the AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MILITARY COMPTROLLERS – CLEVELAND CHAPTER. Military comptrollership is defined as the profession of comptrollership in the Department of Defense and the Coast Guard, to include the fields of financial and general management, auditing, and supporting activities in management, industrial engineering, information technology, operations research and other fields as the Executive Committee may designate.
ARTICLE II – Purpose
Section 1. The purpose of the organization is to promote the education of individuals for the improvement and development of their capabilities relating to military comptrollership, pursuant to Section 501(C)(3) of the 1954 Internal Revenue Code. The organization is to serve the public interest by:
a. Promoting the education and training of its members, and accordingly, supporting the development and advancement of the profession of military comptrollership;
b. Sponsoring research in military comptrollership subjects and publishing the results of such as appropriate;
c. Encouraging a free exchange of techniques, approaches, and problem solving; and
d. Providing communication to keep members and other interested individuals abreast of current events in military comptrollership, which can be beneficial to them, their employing organizations, and the public.
Section 2. In fulfilling this purpose, the Chapter will:
a. Conduct/sponsor conventions, seminars, and other educational meetings;
b. Cooperate with other educational and professional organizations in matters of mutual interest;
c. Give formal recognition to individuals who have made outstanding contributions to the advancement of military comptrollership;
d. Undertake any other activity the Society deems appropriate; and
e. Insure that no part of the net earnings of the Society shall benefit nor be distributed to its members, trustees, officers or other private persons. However, the Society shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and makes payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section 1 of this Article.
ARTICLE III – General Provisions
Section 1. The organization operates and exists on a military installation only with the consent of the installation commander.
Section 2. All members will understand fully that they are personally liable if the assets of the organization are insufficient to discharge all liabilities. However, the organization has Commercial General Liability coverage. Additionally, all members are required to read the constitution and bylaws as a condition of membership.
Section 3. No individual member has the authority to commit or obligate Chapter funds. The President, with a majority vote of the Executive Committee, is authorized to commit or expend funds. The Treasurer will manage the account.
Section 4. Neither the Defense Finance & Accounting Service nor its various agencies shall be obligated, financially or otherwise, by any action of the organization, and the organization will not represent itself as an instrument of the United States Government.
Section 5. The organization’s programs and activities will not prejudice or discredit the military services or other agencies of the US Government.
Section 6. Basic Policies. The following are basic policies of the Chapter:
a. The “articles of organization” for the Chapter include this constitution and its bylaws, as from time to time amended. In the event of any conflict between this constitution and the bylaws, this constitution shall govern.
b. The Chapter shall be noncommercial, nonsectarian, and nonpartisan.
c. The name of the Chapter or the names of any members in their official capacities shall not be used in any connection with a commercial concern, or with any partisan interest, or for any purpose not appropriately related to promotion of the purposes of the Chapter.
d. The chapter shall not, directly or indirectly, participate or intervene in any way, including the publishing or distributing of statements, in any political campaign on behalf of, or in opposition to, any candidate for public office or devote more than an insubstantial part of its activities to attempting to influence legislation by propaganda or otherwise.
e. The Chapter is formed exclusively for educational purposes as listed in article II, including for such purposes, the making of contributions to organizations that qualify as exempt organizations under Section 501(C) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law).
f. No part of the net earning of the Chapter shall accrue to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purpose set forth in Article II hereof.
ARTICLE IV – Membership
Section 1. There shall be five classes of membership.a. Active Members shall be persons, who are or have been employed as professionals in the military comptrollership field and who, to remain in good standing, have paid the appropriate dues and fees.
b. Life Members shall be those Active Members who have been in good standing for 20 consecutive years, or who are past National Presidents.
c. Associate Members shall be persons who, though not qualified for Active or Life membership, demonstrate an interest in the military comptrollership field, and who to remain in good standing, have paid the appropriate dues and fees.
d. Honorary Memberships may be conferred upon persons making significant contribution to military comptrollership who are not eligible for, or who would not otherwise be expected to join, one of the other classes of membership.
e. Corporate Members shall be corporations, which demonstrate an interest in military comptrollership field and who to remain in good standing have paid the appropriate dues and fees.
Section 2. Application for Active, Life, Associate and Corporate memberships shall be tendered to the National headquarters of the Society on application forms designated for that purpose. Honorary members shall be nominated by the Cleveland Chapter President and approved by the National President.
Section 3. Dues will be as established by the National Council.
Section 4. Applicants for membership will receive notice of acceptance to membership from the National Headquarters.
Section 5. An active member, who, in the opinion of the Chapter, brings discredit upon the Society, will be expelled. A member so expelled by the Chapter may appeal the action to the National Council whose decision will be final.
Section 6. An active member, who fails to pay the prescribed annual dues within a period of time fixed by National Headquarters, will be suspended. If this cause for suspension is not rectified within one year of the date of delinquency, the suspended member will be dropped from the Society. The National Council upon application may readmit a member suspended for nonpayment of annual dues to the Society.
Section 7. An active member who has resigned will be dropped from the membership of the Chapter effective the date of resignation.
Section 8. Every individual who is a member of this Chapter is entitled to all benefits of such membership. Any individual who subscribes to the purposes and basic policies of this organization may become a member of this organization, subject only to compliance with the provision of the organization’s constitution and bylaws. Membership in this organization shall be available without regard to race, color, creed, sex, or national origin.
Article V – Chapters
Section 1. The following officers of the Chapter, to be called the Executive Committee,will be elected annually as specified in the bylaws, and will serve without compensation.a. President
b. Vice President – Membership
c. Vice President – Programs
d. Vice President – Nominations
Additionally, the following committee chairs will be selected annually (only if qualified and interested individuals are available) and will also serve on the Executive Committee.
a. Newsletter Chairperson
b. Training, Education, and Scholarship Chairperson
c. Community Service / Fundraising
e. Such other officers as may be necessary may be appointed or elected as the Chapter may decide.
Section 2. No person will be eligible to hold office, be a voting member of a committee, hold a position of authority or trust in the Chapter unless that person is an active or life member in good standing at the date of election, is of good moral character, and reflects the highest ideals of the profession.
Section 3. Any officer may be removed from office for proper cause by a three-fourths vote of the membership of the Chapter attending in a regular or special meeting. Proxy instruments submitted by absent members will be considered as valid deputation of voting privilege and, as such, will be acceptable as a right of vote.
Article VI – Nominating Committee
Section 1. Each year prior to the election of officers, the Vice President of the Nominating Committee will select at least two members at large to serve on the Nominating Committee. Nominees selected will be reported to the Executive Committee at least one month prior to the date of election. Additional nominations may be made at the time of election from the floor at the regular meeting.
Section 2. Only those persons who have signified their consent to serve, if elected, shall be nominated for or elected to such office.
Section 3. A vacancy occurring in any office shall be filled for the unexpired term by a person elected by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Executive Committee.In case a vacancy occurs in the Office of President, the VP of Membership shall serve notice of the election and act as President until the election.
Article VII – Duties of Officers and Committee Chairs
Section 1. The President will be the presiding officer and will enforce all laws, contracts, etc. and execute such papers requiring the President’s signature. The President will exercise general supervisory control over all affairs of the Chapter and be an ex officio member of all committees, or other governing bodies, and may examine their minutes, books and records.
Section 2. Vice President – Membership. The VP of Membership will keep an exact roster of the membership, and submit reports to National Headquarters as necessary. In the temporary absence of the President, the Vice-President of Membership will perform the duties of the President.
Section 3. Vice President – Programs. The VP of Programs will plan membership meetings and publicize them as necessary. The Vice President – Programs will also provide a written summary of the monthly luncheon meetings to the Secretary and the Newsletter Chair.
Section 4. Vice President – Nominations. The VP of Nominations will plan and execute the annual election process for officers. The VP of Nominations is also responsible for the planning of the Chapter representation at the National PDI Charity Event..
Section 5. The Secretary will record the proceeding of the Executive Committee. The Secretary will be custodian of the charter, seal, laws, documents and papers of the Chapter and will provide assistance/perform other duties as directed by the President.
Section 6. The Treasurer will receive and deposit all monies of the Chapter, pays its just bills, maintain its books of accounts, and make appropriate reports of the financial condition of the chapter to the President and the members as directed. The Treasurer or the President will sign all checks or warrants on the funds of the Chapter.
Section 7. Newsletter nad Publicity. The Newsletter Chairperson will manage the publication and content of the Cleveland Chapter ASMC newsletter and website.
Section 8. Training, Education, And Scholarship Chairperson. The Chairperson will manage the Chapter Training, Education, and Scholarship program and submit reports/documentation to National Headquarters as necessary.
Section 9. Community Service / Fundraising. The Community Service / Fundraising Chairperson will coordinate the organization’s participation in various activities in support to the local community and other charitable efforts. The Community Service / Fundraising Chairperson will also be responsible for coordinating fund raising activities in support of the Chapter’s scholarship awards program.
Section 10. Webmaster. The Webmaster Chairperson will ensure that the local chapter webpage is kept current and is in compliance with any base Information Assurance policies.
ARTICLE VIII – Meetings and Quorums
Section 1. Meetings of this organization shall be held at least quarterly. The President shall determine dates of meetings.
Section 2. Special meetings of the organization may be called by the President or by a majority of the Executive Committee.
Section 3. The new officer installation meeting shall be held during the period 1 – 30 June.
Section 4. Twenty members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of business in any membership of meeting of the organization.
ARTICLE IX – Dissolution
A two-thirds majority vote of all Chapter members eligible to vote is required to effect dissolution of the Chapter. The net assets of the Chapter, upon dissolution, will be distributed under the direction of the Executive Committee who will coordinate with the National Executive Committee the dissolution of the Chapter. Any distribution of the chapter’s assets will only be made to nonprofit or charitable organizations. Chapter records will be forwarded to the National Headquarters.
ARTICLE X – Rules of Order
All meetings of or in connection with the business of the Chapter will be conducted in accordance with generally accepted business practices.
ARTICLE XI – Bylaws
This Constitution may be implemented by such Bylaws, as necessary and said Bylaws will be effective when passed by a majority vote of the Chapter membership. A copy of this Constitution and Bylaws will be submitted to the National Council on an annual basis.
ARTICLE XII – Amendments
Section 1. The Constitution may be amended at any regular meeting of the organization only by a majority vote of the members present and voting, provided that notice of the proposed amendments has been given at the previous meeting and that the proposed amendment shall be subject to final approval by the organization Executive Committee. A copy of any amendments will be submitted to the National Headquarters.
Section 2. A committee may be appointed to submit a revised constitution or set of bylaws as a substitute for the existing constitution or bylaws only by a majority vote of the Executive Committee. The requirements for adoption of a revised constitution or bylaws shall be the same as in the case of an amendment.
Section 3. The Executive Committee shall review the constitution and bylaws every year.
ARTICLE XIII – Effective Date
This Constitution, together with the organization’s bylaws, shall become effective when approved by a majority vote of the organization’s general membership.
By-laws of the American Society of Military Comptrollers
ARTICLE I – Insignia.
Insignia of the Society, for use on letterheads, certificates, and other appropriate documents and media shall be used by the Chapter with the designation “Cleveland Chapter.”
ARTICLE II – Colors.
The colors of the Society shall be green and gold, and used by the Chapter for appropriate designated purposes.
ARTICLE III – Fiscal Year.
The fiscal year of the Chapter shall be from 1 July – 30 June.
ARTICLE IV – Date of Service
New officers of the Chapter shall take office on 1 July of each year.
ARTICLE V – Chapter Records
Section 1. The following records of the Chapter must be kept on a permanent basis:a. National Constitution and Bylaws.
b. National Policy Declarations.
c. Minutes of the meetings of the National Executive Committee and the National Council.
d. Chapter Constitution and By-Laws.
e. Minutes of the Chapter Executive Committee meetings.
Section 2. The Chapter books of accounts and checkbooks for the fiscal year prior to the last audit and the succeeding years to the current fiscal year shall be retained.
Section 3. An auditor or audit committee appointed by the Executive Committee, excluding the Treasurer, shall audit the financial records as of end of each fiscal year.
Section 4. The Chapter membership roster shall be retained for the fiscal year prior to the last audit and for the succeeding year.
ARTICLE VI – Membership Fees and Dues
Section 1. Members of this Chapter shall pay fees and dues as set forth in the National Constitution and Bylaws. Honorary members shall not be required to pay any fees or dues.
Section 2. All retained funds shall be deposited into accounts in the name of the Chapter at federally insured banks, savings and loan associations, or credit unions.
ARTICLE VII – Procedures for Memberships
Section 1. Applications for ACTIVE and ASSOCIATE membership shall be submitted to the ASMC National Headquarters for processing directly by member through mail, fax or online payment. The Executive Director shall issue appropriate Certificate of Membership.
Section 2. Procedures specified in Section 1 above shall apply to reinstatement of a lapsed member.
Section 3. Procedures for Life Membership, Corporate and Honorary Membership shall be in accordance with the National Constitution and this Chapter’s Constitution.
ARTICLE VIII – Transfers of Membership
Section 1. The Chapter shall accept transfer of, and extend guest privileges to, members in good standing from other Chapters or from the National Headquarters. Transfers shall be accepted in the status held by the member on the date of application for transfer.
Section 2. There shall be no transfer charges and no transfer of funds between Chapters in connection with the transfer of individual memberships.
ARTICLE IX – Election of OfficersThe following shall govern the election and term of office of all officers:
Section 1. Officers, as prescribed in Article IV of the Chapter Constitution, shall be elected by providing an election ballot to all active members and determining the majority vote of members who return the election ballot. New officers will be installed at the June meeting.
Section 2. The term of office for all officers shall coincide with the fiscal year of the Chapter (1 July – 30 June).
Section 3. An office becoming vacant during the fiscal year shall be filled through an interim appointment designated by majority vote of the Executive Committee.
Section 4. A nominating committee will be appointed by the Vice President of Nominations and approved by the Executive Committee. Additional nominations may be made from the floor.
ARTICLE X – COMMITTEES
The chairperson of each committee shall be appointed by the President to serve during the fiscal year (1 July – 30 June). Each committee shall present a brief report at each Executive Committee meeting. Committees and their functions shall be as outlined in Article VII of the Constitution.
Section 1. Dates for Executive Committee meetings of the Cleveland Chapter shall be determined by President and be held at least quarterly.
Section 2. The President shall determine the date of general membership meetings of the Cleveland Chapter.
ARTICLE XII – Change of Address.
Each member shall be responsible for keeping the National Headquarters informed of any change of address.
ARTICLE XIII – Amendments.
These Bylaws may be amended by a two-thirds majority vote of the Executive Committee. A copy of such amendments shall be submitted to the National Headquarters.
ARTICLE XIV – Effective Date of Bylaws. These bylaws shall become effective when approved by a majority vote of the organization’s general membership
The Bylaws of the Society authorize the Executive Committee to establish chapters for the purpose of providing it’s members the maximum benefits, opportunities and services offered by the Society, in it’s program to encourage self-improvement and to give each member an opportunity for free interchange of ideas with the objective of improving financial management. It is essential that every chapter establish and maintain an efficient and well-informed executive and administrative organization, in close contact with the National Headquarters. A knowledge of the practices, procedures, and services of the National Headquarters will assist chapter officers to give and receive the benefits expected from their participation as chapter executives. The Society is a professional organization comprised of a National Headquarters and individual chapters. Only through the effective administration of the chapters can the members enjoy all the benefits of the Society. Each chapter, as an integral part of the Society, should encourage performance by individual members in the interest of the chapter and the Society. The primary purposes of chapter activities are:
- To develop member interest and participation;
- To motivate each member in assuming and fulfilling responsibilities to the chapter and its members;
- To develop a working relationship with the National Headquarters;
- To promote interest in and extend the benefits of membership in the Society;
- To encourage inter-chapter meetings and activities;
- To assist in the development of new ideas and programs for dissemination throughout the Society;
- To identify members with leadership ability and develop those members as chapter officers;
- To develop a spirit of fellowship and cooperation in the chapter activities as well as obtain their active support of the National Headquarters’ activities.
The chapter will be of such size as to operate efficiently and effectively. A chapter shall not be established with less than six active members. Each chapter shall adopt and be governed by their own Constitution and Bylaws which should be patterned after those established by the National Society. The chapter Constitution and Bylaws must be approved by National Headquarters.
The chapter program should be developed into well-rounded activities in the general field of financial management that will appeal to the interests of the membership. A general plan of meetings and programs should be developed and approved by the chapter Executive Committee in advance of meetings for the chapter year. In developing the plan, consideration should be given to the type of general membership meetings to be held. These include, but are not limited to, (a) panel speaker meetings, (b) formal talks or briefings, (c) case studies, (d) workshops, and (e) joint meetings with other organizations. The meeting place and the format of the meeting should be covered in the plan. The formal chapter program is the most important factor leading to the general success of chapter activities. Interesting and dynamic programs will draw members to meetings and will encourage prospective membership. To ensure that programs are successful, the program should be handled by a member who will give maximum effort to the task. Often, a vice president will be given this assignment because this is an excellent means of demonstrating effectiveness and preparing the vice president for consideration as chapter president.
Chapters are encouraged to prepare detailed programs a year in advance. (required for Five Star status) Advance planning has advantages. First, it creates and develops a well-rounded program. Second, it enhances the possibilities of securing good speakers. The program should be published and distributed to members well ahead of time, thereby assisting in publicity to encourage attendance. Remember, the Society is a specialized organization in that its members are involved in a wide variety of financial management programs. chapter programs are most valuable when the member can envision an application to the member’s own field of endeavor. However, an occasional program of a general nature, such as executive development or personnel administration, can prove interesting and draw a good attendance.
1. Chapter Membership
The Society chapter exists solely for benefits to be derived by its members. All chapter activities should be involved with some phase of training or practice to improve the members’ knowledge of military financial management activities. Most Society members become members by invitation. However, some are drawn to the chapter meetings of their own volition because of their personal interest and because it affords them the opportunity to meet colleagues in their fields of expertise. It is the responsibility of the Membership and Attendance Committee and one of the Vice Presidents to introduce new members at their first meeting and to be sure that they receive material about the Society such as Bulletins and Bylaws. The new member induction ceremony should be given a place of importance. A new member will obtain a high opinion of the Society if the induction is performed thoughtfully and with dignity.
2. Chapter Dues
Dues for the Society will be prescribed by the National Council at its annual meeting for the succeeding membership year. The dues remitted to the Society shall include the cost of subscription to the Armed Forces Comptroller. Each membership application should include a remittance for one year’s dues in accordance with the current dues schedule. There shall be no application fee. However, the chapter may charge their members an annual assessment for the operation of the chapter. This chapter assessment shall be in addition to the established annual dues. Chapter dues must be filed with the Executive Director, stating the amount and the purpose. Individuals are not permitted to pay only local dues, without payment of National dues and vice versa. Dues shall be due and payable during the member’s anniversary month each year. Any member not paying dues within 6 months will be dropped from the chapter roster. Individuals who are within that grace period of six months will continue to receive the Armed Forces Comptroller but will not be considered members in good standing. A member whose membership shall have been forfeited for nonpayment of dues must submit a previous membership application for reinstatement.
3. Relationship with National Headquarters
The Society strives to maintain an organizational structure that promotes contact and communications between the chapter officers, the National Headquarters and members. The chapter president has the responsibility as liaison to the National Headquarters. The National President and members of the executive committee make periodic visits to chapters throughout the year. These visits supplement the continuing contact with chapters maintained by the National Executive Director. The principal value of visits by national officers is the exchange of information and suggestions. Visits by National Officers are valuable as a major means of keeping the National Headquarters informed and provide for a close-knit, friendly, frank, and personal interaction. An informal meeting with the chapter Executive Committee is desirable at the time of these visits. Arrangements for visits to chapters should usually be made several months in advance; so if it is not possible to include a regular meeting, there can be an informal luncheon or dinner with the chapter officers and members. The maintenance of any organization depends on the effectiveness of its communication system between all chapters and the National Headquarters. The objective of the communication system of the Society is to provide flow in both directions: to and from members, chapters, the National Executive Director and staff, through direct mailings, e-mail correspondence, phone calls and personal meetings. The National Headquarters was created to provide service to the chapters, it has the responsibility of keeping the chapters informed on current happenings within the Society as well as the activities of other chapters. From time to time, National Headquarters will make suggestions to chapters on methods to increase membership and give counsel and information on any aspect of chapter operation and activities. However, to function properly, the National Headquarters must be furnished information such as names and phone numbers of the chapter officers, chapter mailing address, corrected membership rosters, answers to questionnaires and surveys requested, and any other essential data on an as required basis.
4. Formation of New Chapters
It is the policy of the American Society of Military Comptrollers to encourage the formation of new chapters when it is in the best interest of the Society and the members of the new chapter. The National Executive Director will be in close contact during the new chapter’s organizational period. If evidence exists that the chartering of a new chapter would be adverse to the welfare of the Society, a new chapter will not automatically be issued a charter. Additional information concerning the formation of a new chapter can be found in Chapter 5 of this handbook.
5. Chapter Officers
The elective officers of the chapter shall be a chapter President; President-Elect and/or one or more Vice Presidents, depending on the size of the chapter; a chapter Secretary, and a chapter Treasurer. The eligibility of the various classes of members for chapter office shall be specified in the chapter By-Laws. The officers shall hold office for at least one (1) year and shall be eligible for re-election. Each chapter has the option of providing for a chapter President-Elect who will serve as Vice President prior to assuming duties as chapter President. This optional procedure in effect precludes a chapter President from serving successive terms. It is suggested that election and subsequent installation of chapter officers take place in late spring or early summer of each year. This would permit the new officers to be introduced to the membership prior to the close of the current year. Any positions coming vacant during the chapter year will be filled in accordance with the local chapter by-laws. In addition to the elective officers of the chapter, a number of Chairpersons should be appointed by the President to head various committees. The committees should include (1) executive; (2) program; (3) education and training, (4) membership, (5) meetings and attendance; (6) and nominating. The chapter by-laws should address the chapter committee structure and how to add others as needed. The number of officers and chairpersons may be expanded or contracted and one or more of the activities may be assumed by an officer or chairman. The number and functions of committees should be tailored to the needs and size of the individual chapter. The chapter President shall be the chief executive, leader and spokesperson for the chapter. The President has responsibility for the conduct of the chapter and, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the chapter, including Executive Committee meetings. The President shall be responsible for the enforcement of the By-Laws and resolutions of the National Headquarters and of the rules regulating chapters, and shall keep the National Headquarters fully informed of the affairs of the chapter. The President shall consult the National Headquarters, when necessary, concerning the business of the chapter and its activities. The National Headquarters uses the chapter President as liason for association business, including the National News and membership rosters. The chapter Vice President(s) or President-Elect shall have duties delegated by the chapter President. The Vice President or, if there is more than one, the Vice President designated by the President, shall perform duties of the chapter President in the President’s absence. It is suggested that the Vice Presidents be designated to head, or oversee, one or more of the committees, such as the program committee, the education committee, or the membership committee. (Appropriate committee assignments relieve the chapter President of some functional areas and also provide a firm basis for the proper administration of chapter operations.) The chapter Treasurer shall be responsible for the custody of chapter funds and their proper disbursement under the rules prescribed.. The Treasurer shall make periodic reports as required by the National Headquarters and other reports which the chapter may require. The chapter Treasurer shall be the disbursing officer of the chapter. At the conclusion of the Treasurer’s term of office, the Treasurer shall turn over to the new Treasurer all the funds, records, papers, documents, and property of the chapter relating to the business of the chapter which are in the outgoing Treasurer’s possession. At this time the chapter’s financial records will be subjected to audit. The Treasurer will respond to questions necessary to resolve any audit questions. The chapter Secretary performs duties delegated or prescribed by the chapter President. Records of the membership and an attendance record of all club meetings shall be kept under the Secretary’s jurisdiction. The Secretary shall notify members of the chapter of all meetings and shall do any and all things normally required by the National Headquarters, the chapter President, and other chapter Officers and members to keep them informed of the chapter affairs on a timely basis. Procedures for installation of officers can be found under FAQ at https://www.asmconline.org/faq/installation.shtml.
6. Chapter Committees
Standing Committees include, but are not necessarily limited to: Executive, Program, Education and Training, Membership, Meetings and Attendance, Nominating, and others as needed. The Executive Committee should consist of the chapter officers and the immediate Past President. The chapter President should be the chairperson. The Executive Committee should be responsible for all chapter business and matters concerning the welfare of the chapter. It may present recommendations to the chapter for action. Next to the membership itself, the Executive Committee possesses the most authority. The Program Committee has the responsibility for developing a well-rounded program in the general fields of financial management that will appeal to the membership. The efforts of the Program Committee will have a marked impact on the success of the chapter in achieving the goals of the Society. The Committee should develop a general plan of programs for the approval of the Executive Committee. (In the planning, the Committee should give consideration to the types of programs that would benefit and appeal to the membership.) The Committee has the responsibility for securing speakers, panel members or other program materials for each technical meeting; offering to meet and escort an outside speaker to the meeting, making hotel arrangements and seeing that program participants reach their departure point on time; determining whether the speaker needs any special aids and notifying the meeting arrangements committee (if there is one) of the requirements well in advance of the meeting date; securing picture and biographical data from the speaker and forwarding to the Chairman of the Publicity Committee; providing program outline to the chapter President and Secretary in ample time for preparation of chapter meeting notice; and, finally, arranging for a letter of appreciation for each speaker outside the chapter membership. The Education and Training Committee has the responsibility for developing, promoting, and improving the understanding of military financial management by (1) members of the Society, (2) non-members interested in military financial management, and (3) students and educators at nearby colleges and universities. In carrying out this responsibility, the Committee should work closely with the National Headquarters Professional Development Committee, educational institutions in their area, and other professional organizations. It may also arrange public seminars on financial management and invite other professional organization members and local business representatives to participate. If seminars are planned, thorough preparation and advance publicity are essential to assure good attendance. The group leaders should be carefully selected and have full knowledge of their subjects. The Membership Committee has the responsibility for promoting the interest of prospective members in the chapter. In order to increase membership in the chapter, the Committee should develop a list of potential eligible members. A major source of this type of information is usually the knowledge of the prospect. Where there is no direct personal contact in the agency, a personal visit or letter to the head of the office will often prove effective. Prospective members should be invited to attend a future chapter meeting. Members should be encouraged to mix with the prospective members to discuss their similar interests. Special personal efforts should be made to invite prospective members to meetings where an outside speaker is featured and the subject would be of interest to the prospect. They should call members who are not attending meetings to ascertain the reason and invite them to come back. The committee should review non-renewals and determine the reason(s) for dropouts; particularly where a member had been active but lost interest and resigned. Perhaps a personal contact by the chapter President with that individual would identify any weaknesses in chapter management or the Society so that improvements can be made to avoid future non-renewals. The Meetings and Attendance Committee has the responsibility for increasing the interest of present members so as to improve attendance at meetings. The Committee is also responsible for arrangements for meeting places and meetings. In carrying out this responsibility, the committee should:
- Canvas membership as to preferred meeting date and time;
- If appropriate, make provisions for beverage service, menu and table arrangement for each meeting;
- Notify meeting place of number expected to attend meeting;
- See that facilities required by speaker are on hand, such as a lectern, slide projector, etc.;
- See that the head table is set up as specified by the President.
The Nominating Committee. A Nominating Committee should be appointed by the chapter President not later than the February meeting of each year. The committee should suggest names of members for nomination for chapter office so that they can be announced at the April meeting. In selecting the nominees, it is important that the slate include a cross section of the chapter membership. The objective is to provide the membership with the feeling that one or more of the chapter officers has interests similar to each of the individual members. The committee should strive to have nominees for each office who are willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to chapter activities. The committee shall also report the nominations to the Secretary of the chapter, prior to the April meeting. If provided in the by-laws, additional nominations may be made. The Secretary of the chapter shall have ballots prepared showing the nominations. The ballots may be in such form as the Secretary may find practicable, and shall be provided to each member. Provision should be made for prompt return of the ballot so that the Secretary can tabulate the votes and submit the results to the President prior to the meeting at which the results are to be announced. Any ties shall be resolved by the Executive Committee. The announcement of the election of new officers shall be made at the May or June meeting so that the incoming officers may have some time to formulate plans, select chairpersons of committees and prepare technical and other programs. If the chapter desires, this permits the June meeting to be primarily a social meeting with only brief business items included on the agenda by the incoming president.
7. Chapter Membership Meetings
Chapter meetings are valuable from the standpoint of the program and as a means of bringing the members together at regular intervals. In many instances, even greater benefits are derived by individual members from the new contacts and friendships with other members. The members of the Society usually have similar backgrounds with many common interests and experiences. To gain the maximum benefit and enjoyment, members must get to know each other. The selection of a convenient and attractive meeting place is a most important factor. Quality food and good acoustics are sure to have a positive impact upon attendance of members and guests. It is desirable to have members participate in the selection process by giving them an opportunity to express preference for meeting time, location, and cost.
Other important factors that make membership meetings successful are: (a.) adhering to a definite time schedule; (b.) directing program content toward the majority of the membership; (c.) publicizing the meeting well in advance and (d.) interesting meetings with educational value (not just a luncheon or a supper club meeting).
General membership meetings should also be used to keep the membership informed of the chapter finances, planned activities, news about national programs, member announcements and awards and recognition.
8. Committee Reports The chapter President should call for committee reports at least every other month, either at an Executive Committee meeting or a chapter meeting. Each standing committee should report at regular intervals, while special committees responsible for certain specific duties should submit their reports as required. Sound chapter operations may be demonstrated to the members by the manner in which reports are called for, by the response of the committee chairman (or in absence of the chairperson another member of the committee), and by the way in which the chapter takes action . 9. Audit Reports Within ninety days after the installation of new officers, the chapter accounts should be audited by an appointed auditor or an auditing committee appointed by the chapter President, and a report rendered to the membership. A copy should be sent to the National Headquarters. 10. Chapter Records and Finances Chapter officers may accumulate a considerable volume of correspondence and other material. It is desirable that this be reviewed prior to the conclusion of each officer’s term of office and that material without permanent value be discarded. An excellent way to do this necessary housecleaning is to review accumulated records with the incoming officer and discard unwanted material. In general, the records that are kept on a long-term basis are:
- Membership records,
- chapter minutes,
- chapter by-laws,
- chapter financial records,
- a list of current and prior chapter officers, and
- a copy of this chapter handbook.
It is suggested that the chapter Executive Committee approve a retention schedule for financial and similar records of a semi-permanent nature. One chapter officer should be designated to maintain the chapter handbook. The handbook can be locally reproduced if the chapter President determines that more than one copy is necessary. Additional copies are also available for purchase through National Headquarters. It is critical that all local reproduced copies be updated with all changes as provided by the Executive Director. There is no prescribed method or restriction by the National Headquarters as to the manner in which the chapter funds are expended. Accounting and auditing guidance is provided in a separate chapter of this manual. chapters should, however, adhere to the following National Policy Declaration: “NATIONAL POLICY DECLARATION” Number 1-80 1. In Accordance with the American Society of Military Comptrollers Constitution and By-Laws dated 21 May 1980, the following policy applies to the National Council and all American Society of Military Comptrollers chapters. 2. This policy will be followed in the expenditure of funds derived from meetings, conferences, symposia, and other events sponsored by the American Society of Military Comptrollers. 3. The attention of all is called to the following Article II, Section 2.G. ‘Insure that no part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section I of the above. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be (a) by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 ( or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.)’. 4. This Policy Declaration will be a permanent record of each chapter in accordance with By-Laws VII Section 1.B”. 11. Inactivation of a Chapter A chapter which falls below six members or whose membership has become inactive, should contact the National Headquarters for guidance. Records of a Chapter surrendering its Charter for any reason shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee and disposed of at the Committee’s discretion, pursuant to Article IX of the National By-Laws.
Organization of New Chapters
It is the policy of the American Society of Military Comptrollers to encourage the formation of new chapters when it is in the best interest of both the Society and the prospective members of the new chapter. The Associate Director for Membership and Chapter Development will be in close contact during the new chapter’s organizational period. The National Headquarters, working with interested groups, must consider the following factors:
- Are all of the prospective members eligible in accordance with the Society Bylaws?
- Are the members of the interest group genuinely dedicated to forming a chapter to obtain the benefits of the Society’s program?
- Can the chapter maintain a good standing in the Society:
- Through holding regular meetings?
- By maintaining good attendance and good chapter programs?
- By meeting its financial obligations?
- Is there satisfactory evidence of permanence, stability, and growth?
- Will a new chapter meet the needs and convenience of the members more readily than if they join an existing chapter or become members at large?
- Will the chapter avail itself of the full Society program benefits accruing from participation with other chapters and professional organizations in immediate geographic areas?
1. Basis of Local Chapter Organization
Local chapters of the American Society of Military Comptrollers are established by a charter issued by the National Executive Committee. The initiative for the formation of a chapter must come from at least 6 prospective members of the proposed chapter. Each chapter shall be a part of the American Society of Military Comptrollers as a whole, while still being an autonomous legal entity. Since local conditions in different communities vary, each chapter should adopt local by-laws consistent with the National by-laws, and operate with as much independence as is consistent with the purpose of the Society. The National Headquarters will expect to receive timely reports from each chapter and will do everything possible to assist the chapter.
2. When a Chapter May be Formed
The National Executive Committee may grant a charter: (a) when there is a need for a chapter in selected locales to further the purposes and objectives of the Society, (b) when there is evidence to indicate the continued professional success of a proposed chapter; and (c) when the National Executive Committee is assured that the initial applicants for the proposed charter have taken into consideration the current and potential membership in the community.
The Society has prescribed the following guidance for groups contemplating the organization of a local chapter:
Minimum Membership Requirements – A minimum of 6 persons involved with Military Comptrollership/Financial Management/Resource Management and who can qualify for full membership status are required as a nucleus for a proposed chapter.
Potential Members – The Society must be assured that there are sufficient numbers of potential members to create a chapter of adequate strength to continually operate successfully. The National Executive Committee may suggest or recommend total membership requirements to assure the success of any prospective chapter.
Chapter Territory – The total geographical territory of any chapter should be sufficiently large so as to include camps, posts, stations, bases, etc. in which financial management activities are carried on, but small enough to allow members in any part of a chapter’s territory to attend meetings regularly.
3. Chapter Name
The name of every chapter will be “AMERICAN SOCIETY OF MILITARY COMPTROLLERS – ____CHAPTER.” The words appearing in the blank should indicate the approximate location of the headquarters of the chapter, which should indicate the name of a city or geographical area. The chapter’s proposed name should be coordinated with the National Headquarters before finalized.
4. Form of Petition
The application for a prospective chapter’s charter, supported by at least 6 completed membership applications (or transfer requests) shall be submitted to the National Headquarters in the form of a petition. The opening paragraph of this petition should generally read as follows:
‘The undersigned prospective members of the American Society of Military Comptrollers – ___ Chapter, whose membership applications (or requests for transfer of membership) are attached, attest that they subscribe to the ASMC constitution and by-laws and request a local chapter of the Society in the community defined below…”
Immediately following the end of the quote in the preamble, there should be a complete description of the chapter territory. The petition of the proposed chapter should also list the activities in their territory with some indication of the financial management operations being performed by each activity described. This section of the petition constitutes a basis for the National Headquarters to judge the possibilities for future growth of the proposed chapter.
The signature of each prospective member should follow the proposed text outlined above. Under each signature the full name, address, and commercial telephone number of the petitioner should be typed. The signature and typed name and address of the prospective member to whom all communications in connection with the petition should be addressed should appear at the bottom of the petition.
5. Permanent Organization
The petitioning chapter becomes a permanent part of the Society with the issuance of a charter by the National Headquarters, ASMC. As soon as practicable after its charter has been granted, the chapter should elect officers in accordance with the provisions of its chapter by-laws. One of the first duties of the permanent officers should be the ratification of all acts which have been taken by the temporary officers which were considered to be necessary for the formation and continuity of the newly chartered chapter. After this action, the chapter’s Executive Committee will be in a position to function as a part of the Society.
6. Activating the New Chapter
Copies of a model ASMC chapter constitution and by-laws are located on the ASMC website for guidance. Formal acceptance of a set of chapter by-laws by the chapter membership is a requirement of the Society for formal recognition of the chapter’s petition. Acceptance of the by-laws may be achieved by a motion adopted by the chapter membership prior to commencing chapter activities. Functional policies and procedures not covered in the by-laws are left to the discretion of the chapter, except that they shall not conflict nor be inconsistent with the adopted by-laws.
The chapter’s treasurer may wish to open a chapter bank account to deposit new chapter member’s dues and utilize a single check in remitting the dues to National Headquarters.
A chapter post office box or similar central address is the most desirable way to establish a permanent mailing address.
Individual membership certificates will be mailed directly to the members. As soon as the names of the chapter members are added to the Society’s computer system, the chapter president may obtain an up-to-date membership roster within his/her membership profile.
When the necessary organization arrangements have been completed, a National Officer or other appropriate representative will present the new charter to the chapter, when possible. Presentation will take place during an installation meeting at a place and on a date chosen by the chapter. This presentation offers an excellent opportunity for press attention and for appropriate greetings by civic officials and officers of other professional societies.
Each ASMC chapter has a high degree of autonomy with respect to the conduct of chapter meetings, scheduling committee activities, and planning chapter programs. However, a twelve month plan of chapter programs and speakers, projects, research work, and similar activities is desirable. A copy of the initial annual plan (and all subsequent program plans) should be provided to National Headquarters. The Society’s central aim is to create a practical means for discussion, exchange of information, and self-education for the members’ professional improvement.
Those day-to-day policies developed by the local chapter, which are subject to periodic review and change, should be incorporated in a loose-leaf chapter handbook. Generally, policies will naturally divide themselves into several categories such as meetings, dues, committees, and election procedures. As these policies are adopted by the chapter’s Executive Committee or the general membership, they should be indexed and placed within the proper category in the chapter handbook. The handbook will soon become a valuable reference to the functions of the chapter. Newsletters from National Executive Director should be filed in the chapter’s handbook.
7. Summary of Questions
Please make sure you include the following in your petition for a charter:
- The proposed name for your chapter?
- The chapter territory?
- The Defense and USCG activities in the proposed chapter territory. Be sure to give some indication of the financial management activities being performed by each activity.
- Potential chapter size?
- The names, addresses, and telephone numbers of the proposed members. Include a point of contact for use until permanent officers are elected.
For more information on setting up a new chapter, contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Installation of New Officers
Installation of chapter officers should take place no later than the first Executive Committee meeting of the new fiscal year. It is best to install new officers at a general meeting of the membership. The installing officer should be a national officer, past chapter president or other high level personnel from the installation. The ceremony used for installation is:
Introductory remarks by the installing officer, followed by
“It is my privilege to install the officers of the __________________________ chapter of the American Society of Military Comptrollers for the chapter year ____________, 20xx to _____________, 20xx.”
New officers are called forward
“The pledge you are about to take admits you to an office of great honor and responsibility. You must be prepared to accept administrative responsibilities and obligations. The success of your term can be measured in several ways: the participation of the chapter members in events; the presentation of training events to members; the participation by the chapter in National programs; and in membership growth and retention. Your job is to develop all of these programs to the maximum extent possible.”
Ask the Audience to Stand
“As leaders, you are expected to maintain high standards in all Society programs and never compromise honesty and integrity. With the full realization of the demands of the office in terms of time, travel and commitment to the duties of leadership, if you are willing to accept this honor, please raise your right hand (optional) and repeat after me.”
The following oath may be done as a group or one officer at a time.
“I, ______________________________ (name), in carrying out my duties as an elected officer in the American Society of Military Comptrollers, do sincerely pledge myself to support the Society and its purpose, to promote its activities and to abide by the Constitution and By-Laws.”
1. General Information
The membership year is based on the initial month that a member joins, is valid for one year and renewal is due each year in the same month (anniversary month). Dues are set by the National Executive Committee and include a rebate to the chapter.
Currently individual (active, associate, life) dues are $40, with a $8 rebate to chapters. Three year payments of $114 are available, with a $23 rebate going to the local chapter. Chapters may choose to charge a higher dues on a local level. However, each chapter is required to file annually with National Headquarters a current schedule of additional dues, fees and surcharges.Only paid members are considered members in good standing and eligible for benefits.
2. Types of Membership
There are five classes of individual membership within ASMC:
- Active: These are persons who are, or have been, employed as professionals in the resource management field as an employee of DoD or US Coast Guard.
- Life: Those active members who have been in good standing for twenty consecutive years or who are past National Presidents.
- Associate: Persons who, though not qualified for Active or Life membership, demonstrate an interest in the resource management field. Examples of this type of member would be persons in the resource management field who employed by Federal Departments other than Defense or state governments or by a contractor.
- Honorary: Persons making significant contributions to resource management who are not eligible for, or who would not otherwise be expected to join, one of the other classes of membership. These applicants must be nominated by a Chapter President or National Executive Committee member and approved by the National President.
- Corporate: Corporate Members shall be corporations which demonstrate an interest in the military comptrollership field and who to remain in good standing, have paid the appropriate dues and fees.
3. Membership Applications
The membership application available from National HQ is the only official application that may be used. If local reproduction is desired, a chapter may duplicate this one. The duplication must be the same size and on white paper. Chapters may not design their own application. Please insist that all membership applications be typed or printed clearly. An application that is not legible can lead to errors on the membership certificate and in the database. We strongly encourage new members to join online at https://www.asmconline.org/membership/join-renew/. All fields should be complete, noting the following:
Chapter selection: A list of all ASMC chapters is available by calling National Headquarters, as well as on the website. If this information is not provided by the applicant, National Headquarters will assign a chapter. To insure that your recruits are credited to your chapter, fill this section in before handing out applications.
Demographics: Employer, Rank/Grade, Career Field, Birth Date, Gender and Duty Station are collected for demographic and marketing purposes only. Complete and accurate information in this area will help us to determine correct information about our membership.
Recruited by: This information will be used in determining the National Recruiter of the Year and other national campaign incentives. (for new members only) It is also used for local membership recruitment programming. Recruiter member number is needed to insure proper credit, especially for more common names.
Dues Submission: New Membership applications may be submitted to National Headquarters by the individual or chapter. Please do not send cash or checks drawn on foreign funds. If the chapter chooses to send new membership applications, the local dues share of $5.00 may not be retained and the chapter must send the application IMMEDIATELY.
4. Chapter Membership Rosters
Chapter membership rosters are available to the chapter president online. Directions on how to access the file are located here: https://www.asmconline.org/chapters/chapter-management/ The membership roster is live and reflects any changes. additions or transfers processed to date. The number of members on the roster should not be used for competition purposes as it may include members who are not currently paid.
5. Renewal Procedures
Each month, National Headquarters emails renewal notices to members whose membership is due within 90, 60 and 30 days. Additionally, paper invoices are sent to members who are within 60 days or their renewal date. A member may receive up to three invoice notices if payment is not received.
Members will be dropped from the chapter roster if they are not paid within 3 months of their anniversary date. They are then considered a previous or lapsed member. A member is considered a member in good standing ONLY when dues are paid.
Membership Processing: Chapters may not send batches of membership. All renewals must come directly to National Headquarters in the full amount of $40. Cooperation from chapters in this policy will lower the administrative costs of mailing invoices. Chapter may collect an application from a new member, but it is critical that it be mailed in to National Headquarters immediately.
6. New Member Packets
After processing new member applications, National Headquarters will prepare a packet of information for the new member. Included in the packet will be:
- Membership Certificate
- Pledge of Professionalism
- Welcome Card (Membership Card)
This packet is mailed to the new member by the 15th of each month for the month preceding. This means that a new member will receive the packet 2-5 weeks after joining, depending upon date joined. If an applicant was a previous member and rejoined, a new member packet is not provided unless specifically requested by the member or chapter.
7. Recruiting New Members
Now that you know how to answer all the question a potential new member might ask, how do you get them to join?
Do your homework. KNOW what services and benefits are available only to members. (Registration discounts at the national PDI, monthly luncheons, the Armed Forces Comptroller, PFCU VISA card, etc.) Know the intangible reasons members belong to the ASMC. (Leadership opportunities, networking) Know the potential member. Where is this person employed? Why would this person want to join? TALK to the potential member about your personal experiences with ASMC. What have you gained from your membership? Be enthusiastic and apply your experiences to what the potential is looking for in a professional society. SHOW the potential member the tangible benefits of membership: the latest Armed Forces Comptroller, a PDI program book, a luncheon flyer, a chapter newsletter or even your Pentagon Federal VISA card! Make it easy and for the potential to join immediately. PROVIDE an application and offer to mail it to National Headquarters. Mention the next chapter event and the discount available to members.
8. New Member Orientation
After you have given or accepted a membership application, remember to follow up. CALL the new member to reinforce his/her decision. Get the new member involved immediately. After all, an involved member is a happy member. Provide an orientation to the new member one-on-one or as a chapter event. The more benefit and the better the service a member receives from the society, the more likely a renewal will occur. New members should be recognized at chapter meetings and in the chapter newsletter.
Corporate Membership Program
1. History and Purpose
In 1985, the ASMC National Executive Committee adopted a plan to invite selected American corporations to become full members. The National Board’s objective in extending full membership to select private sector companies was to help promote the continuous development of a partnership of information exchange between the military services and the thousands of private sector corporations that support them. A strategic partnership, based on mutual understanding, is a national imperative if DoD and its supporters are to meet to downsize, re-engineer their business processes, and outsource various functions to the private sector.
The purpose of the Corporate Membership program is to provide chapter members an opportunity to meet private sector comptrollers and gain an understanding of how they conduct business. The program also provides Corporate America an opportunity to understand how the Military Comptroller conducts business in the Defense environment. A secondary purpose is to support the Chapter and National Scholarship Programs through membership fees.
ASMC has much to offer America’s corporations. Forward looking companies will readily accept an offer of full membership when the business case advantages are presented to them.
2. Status of a Corporate Member Corporate members are full chapter members with full voting rights and the right to hold chapter office. They should be included in all chapter business and mailed all chapter newsletters.
3. Membership Dues and Processing Corporate membership fees are divided into two groups – Corporate and designee. Payment of the Corporate membership fee entitles the corporation to assign one designee member. Each additional representative of the corporation must pay the annual membership fee assessed individual active members. Rebates are paid to the chapter at $125 for the primary designee, and $8 for each additional designee. Invoices are mailed from National Headquarters directly to the corporate member two months in advance of expiration. A copy of the invoice is provided to the chapter, so that the chapter may provide follow-up. Corporate members may wish to change designees at this time. Membership dues are non refundable and non transferrable. 3. Chapter Competition The recruiting and retention of corporate members earns Chapter Competition points for the local chapter. See the chapter on the National Awards Program for scoring details.
4. Ethics Many of the corporations joining ASMC are DoD contractors. It is incumbent on each ASMC member, DoD employee and corporate, to ensure the current procurement integrity laws and regulations are followed.
5. Recruiting and Retaining Corporate Members Not every American corporation or company should be a member of ASMC. We need corporations that will support and complement ASMC goals in a professional manner. Potential corporate members should have an interest in DoD and the comptroller field. Generally, ASMC membership is correct for corporations involved in financial operations, accounting, computer systems (both software and hardware), banking, and governmental support activities. There are some exceptions and each exception should be evaluated based on the merits of the case.
The ASMC Corporate Program has been designed to accept as members large corporations as well as small companies, associations and educational institutions. Often small companies and educational institutions are highly interested in DoD and the comptroller field; they will welcome the opportunity to join ASMC. The following are examples of current ASMC corporate members:
- Credit Unions
- Accounting Firms
- Software Companies
- Hardware Organizations
- Professional Services Companies
- DoD Contractors
- Aerospace Companies
- Equipment Manufacturers or Sellers
- Food Providers
- Telecommunications Companies
- Power and Light Companies
Look around your base or installation to identify the companies conducting business; then decide if any of those companies would be appropriate as an ASMC corporate member. Locating the right person in the company can require some effort; the person who will want to buy and the person who can approve an association membership will be different in each company. The ASMC nominal membership fee typically will not require the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) or the President’s approval. There is no need to approach these executives unless you either know the CEO/President, or the company is small and the CEO/President is the known decision maker. Of course, if the CEO/President agrees to join, you have a new corporate member.
In most corporations, marketing, business development, or public relations personnel are responsible for association memberships. This is a good place to start looking for the right person or that friendly face. If the company is a national corporation and doing work on your base, arrange an appointment with the senior manager on base. He or she are likely to have association approval authority. If not, you can ask for a referral to the right point of contact.
The recruiting and retention of corporate members is the same procedure as recruiting individual members. Corporations will join ASMC for the following reasons:
- Public Relations – It is important for a corporation to be known in its marketplace as a good organization. People want to do business with good companies. Many corporations will relish an opportunity to support a worthwhile program, give speeches, conduct workshops, publish articles, and exhibit and demonstrate products and services supports the corporate public relations programs.
- Advertisement – Chapter newsletters and the AFC are effective publications for corporate advertisements. The price of advertisements is reasonable, and the publication is focused on a select group of people. Even a chapter newsletter article announcing the membership of a corporation is a form of welcome advertising.
- Education – Corporate members want to learn more about the world in which they conduct business. The same is true for individual members. Corporations want to learn of future DoD trends, how DoD employees and military members live and work, and the direction of the Industry-Federal Partnership. A more informed corporate member can better serve the needs of the Industry-Government Partnership.
- Opportunities To Exhibit – Corporations need to exhibit themselves and their products and services. This type of exhibiting is not selling but a high-level form of marketing and educating the public to the advances being made in the private sector. ASMC chapter and national events provide corporate members with excellent opportunities to publicly exhibit their companies and products.
- Community Citizenship Responsibilities – Corporations want to be good corporate citizens by supporting local community organizations and charities. Being an ASMC corporate member is one way of supporting the country, DoD, and the local community.
- The Price is Right – The corporate membership fee is $300, plus $40 for each additional member of the corporation who wants to participate in ASMC. When compared to other associations, the cost of ASMC membership fee is relatively inexpensive.
The chapter should appoint a current member to serve as the Corporate Membership Chairperson, who should report to the Membership Chairperson. The corporate chairperson should identify potential members and establish chapter goals. After the first corporation joins the chapter it is recommended a person from that corporation be assigned recruiting duties since corporate people understand the private sector environment.
Once the chapter recruiting structure is in place and goals have been established the recruiter(s) needs to develop a presentation which will demonstrate to the corporation the benefits of ASMC membership. This presentation should include the following benefits: Corporate exposure, advertisement opportunities, PDI exhibits and sponsorship opportunities, opportunities for speaking and publication of articles, opportunities to learn about military organization, procedures, new programs and the military environment. A general discussion of how the corporate membership fees are used to fund scholarships will provide an assurance that moneys paid to ASMC are well spent. The presentation can be concluded with an invitation to the next chapter luncheon. Copies of the Armed Forces Comptroller should be provided at the conclusion of the presentation.
Should the invitation be accepted, the prospective member(s) should be escorted and formally introduced during the meeting. If necessary a follow-on meeting may be required to finalize the recruiting effort. The application for membership should be processed as quickly as possible so that the membership plaque can be formally presented during the next chapter meeting. If possible, photographs should be taken during the presentation with copies provided to the new corporate member and to the National Headquarters for possible publication in the Armed Forces Comptroller. The corporate members should be included in all activities of the chapter because they have skills which can be very beneficial to the chapter.
The corporate membership application is different than the individual form and should be used to process the application. A copy of the form on the ASMC website and can be reproduced for immediate use. However, each chapter should obtain a stock of the preprinted applications from the National Headquarters.
National Awards Program
The National Awards program is mailed to the chapters each July and publicized in the Fall issue of the Armed Forces Comptroller magazine. Forms are available by calling ASMC National Headquarters or through the ASMC Website at www.asmconline.org.
Individual Achievement Award…An ongoing awards program presented annually to individuals who have been nominated for outstanding accomplishment within one of the functional fields of Comptrollership.
Team Achievement Award…This award is presented to teams of four or more individuals, within or across comptroller disciplines. Criteria includes impact on the way the organization, DoD financial community, U.S. Coast Guard, National Guard or Reserve establishment operate. The award category recognizes outstanding team performance, accomplishments, adoption of study results, outcome or savings, and excellence in the advancement of military comptrollership.
Essay Award…Three awards are presented for outstanding essays on a specified topic. The winning essays are published in the Armed Forces Comptroller magazine. This year’s topic is “What is customer service?”
Editorial Award…This award is presented to the author of the best article published in the four issues of the Armed Forces Comptroller magazine in the year preceding the National PDI. The award may also be given for significant contributions to the planning of editorial content in the magazine.
Research Award…This award recognizes individual or team efforts resulting in a specific written product that encapsulates the research effort, finding and recommendations. Awards are given to reports deemed to be significant or singularly outstanding.
Members’ Continuing Education …Grants are provided to members of ASMC to aid in financing their academic endeavors. Nominees must be entering or be in a field of study related to financial/resource management.
Scholarship Program…Monetary scholarships are presented to graduating high school seniors who have demonstrated outstanding leadership skills and academic achievements.
Corporate Member…This award recognizes a Corporate Member for outstanding contributions made to a local Chapter and the National Organization in the furtherance of the goals of the chapter and the society.
Chapter Leadership…recognizes individuals for outstanding leadership, accomplishment and support of the society at the chapter level.
Chapter Awards…Multiple awards are provided to the chapters in recognition of otstanding efforts. Chapters who wish to compete are required to submit an annual chapter report. Catergories include Five Star, Membership, Professional Development, Community Service, Newsletter and overall chapter competition.
Armed Forces Comptroller
- Winter issue – January
- Spring issue – April
- Summer issue – July
- Fall issue – October
- Providing a forum to keep Society members and other interested individuals informed of current activities and innovative ideas in military comptrollership and its various disciplines. Articles on historical topics will be considered when they are relevant to current events and trends in defense comptrollership. Opinions and beliefs expressed in the Armed Forces Comptroller are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect those of ASMC.
- Promoting the education and training of Society members, and supporting the advancement of the profession of defense financial management, by addressing the full range of functions and specialties that comprise the profession.
- Maintaining an emphasis on people and what may be of interest and benefit to them, to include a well-balanced presentation of ASMC Chapter activities and other items of interest.
- Spring 2018 issue – February 12, 2018 (topic statement due by January 12, 2017)
- All copy should be submitted with notes prepared as indicated below and with clear author by-lines. Commercial and DSN (if applicable) telephone and fax numbers should be included for each author or for the author serving as principal contact with ASMC.
- Authors should also submit a valid e-mail address and current mailing address.
- Articles should be between 2,000-2,500 words, which typically equates to 3-4 typewritten pages, with heading incorporated. Article submissions should be single-spaced Word documents.
- Art Work/Graphics: Initial manuscript submissions may include reproduced versions of graphics or art within the text. If selected for publication, however, authors must provide separate high-resolution electronic files (.ppt or .pdf) of sketches, charts, drawings, etc.
- Photographs: Initial manuscript submissions also may include reproductions of photographs within the text. If selected for publication, high-resolution files, clearly captioned, must be provided. Individuals in group photographs should be identified by full name, rank (if applicable), and location in the photo.
- For example: Front row (l. to r.): Mary Jones, VADM James Thomas, Capt. Rick Smith. Back row (l. to r.): Col. Robert Brown, Lt.Col. Susan Black, Steven Green. Members of the Pentagon Chapter visit the firing range at Fort Soldier. Jack Zim (l.) receives instruction on new range technology from CPT Jim Day (r.).
- Headings and Subheadings. Three simple tiers or “orders” of heads are used in Armed Forces Comptroller.
- Main heads are centered, all in upper case letters, and underlined: DEFEATING COST OVERRUNS
- First subheads are flush to the left margin, upper and lower case, and underlined: Overruns Caused by Oversight
- Second subheads are indented five (5) spaces, upper and lower case, underlined, and followed with a period. Text begins on the same line, indented three (3) spaces from the period. Actions by Review Boards. Throughout the 1970s, review boards were most active in assessing the continuing professional training of auditors …
- Acknowledgments. On occasion, authors wish to express appreciation to those who assisted during preparation or review of a manuscript. Such notes of thanks should be brief, single-spaced, and indicated by an asterisk. The note should be placed at the end of the author’s submission. In the journal, the note will appear in a footnote at the bottom of the first page of text.
- An example follows: * The author thanks, John Smith, Mary Jones, and Col. Barbara Rossa for their helpful information and review of drafts of this article.
- Author Bios and Photos.
- A brief biography and photograph of each author will appear in the journal issue. The bio should be 3 to 4 lines long and include the following: author’s current position, significant previous positions or honors, ASMC Chapter affiliation, and position (if any). For example: George Allen is the Budget Officer for Command X. He served previously as the Comptroller of Fort YY, and is past Chapter President of ASMC XYZ Chapter. He has been an adjunct professor of management at George Washington University since 1986.
- Author photographs should be professional color headshots. They must be least 300 DPI resolution. Do not place images in an application (such as MS Word or PowerPoint); send only jpeg files.
- Footnotes. Notes to articles will appear at the end of each article. Indicate notes by superscript Arabic numbers in the text (like this 2), and by regular Arabic numbers in the notes themselves. The examples below include article, book, and interview sources: John Peters and Jane Schwarzkopf, “The High Cost of Refitting Vehicles After Desert Use,” Auto News, Vol. 2, No. 3 (Fall 1990), pp. 3-6. Harry Albermarle, Accounting Trends (New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1972), pp. 10-22. Telephone interview with Gen. Ryell Spinya, March 1, 1991.
- Spring 2018 issue – February 12, 2018
- Chapters should list photos in priority sequence. When priorities are not identified, photos will be selected based on the general criteria of quality of the photo and timeliness.
- Group photos allow the journal to feature more members and guests in the limited space available.
- Each photo must include a clear caption in an attached file. At a minimum, caption should include: Chapter name, full name (and rank if appropriate) of each individual pictured (left to right), and a detailed description of activity in photo. Please do not use dates in captions.
- Photos must be of reproduction quality—color preferred, with good clarity and composition. Be sure the photographer has turned off the date function on the camera.
- Events pictured must be timely—e.g., photos of Christmas events may be appropriate for the Spring issue, but not for the Summer issue. Please keep in mind that we work two months in advance of the mailing. For example, photos for the Summer issue are chosen in May.
- Photos must be sent electronically and must be at least 300 DPI resolution. Do not place images in an application (such as MS Word or PowerPoint); send only jpeg files.
- WHY A NEWSLETTER?
A Chapter newsletter is a form of public relations. It is directed to your most important public-your own Chapter members.If one accepts this concept, then one can examine the common definitions of public relations in understanding the need for your Chapter newsletter. The simplest of these definitions of public relations is doing the right thing and getting credit for it. Put another way, it is good performance and communication with the public. This easily translates into reporting and interpreting Chapter activities to your foremost public-your Chapter members.
The Chapter newsletter has been termed the mortar that binds the Chapter together. It is the main line of internal communication for your local group. When you consider that many members do not attend every Chapter meeting, then your newsletter becomes the only form of communication with these members over extended periods of time.Purpose of this ManualThis booklet has three purposes. It is intended to help newly appointed newsletter editors in designing, preparing and issuing their first efforts. Second, it is intended to serve as a guide to Chapters that do not have a newsletter and wish to start one. Finally, it is intended to provide assistance to Chapters already conducting newsletters by offering suggestions as to how these can be improved.Selecting an Editor
Each Chapter should appoint an editor. Some of the larger chapters may attempt to work through a committee, but you should assure that a specific person has the responsibility of coordinating and conducting the newsletter project.
Smaller Chapters may combine the duties of editor and Chapter secretary, or editor and public relations director, under one person. Combining the functions makes sense, but be sure that one person can handle the load.
In selecting your editor, it is obvious that you should look for someone who has solid basic writing talent. An equally important quality is an inherent discipline for meeting schedules and deadlines. Your editor also should have available the necessary resources, such as equipment, time and interest. Your selectee should be informed on all phases of chapter activities. If your editor does not otherwise do so, he or she should sit in on board and committee meetings and receive copies of reports, minutes and important chapter correspondence.
Even though your editor will probably have had little experience along this line when appointed, the “learning curve” factor will make the production of successive issues easier as time goes by. Therefore, at the discretion of the Chapter president, it is suggested that editor appointments be for at least two years, or even longer. Appointments should be made at least three months prior to the first issue’s publication date.
Some back-up for your editor should the arranged. People do become ill, or go on temporary duty, and it can be very awkward to have your newsletter due, and your editor across the country somewhere on a temporary assignment. If you can afford the luxury of an “assistant editor”, fine. But have some sort of alternate plan against an emergency.
- GETTING UNDERWAY
As with every other venture, a certain amount of advance overall planning must be done before you actually sit down to compose your newsletter.The BudgetProbably your first consideration will be the size of the budget that the Chapter will be able to apply to the newsletter. This will have a vital impact on other major decisions that must be made, such as frequency, methods of production, number of proposed pages, etc. In applying your approved budget figures, don’t forget that after an issue is printed, you’re going to have some distribution costs. This will consist mainly of postage, but in a large Chapter you may have to get some outside help with addressing or labeling each copy to your members. You may also have to pay for the labels you use monthly in addressing the newsletters.Scheduling the Newsletter Production ProcessIf your Chapter holds monthly meetings, the desirable newsletter frequency will also be monthly, since this is normally the best medium for publicizing your next meeting. Your issue date each month should be fixed so that members receive ample notice of the upcoming meeting through the newsletter. Many chapters devote the first page to a meeting notice and thus skip the need for a separate mailing. Be sure and allow adequate mail transit time here, depending on the class of postal service you use. Third class postage can take up to three weeks to arrive at the members’ desks.
Two points to consider-first, the newsletter should not arrive on a date so early that its use as a meeting notice is lost. Second, you must have the commitment from the Chapter President on down that submission due dates for contributed material will be met. This schedule must be adhered to or the entire production schedule is lost.
Once an issue date is decided upon, you should try and hit that date every issue. A disciplined “production schedule” will enable you to do this. Draw up your “production schedule” by starting with your desired issue date and work backward through the various steps involved, and their required times for putting the issue together. In a simple method of production, your production schedule may then look like this:
Finish writing copy Jan. 10 Finish final typing Jan. 15 Proof final typing Jan. 16 Pages to copier (printer) Jan. 17 Address or label copies Jan. 20 Issue to Post Office Jan. 21
This schedule is hypothetical. The point, however, is to formulate a planned production schedule and stick to it. Every issue!
Some Chapters may suspend meetings in the summer months, and there will be a temptation to stop production of the newsletter during this time. If you can squeeze it into your budget, keep the newsletter going. It is important for members to be kept up to date on association activities, both local and national, and individual, national, and chapter activities and programs seldom go completely dormant even during periods without meetings. The newsletter will be your most important, perhaps the only, communication device during these periods.
Size and Number of Pages
Most newsletters are produced on 8 1/2 x 11 paper. Nonstandard sizes can be more costly, but if you’re after some special effect, you can consider some odd size. If you’re using a relatively large amount of paper over a year’s time, get several bids before purchasing.
Your number of pages per standard issue will be governed by your budget to a large extent. If you have an unlimited budget, you may have to consider how many pages you can effectively fill each month. Some Chapters may have larger issues in particularly active months, with fewer pages in issues during slower periods-in the summer months, for example.
Method of Production
With respect to a decision on the method of production of the newsletter, you’ll have to shop around and see what your budget will buy. Mimeographing or producing a stencil on ditto paper are probably the most economical methods, but the quality is often poor. Next best is to type a good quality master and run your copies in the number required on a Xerox-type copier or duplicator. Your finished results will depend on the quality of typing and the type of reproduction machine available.
You may wish to take your typed “master pages” to a small job printer and have them offset-printed. You can depend on good quality by this method, as a usual rule, and the cost should not I>e prohibitive.
The ultimate method, of course, is to have your type set by a professional typographer, followed by a professional makeup and printing job by a commercial printer. This becomes rather costly and time-consuming, however, and only the most affluent budgets will permit consideration of this method.
No comparative prices have been listed on the above methods, since they will vary in different localities and will be affected by the number of copies needed. Again, shop around within your budget. Any of the methods will suffice as long as your issue is clear and legible.
A final decision you will want to make during your advance planning is on a standard “masthead”. Once designed, you may wish to get a number of your “masthead” pages done up by a professional printer. In this way the front page of your issues will be in a readily-identifiable, attractive format, and the cost of a quantity of “masthead” pages is not excessive.
You may wish to get assistance in designing your masthead: one of your members with an imaginative and artistic talent, or an ad hoc group from the chapter membership.
Hold a design or name contest, if you go for that sort of thing. If you use a printer, his graphics section may be glad to give you some tips (but be sure you have an understanding over any charge for this help).
Your masthead may be completely in type, or may incorporate artwork as well. Many chapters work in the ASMC logo somewhere in the masthead (the ASMC National office will be glad to furnish you camera-ready proofs of the seal, or electronic files, in several sizes, on request). Samples of chapter newsletter mastheads are also available.
- GATHERING THE NEWS
You will learn that one of the major problems for editors is gathering news. Remember that ASMC headquarters sends out communications to Chapter presidents that contain a wealth of information. You will be doing fellow Chapter members a favor by keeping them informed. Also it is important that you know what is going on in your own Chapter. You should sit in on board and committee meetings or, if unable to attend, receive copies of the minutes. All chapter officers and committee chairmen should keep you informed of their activities.Ask all members to give you news, but insist on contributions in writing. This is a time saver and assures accuracy. You are not asking them to write an article, but just to give you the germ of an idea. Insist on deadlines for submissions. When you see an item in the paper about a member, cut it out and put it in your news folder. You may also develop a “postcard” method of having members submit information about themselves and others on a pre-addressed, pre-stamped postcard. By the end of the month your folder should be bulging with all the material you have gathered from these sources. But if all these sources fail and you are still short of news, get on the telephone and do some first class reporting. Always remember to make your newsletter interesting to members by emphasizing people.Develop a ChecklistIn order to achieve broad coverage in each issue, it will help your planning to develop a checklist of possible news items. You may wish to consider the following:
- – A “President’s Message”, or equal. If your president has no “message” for a particular issue, coordinate the planning of the issue with him to assure that all significant items are included.
- – A “Technical Feature” section, offering members the opportunity to contribute a short technical piece for publication.
- – A run-down on each National Office Memo received, with comments on Chapter response, or the impact at Chapter/member level.
- – Member profiles; this can be done on Chapter officers, to introduce new members, or on anyone.
- – Chapter committee activity. The secret here is not to wait until a committee volunteers to report its activities: instead, let them know that you’re reserving a spot in the next newsletter, and give them a copy deadline. If nothing more, this will motivate an otherwise inactive committee.
- – Information on other professional activity and upcoming events in event local area.
- – Information and details on the meeting for next month, or for the next two months, if available. Many members possibly miss meetings through lack of sufficient advance notice and planning.
You may wish to develop regular “Departments” for each issue such as: “Committee Activities”, “Meet our Officers”, “Meet our Prominent Members”, “National Office Notes”, etc.
Suggested additional items are:
- Chapter and National elections
- Committee appointments (Names make news!)
- Special appointments
- Organization changes
- New projects or programs
- Progress reports
- Program announcements
- National meetings
- Public events
- New publications
- Increases in membership
- Office moves
- Awards and honors
- New members
- Community activities
- Article or books written by members
- Seminars and workshops
Add your own ideas to the lists suggested above. As you plan each issue, use your checklist to assure that you’re not overlooking anything.
- LAYOUT AND MAKEUP
LayoutOnce your copy is prepared, you must decide where the individual pieces will appear in your newsletter. This will take some juggling and fitting if you want to improve the appearance of the finished product, but with a little practice it becomes easier.In placing your various stories, you may wish to place major recurring items-your meeting notice, “president’s message”, etc.-in the same spot in each issue. Your readers will grow accustomed to this layout and will know where to look for items of special interest to them.
Remember to allow a blank panel-depending on how you fold your newsletter for mailing-to carry the member’s mailing address and a postage stamp. If you mail in an envelope, this, of course, is not necessary.MakeupWhat you should try to achieve in your makeup is readability-the art of catching the reader’s eye and holding his interest. Look at your daily newspaper with a critical eye and see how they do it: through headlines, varied type styles and sizes, photos, use of “white space”, etc.
Most chapter newsletters, of course, will be produced by means that will not permit the sort of flexibility available to the daily newspaper. But there are a number of things you can do to improve readability when you are working with only a typewriter. Some of these are suggested below:
Single-spaced lines running the full width of a page can make for hard reading. Imagine a daily newspaper running its lines clear across the page! This is why most newspaper columns are only a couple of inches wide-to make things easier for the reader.
You won’t want to try two-inch-wide columns, since the letters produced by your typewriter are larger than newspaper type, and optimum column width relates directly to type size. But try two columns to the page, perhaps, instead of those long horizontal lines to type. This also gives you more flexibility in your makeup.
Size and Style of Type
Make type size easy to read. Standard size for body text is 10-12 pt. Headlines should be larger to grab the eye. Limit font types to no more than two or three, so as not to clutter the newsletter and take away from the content.
Boxes and Special Effects
Remember that everything doesn’t have to be typed. The copier will reproduce any solid black mark you place on the paper. Use graphics as accents to articles or to draw attention. Place a box around a short article or around a special announcement. Ruled-in lines or borders may be used to break up type or separate your articles. Or you may have some talented member do some free-hand art work or other special effects for you.
By all means, use headlines on your various articles. Make them interesting to catch the attention of the reader. Use active verbs in your headlines for more impact.
If your story is lengthy, break it up every two or three paragraphs with a sub-head. A good device is to pick up a catchy three or four-word phrase from the ensuing paragraphs for your sub-head.
Don’t feel that you must fill every square inch of your available space. Use adequate margins on all sides, and leave some room between articles. The “white space” thus created is much more appealing to the reader’s eye than a crowded, cramped page.
And a Caution-
Use your imagination in your makeup. You can do a lot with only a typewriter. But don’t overdo it. Stop short of clutter, and don’t degrade your professional image by excessive frivolity. Stand back and take a look, and try to achieve a fine balance between under and over-doing it.
Most chapters will of necessity use a newsletter production medium that will make the use of photos rather difficult. However, some high-quality modern copiers will do a reasonably acceptable job of reproducing a well-exposed, contrasting black-and-white glossy print. You may wish to try it.Almost without exception there is an amateur photographer somewhere within every chapter. Find him-or her-and arrange to capture some of your chapter activities.A Few Photo TipsTell your photographer what you want-don’t let him just flounder around.
Don’t try to crowd half your chapter into a photo. No more than five or six people is optimum.At the time you shoot the picture, jot down the names of your subjects to assure future identification.
Avoid the “firing squad” pose-have your subjects doing something if possible. And describe in your caption what they’re doing, or operating, or looking at.
Vary the photos in each issue
Your photo will have to exactly fit your space, since you can’t shrink or blow it up the way a commercial printer does. But you don’t have to use the whole print. Crop the superfluous parts as necessary, if your picture so permits.
- NEWSLETTER DISTRIBUTION
AddressingIn all but the very smallest chapters, addressing the newsletter to each individual member can become a chore each month. Plan this in advance.
Gummed labels can be a great device. They can be prepared in advance, ready to be applied as soon as your issue is completed. Most office supply stores sell these for laser printers.There are a number of other means of addressing or producing labels by machine. Check around and see what might be available to you.
MailingMost chapters will have to resort to first-class postage for mailing their newsletters out, since only mailing of 200 pieces or over qualify for bulk rates.At the present time, one or two devices can save you a little on first-class mail. If you pre-sort your pieces by zip codes, you can (currently) save a cent on each piece. Check your local Post office on this. If your newsletter runs more than one ounce in weight, remember that additional ounces are at a cheaper rate.
Large chapters which quality for bulk rates can enjoy considerable savings by using this mailing class. But there are some disadvantages. Transmit time is significantly longer than first class; you must secure a bulk permit, and comply with rather rigid rules on sorting and delivery to the Post Office; certain forms must be accomplished on each mailing; and you can’t mail out those few supplemental pieces you missed in your “big” mailing (except at first-class rates, of course).
The savings may be worth your trouble, however. Again, talk to your local postal people before you decide.
This short how-to booklet was designed to bring a few helpful tips to the relatively inexperienced editor which, it is believed, will be found in most ASMC chapters. Your National Headquarters Committee will welcome your comments and suggestions for improvements in future editions of this manual.
One glaring omission from the manual will be noted: no attempt was made to include a section on writing style. This is an entire topic in itself, and is hardly susceptible to the superficial treatment that would have been necessary. All ASMC chapter editors were appointed for their writing talent, anyhow. Good Luck!!
The ASMC strongly encourages every ASMC chapter to establish a chapter website. A site is invaluable as it can be accessed by your members 24 hours a day and provides useful and important information specific to your chapter.
Please note ASMC is researching FREE Web hosting to all chapters in the form of standardized pages maintained by the local chapter. Further guidance will be provided soon on how to request this service for a chapter. It is not available at this time.
Important note: Creating websites requires a computer, software, and a person with the appropriate knowledge and training. The national headquarters does not and cannot provide hardware, software, technical support or training. The national headquarters will send the login information, and the chapter is responsible for the uploading and updating of information.
Each chapter should include the following content on its Website:
- Link to the National ASMC website
- Calendar of chapter events
- List of chapter officers
- Local Constitution and Bylaws
- Chapter newsletter
- Information on chapter programs (awards, community service, meetings, etc.)
- Member News (achievements by chapter members)
- Defense FM related content
- Links to chapter social media sites
Planning Chapter Events
This section of the American Society of Military Comptroller (ASMC) Chapter Handbook is designed to be a guide in planning ASMC Chapter Professional Development events. This section should serve as a good starting point to those of you who are new at planning and conducting chapter training events not only to plan an excellent event, one thats supports the mission of the society.
The mission of the American Society of Military Comptrollers is the continuing professional development of its members (and the professional development of those within and those who serve the Defense financial management community). If your chapter has not yet conducted a Professional Development event, you may wish to consider starting an annual training day (or days). The primary reason is to further the professional development of members and associates within your geographical region. A training event can be very beneficial to the sponsoring local chapter as well. It is an excellent way to market your organization to potential members. Also, a training event can be promoted as a member benefit as it offers education and training opportunities as well as leadership opportunities to your members. Finally, registration fees may generate additional revenues for your chapter treasury.
1. NATIONAL ASSISTANCE
ASMC National Headquarters is ready to help you. Please call the ASMC National Headquarters as soon as you begin the initial planning of your event to coordinate dates. This is important is as there are many training events competing for speakers from both ASMC National Headquarters and the Service Headquarters staff. For example, if a chapter were to schedule a training event at the same time one was ongoing in Europe or the Far East, it is unlikely that their demand for High level speakers could be accommodated. Point of contact for coordination of dates is Libby Long who can be reached at email@example.com or 1-800-462-5637 ext. 103. National headquarters is also pleased to participate by providing ASMC staff members when possible at no cost to the chapter as speakers on a variety of topics, particularly in areas of professional development and certification. With the advent of the CDFM certification, content of many of the ASMC training events has been and should be altered to facilitate members earning the certification. Most, if not all of the mini-PDI’s conducted now, reflect this shift and this is expected to continue in the foreseeable future. In fact, you are encouraged to invite ASMC Headquarters personnel both for certification presentations and to administer examinations.
There are many ways to advertise your event to your membership, as well as other interested individuals. Some examples, which will be at little or no cost to you, are your chapter newsletter, flyers distributed through designated points of contact, notices on electronic bulletin boards, and letters to other professional organizations located nearby.
Upcoming training events should be listed on the ASMC web site and your own local web site. This advertising will help to increase attendance at your event, and make it known to potential vendors and speakers. The earlier the better, since this posting will make other chapters aware of your plans and may further reduce scheduling conflicts. Visit www.asmconline.org for the national calendar of events. Again, scheduling your event at the same time as other chapters decreases your chance of successfully inviting high level officials to speak.
3. FINANCIAL SUPPORT
Occasionally, ASMC National Headquarters may provide “seed money” on a limited basis to chapters for up front expenses related to a professional development event if that chapter’s treasury is depleted. A written request must be sent to the National Headquarters describing the amount needed and the planned use of the funds. A short-term loan will be provided, payable as soon as registration fees are collected.
4. ACTIVITIES WITH RELATED ASSOCIATIONS
Chapters are encouraged to plan and conduct joint activities with other professional organizations such as the Association for Government Accountants or others. However, the meeting agenda agreed on should be fully congruent with professional development needs of the DoD personnel attending. Content should not be diluted to accommodate the other organizations (or a dual track agenda should be constructed).
5. EVENT PLANNING CONSIDERATIONS
The most important thing to remember in planning a training event is to plan early. There is no hard and fast rule, but according to chapters that reviewed this document, initial planning should begin at least nine to twelve months prior to the event. Planning the event at least this far in advance will allow time to book higher quality facilities, speakers, and better publicize the event. There are many decisions that must be made during the initial planning process. The following are thoughts that might be considered, along with chapter suggestions that have worked in the past.
- Length of EventWhen planning a professional development event, you have a variety of options as to its length. Some chapters have held half-day, one day, two or three day Mini-PDIs. Small chapters who are attempting their first training event often opt for a half-day schedule. For example, the event can start with a luncheon followed by a luncheon speaker, and then offer two or three workshops in the afternoon. One to two day events are most common.
- ThemeWhile not absolutely necessary, many chapters choose a theme for their event. Speakers and workshop topics are selected that are in keeping with that theme.
- Structure of EventRegional PDI: In geographic areas where there are two or more ASMC chapters in close proximity to each other, some chapters have chosen to have a Regional Mini-PDI. There are many advantages to doing this. It assures a larger attendance, makes the event more attractive to high level guest speakers, and chapters may rotate the responsibility for planning the event each year.General Assembly (Plenary) versus Breakout Sessions: To maintain a higher level of interest, and to provide a greater variety of individualized instruction, chapters may want to lean away from a day-long general assembly format and mix in numerous concurrent workshops. A good rule of thumb is to use a general assembly format for keynote speakers or for topics of high interest and smaller workshops for other topics. Speakers are usually agreeable to presenting their briefings more than once, so that the same workshop may be offered in two time slots.Mirror Image: If the requirements of daily business demand that key offices remain staffed, consider a “mirror image” Professional Development Day. Morning workshops are repeated in the afternoon. This allows half of the attendees to be away from their desks in the morning, and the other half in the afternoon. A keynote presentation during the luncheon can be attended by both morning and afternoon participants. Some chapters often use the mirror image approach for full day sessions. A one day symposium is repeated the second day to accommodate a larger audience.
6. COMMITTEE RESPONSIBILITY
One person should be given lead responsibility for putting together the Professional Development event and an executive committee should be set up to play lead roles in carrying out working committee responsibilities. Typical working committees include program, facilities, registration, finances, protocol, and hospitality. Smaller chapters may need to double up responsiblities. Whenever possible, have committee members that are representative of your chapter membership. (Service, job field, grade level, etc.)It is important for each committee member to know exactly what functions they are responsible for and how their role interacts with others. It is imperative that the committee members communicate well with other members. Develop a timeline chart that lists all actions and responsibilities and shows which committee member has primary responsibility, secondary responsibility, or a “need to know” on each action.
The most important factor in planning the program for a Professional Development event is to identify topics and speakers that will not only be interesting, informative, but will cover topics relevant to members of your chapter and support the mission of the society.
You should do a thorough needs assessment, devoting ample time to ensuring the program will be well received by your target audience. One way to find out what your group wants and needs is to conduct a survey. A survey could be distributed at a luncheon meeting or through the chapter newsletter. Another method is talking to key managers and supervisors on your installation that might identify areas in which they feel their personnel need additional training. Finally, look over professional publications, GAO reports and the like to identify “hot topics” or management initiatives that may impact on your membership.
If you have selected a topical theme, seek workshop subjects/speakers in keeping with that theme. You will also want to address current financial management issues, such as budget, fiscal law, accounting, financial systems and services, auditing, or topics related to the profession of defense financial management. Invite local commanders to your event, for a presentation on issues that are topical on your installation.
Although the majority of your workshops will be of a technical/professional nature, it is always interesting and beneficial to include some softer topics such as retirement planning, communication skills, career development, personal finances, health/fitness, etc. Local colleges and community services are good sources for these types of presentations but they should not dominate the event agenda.
When possible, vary the style of presentation. Mix an informational lecture in with a series of case studies, or an instructional course on a new system. Variety in presentation styles will help break up any monotony that comes with back to back sessions done in the same style.
There are certainly an abundance of speakers within the Defense and government community, particularly within the National Capital Region, who may be able to come to speak at little or no expense to the chapter. Look outside DoD for government speakers, such as your local IRS or VA office. Other good sources of topics/speakers come from networking with other chapter training coordinators, researching speakers from the national PDI, and searching in the corporate community. Professional paid speakers are an option; however, chapters are encouraged not to try to replicate a national PDI event. Paid speaker fees will drive registration costs up out of the range of many commands or organizations. Only the largest (and most financially well off) chapter could consider this as a viable option.
8. CPE CREDITS
A CPE hour may be granted for each 50 minutes of participation in programs and activities that qualify. Fractional hours may also be granted if appropriate. At conferences and conventions where individual presentations are less than and/or more than 50 minutes, the sum of the presentations should be considered as one total program. For example, two 90-minute, two 50-minute and three 40-minute presentations equal 400 minutes or eight CPE hours. Sponsors of CPE programs should monitor their programs to accurately assign the appropriate number of hours. CDFM participants should receive CPE hours only for the actual time they attend the program. Preparation time for students participating in a CPE program is not counted. Further information on CPE is available under the CPE policy menu tab on the ASMC CDFM website.
Occasionally when conducting training events, one may need to contract with a hotel for meeting space, sleeping rooms and food and audio-visual services. While this is a common practice, what you don’t know can hurt you (our your chapter) so we asked Mr. Steve Marlin, president of Prestige Accommodations, who contracts for the ASMC PDI, to give us some advice. It follows:
- Force Majeur or Impossibility clause that includes “government regulation, war, terrorism or curtailment of transportation” which must be mutual. For example, if you had planned a training event the day after 9-11 when the airways were shut down, such a clause would have enabled you to get all your money back since the event would have been impossible to conduct.
- There should be no cancellation or attrition charges for meeting space if there is already a cancellation or attrition penalty for rooms. This is a double jeopardy since the hotels’ normal practice is to give the room space free if rooms are sold.
- Hotels must meet all standards of the Americans with Disability Act.
- Chapter representative must confirm that meeting space is adequate and is being held for the full time period needed, including set up and tear down. For example, if there were large numbers of vendor exhibits the exhibit space might be needed the day prior to the event. The contract document must state that the hotel cannot change the meeting space without the approval of the chapter representative.
- The contract should provide that food and beverage penalties shall not exceed 40% of the cover price of the meals cancelled. Again, be conservative in your estimates. It’s much easier to add five or ten meals at the last minute than cancel thirty or forty.
- Contract must stipulate a cutoff date when the conference room rate is no longer available (not more that 30 days prior to the event), however, if all blocked rooms have not been sold the hotel is obligated to offer the rate until the blocked rooms are sold out.
- Contract should have a “walk” clause. This means that your guests have priority for the sleeping rooms up to the number of blocked rooms. If the hotel is full on a given day, your attendees cannot be “walked” to another hotel. This has happened on occasion and the hotel concerned was forced to provide free transportation and other considerations to the displaced attendees.
- Closely examine any attrition and cancellation clauses, looking closely at the wording and amounts. Attrition refers to the guarantees you give to the hotel in terms of sleeping rooms you are going to occupy. For example, if you tell the hotel to block 100 rooms for your event and you only sell 70, what is the liability for the remaining 30 room charges? Steve says there should be a minimum allowable attrition of 15% without cost. Bottom line is not to guarantee more rooms than you actually will use. Be conservative.
- Before you go to see and negotiate for a facility, you should make up a “wish list” – that is a list of things you are going to ask for in exchange for your business. This list will normally include free meeting space, one complimentary room for every 50 rooms sold, free or discounted parking and anything else you feel you might negotiate successfully (free coffee breaks, butcher charts etc.).
- Another real money saving is gained by using government, chapter or private audiovisual equipment as opposed to renting from the hotel. AV equipment rental cost has skyrocketed with the advent of computer projection units and can easily eat up any extra funds you might make, as you will see when you read the rental charge sheets. Often, an expensive rental is avoided if a presenter is asked to work without charts, many of which do not add greatly to the delivery.
- Finally, become aware of the seasonality of the hotel industry in your geographic area. Certain days of the week, certain weeks of the month and even certain seasons are slow, and hotels will not only welcome the business with open arms, but are willing to provide more attractive prices and free items to fill the gaps in their meeting schedules. You can save a lot if the dates of your training event are flexible.
- The bottom line is you won’t get anything unless you ask, and there are usually alternative sites in this competitive field so hotels are willing to negotiate, within reason, as long as they can still make a reasonable return. Negotiate gracefully, since you may be back on the very same doors.
10. SETTING THE PRICE FOR ATTENDEES
One would expect that since we are in the financial management business, this would be the easiest part event planning. Just add up all the costs, figure a percentage for fund raising and divide by the number of folks who are going to attend. Unfortunately, this does not always work, and for a number of reasons, some of which are laid out below.
11. HOW TO ESTIMATE THE NEED FOR REVENUE
How do you plan the bottom line? A training event must not be expected to be the thing that makes a sick chapter’s coffers financially well. On the other hand, it should also do better than just break even. According to generally accepted practice, there must be a “reasonable relationship” between the price charged to attendees and the costs incurred in conducting the event. For example, the DoD has become very reluctant to support conferences where the bulk of the speakers are free but the registrations costs mount to several thousand dollars. The key here is the term “reasonable”. If you plan to use the event to support a scholarship, most persons would feel that this was reasonable. If you have a 200% ratio of income to costs, most would feel this was unreasonable.
- Identify total costs ahead of time:
There are many hidden costs involved in conducting a training event. The most obvious costs are easy, printing, meals, refreshment breaks and the like. These will be specified in a contract document and will be clear, but there may be others like costs for processing credit cards, emergency copying at the hotel and the like should be noted during the planning process. Make sure you also include any gratuities and state and local taxes noted in the contract. These are normally above and beyond the base costs of the meals and refreshments listed. If there are going to be exhibits, some hotels charge to set up electric power and in at least one case, specified union labor must be used to set up the exhibits (and later billed for this even though people set up their own). This is a difficult chore but will pay off later when it comes time to settle bills. No surprises is what you want to achieve! Often the hotel event staff can be very helpful with this so be sure to ask.
- Who can sign the hotel contract?
This is a matter which must be decided by the chapter officers in advance and in writing so there are no misunderstanding and no conflicts. It must be clear to the hotel that this contract does not obligate the United States Government in any way, nor does it obligate the National Headquarters of ASMC. It is the chapter’s alone.
- Out of control spending:
Make it clear to all committee members that there are strict spending limits for such things as printing, audiovisual, meals, and put one person (yourself or the treasurer) in charge of pre-approving all expenditures. Ensure the hotel knows that if a request is not approved by that person, the hotel will not be paid. This includes phone charges, use of the machines in the business center etc. These can run up at a seemingly astronomical rate. Never use a government charge card.
- Corporate support:
What can you accept in the ways of corporate largesse as you plan and conduct the training event? Many of our corporate sponsors are only too pleased to help out in any way they can and they make many positive contributions. The key to accepting such support is appearance. While it is true that you take off your government hat and are a member of a private, nonprofit organization, you will still be seen in your official capacity. If a company which desires to support the event is one in which you or your membership employ as contractors in their offices, any way influence their funding levels, or the awards of their contracts, the appearance of conflict of interest will violate government ethical standards and will compromise your professional standing. Again, a reasonable level of support from a benevolent corporate member can be a fine thing. Be aware of what others think. If you would not want your peers of bosses to know about the gift or if you feel uneasy about it, best to pass it up.
- Overly optimistic attendance estimates:
Be brutally conservative when estimating numbers. In addition to general revenue shortfalls, the charges for uneaten meals and unsold rooms will ruin your event! Remember it is always easier to add than to subtract.
- Unnecessary AV costs:
Every presenter loves the PowerPoint presentation delivered through a laptop, a LCD projector to a large screen eating up the dollars as it goes on. In reality, many use charts as props and very few add much to the presentation. If you put one system in every breakout room, your costs will climb by as much as a couple of thousand dollars, with dubious results. Be very careful in approving these expenditures.
12. EVENT PLANNING TIMELINE
The following is a chronological guideline in planning a professional event. As every event is different, the times suggested in the guideline may need to be conducted earlier or later when planning your event.
- Eight to Twelve Months Prior to the Event
- Select date for event.
- Formulate a committee.
- Establish overall program goal and objective.
- Develop program content.
- Initiate communication with potential guest speakers.
- Consider cost factors of speakers and facilities.
- Interface with Installation leadership and membership.
- Designate action/responsibility of each committee member.
- Develop marketing strategy.
- Design registration and payment process.
- Develop budget for event.
- Select and contract facility.
- Make arrangements with facility on providing morning coffee/light breakfast, lunch, and audio-visual equipment.
- Determine logistical requirements.
- Three to Seven Months Prior to the Event
- Send written confirmation to speakers who have verbally accepted invitation. Request any need for lodging/travel arrangement assistance, audio-visual equipment, etc.
- Distribute advertisement fliers to chapter POCs.
- Determine per person registration cost.
- Prepare registration procedures and open for enrollment.
- Conduct site visit with facility.
- Two Months Prior to the Event
- Send invitations to VIPs, local chapters or other professional organizations in area.
- Obtain mementos/gifts for guest speakers.
- Request slides/bios from guest speakers.
- Prepare agenda for attendee package.
- Request certificates of training from National Headquarters, or design your own.
- One Month Prior to the Event
- Check with installation security office to determine procedures for individual installation access if the event is to be held on base.
- Send an agenda of event to each guest speaker and inform them of security procedures to get on base. Provide a cell phone number where you can be reached if the speaker encounters trouble gaining access to your installation.
- Arrange for escorts (if needed) for out-of-town speakers.
- Select chapter members to introduce each guest speaker.
- Appoint people to provide audio-visual support if required.
- Prepare program folder (agenda, speaker biographies, handouts, critique sheet).
- Purchase and prepare name tags for registration.
- Arrange for a photographer to be present at event.
- Visit facility to ensure it will accommodate seating, acoustical, and meal needs.
- Arrange for head table at meal for speakers/special guests.
- Procure audio visual equipment as required by guest speakers.
- Prepare name plates for reserved seating.
- Order any needed signs for event (registration, directional)
- One Week Prior to the Event
- Provide list of persons (with necessary personal identifying information) who need installation access to security personnel.
- Make telephonic contact with guest speakers for any last minute needs.
- Make up a sign-in sheet of all registered participants.
- Arrange for all committee members to visit facility to become acquainted with the layout or make any last-minute checks.
- Prepare program folders.
- Inform hotel of any special need attendees.
- Day of Event
- If applicable, check with security personnel at all installation gates to ensure access roster is available to all gate guards. It is most preferable that one of your members personally meet each such speaker and escort them through security.
- Set up and manage registration table.
- Have a quick committee meeting to go through days activities.
- Set up separate table for handling problems/distributing membership applications.
- Have program booklets on a table outside entrance.
- Have sign-in sheet available with pen/pencil.
- Chapter President/designated person should make administrative remarks at beginning.
- Present mementos to speaker following their presentation and have photographer take picture of this presentation.
- Provide audio visual assistance if necessary.
- Have attendees turn in evaluation sheet prior to close of day.
- Designated person should make closing remarks and thank key people at end of day.
- After the Event
- Provide CPE letters to confirmed attendees.
- Sign and date DD Form 1556 for attendees and turn into Personnel Office, if applicable.
- Send payment checks for use of facility, mementos, guest lunches, etc.
- Prepare thank you letters to all guest speakers.
- Review critiques.
- Write after action lessons learned paper to be used by next year’s committee.
- Determine how to use any profit income from Mini-PDI (e.g., scholarships, community charities, etc.)
- Submit necessary paperwork for chapter competition.
- Submit photos to Armed Forces Comptroller.
We hope this information is useful and that you have many successful training events. We invite your comments and suggestions for the improvement of this document. Please send to firstname.lastname@example.org c/o Libby Long or call 1-800-462-5637, ext. 103.
National Research Program
PART I – CHAPTER RESEARCH PROGRAM
1. WHY CHAPTER RESEARCH?
“I hold every man a debtor to his profession!” In this concise sentence, Francis Bacon, the renowned dm scientist and philosopher, levied a -heavy burden upon each individual who aspires to professional status. And one of the most challenging and rewarding ways of discharging that debt is through developing an active research program.
The ASMC, in particular, is fortunate in having a number of members who possess special qualifications and unique perspectives. If a way is developed to channel this talent into research endeavors, the entire military comptrollership community will reap professional benefits. The conduct of successful research also is personally rewarding. Enthusiasm and fulfillment flow from research and a researcher’s ability to expand the body of professional knowledge.
2. THE CHALLENGE OF CHAPTER RESEARCH
Research is work; it requires both personal dedication and the repeated stimulation or even recruitment of researchers. This is best accomplished at local chapter level. However, a vigorous program will reward productive members, provide a drawing card for potential members, contribute a stimulating set of chapter activities for the program year, and help meet the requirements of various professional certification and continuing education programs.
Chapters interested in harnessing member vitality for such undertakings first should name a Chapter Research Committee Chairperson to develop the needed focus and environment. That person’s challenge is to create an institution eager to innovate — to develop a team of researchers eager to respond. While a vigorous program may not blossom in one season, it can be done. And the ASMC National Research Committee (NRC) is available to support and encourage local efforts. Together, we can provide all ASMC members both with the opportunities for meaningful research and the fruits resulting from such professional endeavor.
3. THE CHAPTER RESEARCH PROGRAM
On page 9 of his 1974 book entitled Practical Research – Planning and Design, author Paul D, Leedy stated that research simply is a systematic quest for undiscovered truth. A major method of conducting that systematic search is analysis, i.e., determining essential features and their interrelationships.
The analysis of a chapter research program should: (1) systematically examine and identify the key components of the program, (2) determine the appropriate strategies to be pursued in order to achieve program objectives, and (3) assemble the components and strategies into an integrated, productive program. The key components of program development are (1) a plan, (2) a set of researchable problems, and (3) a group of dedicated problem-solvers.
4. THE CHAIRPERSON’S ROLE
The role of the Research Committee Chairperson is to integrate these three components and implement the program. To assure success, the chapter board should select a person who is both knowledgeable of the research program and able to obtain and motivate researchers throughout the year. To ensure that a productive program emerges, the chairperson also should have good organizational skills and the ability to set and achieve milestones.
5. PEOPLE AND MOTIVATION
Newsletter advertising produces no more volunteers than it does researchable problems. But a stimulating research program can provide both a challenge and a solution (payoff). Some members may be challenged by seeking the key to the seemingly insoluble. Others may find that the accompanying recognition derived from the successful culmination of research can dissolve bureaucratic stumbling blocks on the job or yield improved productivity. Still others may find that their ASMC membership is enhanced by their involvement in activities beyond monthly meetings. These and other avenues of motivation must be explored and exploited. Otherwise, the “people” part of the program may not flourish.
To maximize the program’s potential, look beyond the chapter membership for help. Do not overlook, nor underestimate, the assistance that can be furnished by non-members. Professionals in the private sector such as Certified Public Accountants, Certified Management Accountants or EDP auditors have a myriad of talents. The opportunity to work with ASMC members from many Services and agencies may provide private sector counterparts with a very pragmatic stimulus to participate. Pursue them positively by writing to the partners in charge of local offices or firms.
Also seek out professors and business students in nearby institutions of higher learning. These resources often go untapped. Yet their time, talents and careers are devoted to the pursuit and exposition of knowledge. All academics have a powerful predisposition to participate, known as “publish or perish.'” Tapping this resource can be the making of your program.
6. THE CHAPTER RESEARCH PROCESS
The successful Chairperson will need to analyze, organize, motivate, evaluate and communicate – in short, become a program manager. Success requires plenty of lead time.
To help an incoming chairperson to get a “running start,’ it may be desirable to establish prior service on the committee as a prerequisite to assuming the chair. Or it may be useful to consider a two-year tenure if results warrant an extension. In any event, the chapter research process should start early in the chapter year. A long lead time is essential to develop a comprehensive program. The performance of research projects will be unduly compacted if not begun early and communicated to the NRC.
7. RESEARCH FORUM
It is planned that the topic of research — its significance and procedures — be included as a workshop annually at each ASMC Professional Development Institute. Chapter research chairpersons and potential researchers should make every effort to attend such workshops when offered.
ROLES AND RESPONSIBILITIES IN THE RESEARCH PROCESS
The ASMC Research Program is conducted under the guidance of the National Research Committee (NRC). The NRC has been organized to assist individuals or teams wishing to perform research under the aegis of the ASMC research program; however, promotion of the research endeavor is an important role for the local ASMC chapter, as discussed in Part II.
Individuals or teams wishing to perform research for recognition by the society (Part VII) should submit a research proposal to the NRC in the appropriate format. The NRC will appoint a Project Subcommittee, consisting of at least two regular or adjunct members of the NRC. The chairperson of this subcommittee will serve as the researcher’s point of contact with the NRC. The subcommittee will evaluate the acceptability of the proposed project and provide guidance to the researcher(s) on methodology, content and style of the final written product. The NRC also has designed appropriate formats to assist the researcher(s) in preparing the final report.
SEARCHING FOR AND SELECTING A RESEARCH TOPIC
Several points should be considered in the process of selecting an area for research.
- The Research topic should be interesting. Generally, ASMC is looking for research that contributes to the body of knowledge in any of the military comptrollership disciplines or to ASMC as an organization. The topic should motivate the researcher(s) to pursue the project vigorously.
- The topic Should Be Researchable. Materials should be available in the open literature (e.g., articles, books, or reports), Data should be 2ccetsible. Difficulties may be encountered if the data sought are classified, proprietary, sensitive, highly controlled, or restricted in their usage. The NRC cannot consider proposals or reports that contain classified information.In order to gain some understanding for the literature available, the researcher(s) should check such sources as the Business Periodicals Index and the Accountant’s Index. The researcher(s) also should check the indexes or copies of key periodicals in their proposed area of research.
- There Should Be -a Perceived Need for the Research. This need may take one of several forms and result in one or more of the following:
- Contributing to resolving a known problem;
- Putting a problem in perspective;
- Evaluating a policy or procedure;
- Tracing the history of management events and decisions or making observations concerning the implications of these decisions;
- Developing a model or assessment of an existing model;
- Developing an implementation methodology; or
- Developing a final product that might be a model, case analysis, computer program or process.
The process of research might be accomplished by analyzing a category of events, assessing the impact of certain issues, exploring how to accomplish something, analyzing a situation or examining various courses of action. The researcher(s) may explore the need for research by communicating with other members of their ASMC chapter, authorities in the field, or the NRC.
- Select a Variety of Resources. Examples include:
- Current or previous tours of duty the researcher(s) may have had in the discipline where there are issues of interest;
- Materials from academic courses or job-related training; or
- Suggestions from the ASMC Chapter research coordinator.
- Student “think papers” and other written products of the Professional Military Comptrollers School.
The researcher(s) also may:
- Review the periodicals in their field for the current issues being discussed;
- Scan sections entitled “Topics for Further Research” in completed theses or dissertations in the field;
- Contact the principal offices or professional associations in the field to determine if they have any issues in need of study;
- Review topics listings that indicate areas of research (e.g., Air Force Business Research Management Center Catalog of Logistics Issues); or
- Scan the proceedings of research symposia to identify research being performed or needed.
Once a topic area is selected, the researcher(s) should get as much exposure as possible to the literature — major studies, journal articles, and books. Customized subject matter bibliographies may be obtained from various sources (e.g., the Defense Logistics Studies Information Exchange (DLSEE), the Defense Technical Information System (DTIC), and similar organizations). Some research groups also publish lists of their studies and reports (e.g., Rand, Center for Naval Research (CNR) and the Logistics Management Institute (LMI)),
The researcher(s) should establish limits for the subject being researched and carefully define the research boundary or scope. The key to good topic selection is identifying a subject limited enough to allow exhaustive research, yet wide enough to provide room for the researcher(s) to develop concepts, ideas or propositions.
THE RESEARCH PROPOSAL
The proposal (Appendix A) is the key document in preparing for the research process. It performs several important functions in the process of communicating research activities.
- The proposal focuses the researcher(s) research effort. It requires the researcher(s) to: (1) develop a specific research question and subsidiary research questions (hypotheses), (2) identify the methodologies to be employed in the research and the particular scope and limitations of the effort; and (3) give serious consideration to the items that may be major problems later in the process.
- The proposal, once accepted, acts as an agreement between the researcher(s) and the Project Subcommittee regarding the areas to be investigated and the depth of analysis involved. It is intended to eliminate misunderstandings or surprises for both parties.
- The proposal sets forth a schedule of key milestones to be reached and can be used to evaluate progress in completing the project.
- Any changes that become necessary are facilitated by referring to the proposal (e.g., changes in research design or methodology).
- The proposal identifies resources needed to complete the research and lays out the nature and extent of resources a potential sponsor may have to contribute.
- The proposal serves as a record for planning the research paper and is maintained on file by the Project Subcommittee.
- The preliminary outline in the proposal is essential in organizing the detailed research as assisting the researcher(s) in identifying the direction the effort should take. The outline also assists in tracking both accomplishments and remaining tasks. Note: the preliminary outline is flexible; it most likely will change as the researcher(s) develop a greater knowledge of the topic, rearrange priorities, or encounter yet unknown limitations.
- The proposal assists in identifying the pertinent literature base and focuses attention on the examination of open literature.
PROPOSALS FOR FUNDED RESEARCH
In singular instances, a proposed research topic may be of such significance that the ASMC National Executive Board, upon recommendation of the NRC, may agree to underwrite part or all of the expenses associated with that research. In order to receive consideration. the researcher(s) and/or the sponsoring chapter, must submit a Proposal for Research, an outline of which may be found at Appendix B.
Proposals for Funded Research may be submitted at any time during the year to the ASMC National Headquarters, ATTN: Research Committee. Any consideration for award of a research stipend is subject to the availability of funds as determined by the ASMC National Executive Board.
MAJOR SECTIONS OF A RESEARCH PAPER
This part of the handbook gives guidance on the structure of a research paper. Not all papers look alike! Thus, the researcher(s) need not necessarily follow this structure precisely. The finished product is expected to conform to some general rules concerning format and style but, since each researcher or team conducts research on different topics or with varying perspectives on a topic, the report format may vary.
The text below addresses in detail the data analytical format. Outlines of alternative formats are included at Appendix C. The length of a paper varies with the breadth of the research questions, the methodologies selected for data collection and analysis, the type of data presented, and the extent to which common knowledge references can be used. The actual writing of the paper does not have to be accomplished in sequence. In fact, it may be more appropriate to “rough out” an introduction, write the main body of the paper first, and save the finished introduction for last.
- Abstract. The purpose of the abstract is to enable other researchers to determine if the paper is relevant to them. An abstract should be no longer than 18 typewritten lines and should include the following:
- The nature of the issue or problem researched;
- The focus of the thesis and its objectives;
- The major conclusions drawn from the research; and
- The major recommendations.
If there is room, mention should be made of any important contribution, such as the development of a model or guide. Rather than an abstract, it may be appropriate to prepare an Executive Summary. An executive summary normally is a single page (or less) capsule of the significant points contained in the paper. It is provided whenever a busy decision-maker may be expected to act on the researcher(s) findings.
- Introduction. The purpose of the introduction is to set the scene — to prepare the reader for what is to come. The chapter first should identify the purpose and direction of the paper. The researcher(s) should explain the approach to the research question and how the research was performed. The importance of the research to the general body of knowledge in the selected field should be explained. The chapter also contains a preliminary summary of the research findings, conclusions and recommendations.The introductory chapter includes sections that present a general description of the project, the objectives of the research, the research question(s), the scope, limitations and assumptions of the research project, a brief description of the research methodology, a literature review, a list of definitions and abbreviations, a summary of findings, and a description of the organization of the paper.
- Background. This section briefly identifies the area of research and the reason why it was chosen. The opening of this section should provide the broad environment within which the research was conducted. The section typically describes the field of study and identifies the importance of the research effort and how it fits into the general scheme of the field of study.
- Objectives. This section is more specific. It tells the reader in more precise terms what is being examined.
- The Research Question. The research question serves as the logical extension of the objectives section. The researcher(s) should present the primary and subsidiary research questions and report any changes. Research questions may change during the course of the research effort due to (a) data not being available, (b) a topic determined to be too broad, or (c) the surfacing of an issue more appropriate or relevant issue to the data collected.
- Scope, Limitations and Assumptions. Three separate issues are identified in this section, Scope identifies the boundaries of the subject: what was focused upon, what was omitted, and a brief explanation of the researcher(s) rationale for those choices. In contrast to the conscious definition of the research effort expressed in the Scope paragraph, the Limitations paragraph addresses any extraneous factors that limited the research effort, e.g., the unavailability of certain data, regulations or laws that are being amended, or the uncertain impact of new regulations. The Assumptions paragraph cites the environmental characteristics of the research topic. Some examples of assumptions are: (a) an existing statute, (b) organizational stability as a given, (c) continuity of policy, or (d) absence of crises.
- Literature, Review and Methodology. Since the research effort may be based upon the results of previous research, this section provides a brief discussion of the significance of that literature to the current study. The researcher(s) also -should briefly describe the research methods employed.
- Definitions and Abbreviations. Concepts embraced in a study often require working definitions and certain terms may have several economic, theoretical or business meanings. The section should be used to define the appropriate application of these terms, If the list becomes extensive, it should be presented as a glossary in an appendix. A glossary for abbreviations and acronyms also may be included in an appendix.
- Summary of Findings. At this point in the paper, it is appropriate to summarize briefly the major findings of the study. When successfully employed, this method allows the reader to appreciate the issues as they develop in the paper.
- Organization of Study. This section provides a brief description of content in the remaining chapters of the paper and how they interrelate. Such a description at this point gives the reader a broad perspective of the paper flow and expectations for the forthcoming presentation of data.
- Literature Review and Theoretical Framework. At this point, the researcher(s) present a review of literature pertinent to the theoretical framework of the research. If a model has been developed, its conceptual aspects should be discussed, as well as the literature pertinent to the model. At this juncture in the paper (1) the conceptual framework for the study is discussed and (2) the contribution of the research to the general body of knowledge in the field is noted.
- Background. This chapter is much like the Literature Review chapter and, in some instances, may be combined with that chapter or eliminated entirely if the background section in the Introduction contains sufficient detail. The important difference from previous sections is that the background orients the reader to specific background issues rather than the general theoretical issues important to the research results. A chronology of events that traces the history of an issue permits the researcher(s) to explore how the issue developed into its current circumstances.
- Methodology. This chapter addresses the methods used for collecting the research data and the structure of the analysis. Examples of research methods include archival research, survey methods, observational procedures or experimental procedures. If brief, any personal or telephone interviews questions should be presented in the text; and lengthy interview protocols should be presented as an appendix. It is to describe the sample size and demographics. The chapter also is used to justify and explain changes in methodology, The bibliography at Appendix C of this handbook includes research texts and articles that should prove helpful in developing various methods for the conduct of research.
- Presentation of Data Collected. This chapter contains the researcher(s) presentation of the facts, to include a full description of any measuring devices used in the research effort. Any tables or charts that depict the nature of the data or the frequency of events should be presented. Techniques include time lines, decision trees, figures and graphs, If a questionnaire was used for collecting data, a table of the responses or simply a report of responses could be included. Specific case examples often are included as a method of illustrating the data results.
- Data Analysis and Interpretation. The appropriate sequence for this chapter begins with a restatement of the problem or issue of concern. Inductive reasoning, deductive reasoning, or an acceptable combination of the two, should be employed in this interpretive chapter. The style of presentation is an important concern. While writing, the researcher(s) should make a strong distinction between analysis or interpretation of the facts and the facts or opinions derived from the research literature, interviews or questionnaires. Phrases such as ‘the researcher observes that” could introduce the researcher(s) original analysis. The chapter ultimately should show the line between observations and interpretations and the implications of those interpretations.
- Conclusions and Recommendations. This last chapter draws the report together, presents conclusions that logically can be drawn, and identifies the results so that the reader easily can grasp the main ideas and concepts of the study. Conclusions, rather than being elaborate, should be concise interpretations of the facts as they were presented. This is not the place to present new information. The analysis section should provide sufficient data to substantiate the conclusions. Most of the conclusions will seem obvious and win flow easily from the research study. Recommendations, like conclusions, should be short, concise and practical statements followed by an explanation. The researcher(s) should identify what is intended to be resolved and a manner in which it can be implemented. Sweeping statements that ignore reality must be avoided.Following the discussion of conclusions and recommendations, it is useful to include some summary paragraphs that relate findings to the original research question. For issues that fall outside the present research area, but could have a significant influence in the field, mention should be made of Areas for Further Research, such issues are ones that warrant future in-depth research, but were peripheral to the study at hand.
- Appendices. Appendices are useful for presenting pertinent data that were not germane to the body of the report, but that would improve the reader’s understanding of the research. They could include glossaries (in alphabetical order by terms, acronyms or abbreviations); interview questions with aggregated responses; copies of letters of introduction or pertinent documents such as memoranda, regulations, statutes, reports, point papers not =fly obtained by the reader; and case studies too long for inclusion in the body of the report. Unless anonymity was assured, the names of interviewees and their respective organizations also should be listed. Other items, such as technical notes to explain points that are not generally understood, or a tabulation of the chronology of reports or studies, also are useful additions.
- Bibliography, 7his section includes both research references and references reviewed but not cited.
As identified in the bibliography at Appendix D, there are a number of style manuals available for review. There are differing schools of thought on format; thus, no single format is mandated by ASMC. However, once the researcher(s) selects a style, it should be consistently used throughout the report. This part presents guidance on elements commonly found in theses and other formal written reports.
- Acknowledgments. The researcher(s) certainly may acknowledge any assistance received from others, such as family, readers or clerical support personnel. However, this section is not an essential element of style for ASMC research papers.
- Table of Contents and List of Tables. The Table of Contents should list in a consistent manner all chapters, section headings and sub-headings. It seldom is necessary to detail below a third order heading. The List of Tables merely lists table numbers, subjects and associated page numbers.
- Charts, Figures, Graph and Tables. These terms, together with other tabulated materials, flow charts, graphical analyses and organizational charts all are used to illustrate h data. As a matter of form, the researcher(s) should introduce and clearly discuss each illustration before it is graphically portrayed. A graphic presentation must be labeled as to subject and source and be readable and neat. Letter or laser quality computer graphics are adequate, although the researcher(s) may choose to use professionally prepared graphic presentations.
- References, Footnotes and Bibliography. The researcher(s) should document carefully all materials that are not general knowledge or not original ideas. References should be used whenever another person’s ideas are being quoted, paraphrased or restated in the researcher(s) own words. Quotations, if they extend over three typewritten lines, must be indented and single spaced with no quotation marks, If footnotes are used, they normally are @ on the same page as the reference cited. Citations should conform to the style manual chosen and be consistent throughout the paper. Footnotes (or endnotes) may be used to provide explanatory or clarifying comments not central to the main discussion.
- Continuity. The discussion in a report should have a logical flow. Consequently, the researcher(s) must reread the text, not as author but as first-time reader, to (1) identify any problems f readability, missing materials or gaps in the content, and (3) appropriate organization of the topics. For example, certain material may be better treated if introduced at a different point in the paper or some discussion may be streamlined by moving portions to an appendix.
- Common Errors, There have been a number of common errors observed over time in formal report writing that are shared below as do’s and don’ts:
- Don’t begin sentences with abbreviations, acronyms or arabic numbers.
- Don’t use numerals for numbers less than ten unless they appear in a table, chart, or list. The numbers nine and below should be spelled out; show numbers that are double digit or greater as numerals.
- Don’t use quotation marks around block quotations.
- Don’t use incomplete sentences,
- Don’t use sentences that are long and complicated,
- Don’t use jargon.
- Do watch for disagreement between subject and verb.
- Do be certain of spelling and punctuation.
- Do be wary of split infinitives.
ASMC recognition accorded to research efforts is the responsibility of the NRC. The levels of recognition were developed to encourage the conduct and appropriate presentation of research that enhances the body of knowledge in one or more of the comptrollership disciplines.
For the most part, research is an individual (or team) initiative and the principal forms of recognition are publication of worthy papers in the Armed Forces Comptroller, and (2) award(s) to researcher(s) of any completed papers deemed by the ASMC National Research Committee to be significant or singularly outstanding.
In addition, in order to recognize that ASMC chapters play a key role in determining research topics, identifying researchers and providing local encouragement, the sponsoring chapters of researchers may be awarded points under the Chapter Competition Program as follows:
- 100 points in the year a submitted research proposal is approved by the Research Committee.
- 300 points in the year that a completed research report is approved by the Research Committee.
- An additional 100 points (maximum 400 for completed research) for reports deemed by Research Committee to provide a significant contribution the body of knowledge in any of the military comptrollership disciplines or to ASMC as an organization.
Of those reports contributing to the body of knowledge, an additional 100 points (maximum 500 for completed research) for any report deemed by the Research Committee to be singularly outstanding.
The primary focus is to recognize the research of topics germane to ASMC conducted by ASMC members. However, “secondary’ research efforts that are performed by ASMC members for other purposes may be considered, e.g., Professional Military Comptrollership School, Air Force Institute of Technology, or a masters degree program. However, points under the Chapter Competition Program for submission of these secondary papers is limited to a maximum of 100 points per paper and 300 points per competition year. Research proposals and completed research projects may be submitted at any time during the year to the ASMC National Headquarters, ATTN: Research Committee. For proposals, the Committee will assign a mentor to advise the researcher(s) in conducting and documenting approved research. For the purpose of determining points under the Chapter Competition Program, all research documentation must be received no later than 15 February of the current competition year.
RESEARCH PROPOSAL FORMAT
- General Information
- Commercial and AUTOVON Phone Numbers:
- ASMC Chapter (if any):
- Date Submitted:
- Area of Research. Identify the proposed area of research in brief terms and state the proposed title of the paper. The exact title can be changed as the research and writing progress. A more detailed discussion is required in D, below.
- Research Questions. Identify the primary research question and subsidiary questions. This should be an explicit statement of the questions the research will seek to answer. The primary research question should be broad enough to cover the entire spectrum of the proposed research activity. Subsidiary research questions divide the primary question into logical research subsections. While the questions may be redefined as the research progresses, the initial objective should be made very specific.
- Discussion. Discuss briefly the background leading up to the study. Include the major issues and concepts involved, the key problems related to this area, policy and operational considerations and implications, and the theoretical framework within which the study will be conducted.
- Scope of the Study. Discuss the main thrust of the study (i.e., the areas that specifically will be investigated or excluded), the type of study (e.g., cash study; implementation guide; development of a model; assessment of a model, policy or management guide), and any known limitations of the study.
- Methodology. Explain the methodology by which the research data will be collected and the specific research techniques that will be used to analyze the data and answer the research questions. The study should be conducted within the context of some recognized, valid model of problem solving and should use appropriate methods of collecting and analyzing data relevant to the problem. For example, if the problem were to determine the optimal replacement cycle for lights on navigational buoys, the conceptual foundation (model) might be the present value of life cycle cost, The research method then might include a collection of actual data on the amounts of all relevant costs, statistical analysis to determine the expected value of such costs, and discounting to determine the lowest present value of all alternative life cycle cost patterns.Describe the general kinds of information to be used, the sources from which data will be collected, and the methodology to be used in collecting the data. Be specific in identifying the method(s) of research, e.g. survey questionnaires, interviews, observational procedures; why the method(s) selected are appropriate; and what types of individuals or organizations will be approached. Discuss how any limitations identified in Part E, above, will affect your methodology or data sources. As applicable, briefly list the kinds of questions you intend to include in your questionnaire or which you expect to use during interviews.
- Benefits of Study. State the contribution expected from your research efforts, what individuals or organizations would use the results, and what problems or issues you feel will be addressed and or resolved.
- Chapter Outline. Identify tentative chapter headings and provide a brief discussion of chapter content.
- Schedule. Provide a tentative list of target dates identified as additive days after NRC Project Subcommittee approval (e.g., +30 … ). You will not be held strictly to this schedule; it merely is a means of planning for yourself and conveying to the NRC when you might complete major milestones of the study effort. It is important to recognize that the various stages of effort must occur in a logical sequence and that they take varying amounts of time. At a minimum, give the dates during which the following activities will be accomplished:
- Comprehensive Review of Literature
- Construct Research Design
- Conduct Research/Travel
- Analyze/Interpret Data
- Draft Report
- Submit Report for Project Subcommittee Review
- Cost. Quantify any costs (e.g., communications, travel, data capture and analysis, or clerical support) that you expect to incur. Indicate your source of funding, e.g., personal, ASMC chapter, or organization of assignment. This information will be helpful to the NRC in gauging whether the ASMC should establish a program to provide funding in support of worthy research efforts.
- Preliminary Bibliography. Provide a listing of representative materials consulted during your preliminary research search. Include references to the problem or issue to be studied, the organization or other context in which it arises, and the research method(s) to be used. Identify any prior studies of a similar nature.
PROPOSAL FOR RESEARCH FUNDING
- Period of the Proposed Research:
- Proposed Budget:
- Proposed Researcher(s):
- Brief Description: (125 words or less)
- Review and Recommended Approval: (Optional; as appropriate)
Attachments of Supplementary Material
- Work Statement
- Project Description
- Proposed Work
- Personnel (by name; cost per day x number of research days = total)
- Travel (by trip)
- Computer time (if any)
- Leases (if any)
- Other (explain and quantify)
- Schedule Proposed Events and Milestones Through Final Submission
- Curriculum Vitae Biographical Sketch (es) of the Proposed Researcher(s)
ALTERNATIVE REPORT FORMATS
- The Issue Analysis Thesis
- Table of Contents
- Introduction: Overview/Outline of the Debate
- Major Issues
- Issue # 1: Background, ‘Theory, Politics
- Issue #2: Background, Theory, Politics
- Issue #3: Background, ‘Theory, Politics
- Conclusions and Implications
- The Management Problem Analysis Thesis
- Table of Contents
- Background of the Problem
- Literature Review and Theoretical Framework
- Methodology and Data
- Summary, Conclusions and Recommendations
- The Case History Thesis
- Table of Contents
- Introduction: Significance of Events, Methods and Sources
- Literature Review
- Historical Narrative, Discoursive Chronology
- Conceptual Interpretation, Historical Analysis
- Implications, Conclusions and Recommendations
- The Conceptual Thesis
- Table of Contents
- Introduction: the Phenomenon, Problem, Situation or Interest
- Literature Review or prior Research
- Presentation of New Theory, Model or Concept
- Implications, Consequences, Results of Theory
- Conclusions and Recommendations for Future Research
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Turabian, X, L, A Manual for Writers of Term Papers, ‘Meses, and Dissertations. (Chicago guides to writing, editing, and publishing), 5th ed, Revised and expanded by Bonnie Birtwistle Honigsblum, Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1987. LB/2369M/1987, [pap, 7o95 (ISBN 0-226-81625-7). U of Chicago Pr.]
Turk, Christopher,, and John Kirkman. Effective Writing. 1982. [23.00x (ISBN 0-419-11670-2, NO. 6636). Pub. by E & FN Spon); pap. 9.95 (ISBN 0-419-11680-x, NO. 6635), Methuen Inc.]
Wresch, William, et al, Writing for the Twenty-First Century: Computers & Research Writing, 320p, Jan, 1988, [pap, 15,95 (ISBN 0-07-072051-7). McGraw.]
Zinser, William. On Writing Well. Harper and Row. 1980.
American Marketing Association. A Basic – Bibliography on Marketing Research. 3d ed, Robert Ferber et al, (eds), 1974, LC 74-187908. (American Marketing Association Bibliography Ser.: NO. 2), UW. 77.30 (2026667). Bks Demand UMI,]
Congressional Research Service. Digest of Public General Bills and Resolutions. Washington: Library of Congress. REF J/52/A3D5.
Ferber, Robert. Handbook of Marketing Research. (Illus.). 1344p. 1974. [84.95 (ISBN 0-07-020462-4) McGraw.]
Mann, Thomas. Guide to Library Research Methods. (Illus.). 208p, Oct. 1987. [16.95 (ISBN 0-19-504943-8). Oxford U Pr.]
Nagel, Stuart S. (ed.). Encyclopedia of Policy Studies. New York: Marcel Dekker, Inc., 1983, REF H/97/E6/1983.
Nagel, Stuart S., and Marian NeeL Policy Studies Directory. 1976. [pap, 8.00 (ISBN 0-918592-18-6). Policy Studies.]
Nagel, Stuart S,, and Marian Neef, (eds.). Policy Research Centers Directory. 1978. [pap, 8,00 (ISBN 0-918592-30-5). Policy Studies.]
Nagel, Stuart S. The Policy Studies Handbook. LC 80-7688. 240p. 1980, 27,OOX (ISBN 0-669-03777-x). Lexington Bks.]
Norback, Craig T. (ed.). Corporate Publications in Print. New York: McGraw – Hill Book Company, 1980, RED Z/7164/CS1/Z92,
Wasserman. Paul (ed,), Encyclopedia of Business Information Sources. 1st ed. (Kept up-to-date by periodic supplements). Editor: P. Wasserman continues. Executive’s guide to information sources, ISSN 0531-5271. Detroit: Gale Research, 1970, REF HF/5353/E5,
Wasserman, Paul, and Esther Herman (ods.). Library Bibliographies & Indexes: A Subject Guide to Resource Material Available from Libraries, Information Centers, Library Schoo s, and Library Associations in the U.S. and Canada. LC 74-26741, xxi. 301p. 1975. [88.OOX (ISBN 0-9103-0390-6), Gale,]
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Materials Available for Chapter Use
Materials Order Form (PDF)
- Certificates: National Headquarters offers several certificates for chapter use. All certificates are printed on ecru high quality paper. Appreciation certificates may be ordered blank or printed with names and dates. All other certificate orders must be accompanied by the name and purpose of the presentation. Leadership certificates may include chapter name and position. Blank membership certificates cannot be ordered by the chapter. To order certificates, please fax or mail the order form to National Headquarters. Orders will be billed, if applicable, and mailed to the chapter address. Overnight, next day or second day freight is available at an additional cost.
- Logos: Camera ready logos may also be ordered, as a camera ready sheet, or electronic versions. They may be used for chapter stationary, banners, plaques, etc.
- Jewelry and Plaques: Dondero, Inc. keeps in stock several different styles of jewelry, executive gifts and ASMC logo medallions. This company can also custom design speaker gifts to fit the chapter needs. An order form is enclosed.
- Membership Applications and Materials: Individual and corporate membership applications are available to the chapters as needed. National Headquarters also carries a stock of paper easels in which to display the individual membership applications. Higher quality plastic easels are available for a fee. Membership recruitment posters are available and contain an area to fill in a chapter point of contact. Please use the form to order any of the membership materials.
- Electronic Membership File: Labels of your chapter membership are available by request. These labels are printed as cheshire labels, a format with which most mailers are familiar. Please note that these are not adhesive labels. Chapters may also request mailing labels of other ASMC Chapters. These labels are printed on 1″ x 2 5/8″ adhesive labels and can be sorted by state.
American Society of Military Comptrollers • 415 N. Alfred Street • Alexandria, VA 22314 (703) 549-0360 or (800) 462-5637 Fax: (703) 549-3181 www.asmconline.org
Promoting education, training, and professional development in all aspects of military comptrollership.
Legal and Tax Aspects
(Updated May 2008)
The following information is provided to help ASMC chapters meet tax requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and state tax agencies. All official information about federal taxes must come from the IRS. ASMC chapters may also be subject to state tax rules and should check with their state tax web sites for information.
All ASMC chapters should seek tax exempt status.
If they have not already done so, all ASMC chapters should apply for federal tax exempt status as 501c organizations. Chapters can seek tax exempt status by filing Form 1023 with the IRS. To obtain the form and instructions, go to www.irs.gov/charities and click on “more topics” and then on “EO forms and publications”. Because ASMC National Headquarters does not have financial control over its chapters, the headquarters cannot seek blanket tax exempt status for all chapters. Each chapter must file its own Form 1023 to seek exempt status.
After filing, you will probably receive confirmation from the IRS within a few weeks that your form has been received. You may also get questions from the IRS about information on the form. However, this process is generally not adversarial and, given ASMC’s mission, your chapter can expect to be granted tax exempt status.
New ASMC chapters should file a Form 1023 within a year or so (tax exempt status can be retroactive for up to 27 months). If your chapter has been in existence for some time, and you are just now filing your Form 1023, we suggest that you answer all the questions accurately (including when the chapter came into being) and wait and see if the IRS raises questions. If they do, just be honest and say that you are a small organization with frequent changes in leadership and then follow the guidance from the IRS.
Chapters that have been granted tax exempt status must maintain that status. To maintain your tax exempt status, your chapter must continue in its professional mission and you should file regular tax returns (see below for requirements).
If you are not sure whether or not your chapter has tax exempt status, you can go to www.irs.gov/charities and click on “search for charities”. That will bring you information about using Publication 78 to determine if you have an exemption. The IRS also has a help number for tax exempt organizations (877 829-5500) that may be able to assist you.
Chapters should also access their state tax web sites to determine any state requirements regarding tax exempt status. Most states simply require a copy of the federal Form 1023. However, some states (for example, New York) require a separate form.
Most ASMC Chapters Should File Form 990-N Each Year.
ASMC chapters with tax-exempt status and revenues that are generally less than $25,000 a year must file a Form 990-N each year. (The IRS looks at revenues over the past three years to determine if this status applies. Thus if your chapter’s revenues have been less than $25,000 for the past three years, you can file the Form 990-N. If you have had revenue in excess of $25,000 in the last three years, you should file Form 990 or 990-EZ – see next section.) Form 990-N is very short and must be filed electronically. You can get information about how to file the form by going to www.irs.gov/charities and searching on Form 990N.
Chapters required to file a Form 990-N must do so by the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of their tax year. Thus if your chapter’s tax year ends on December 31, your chapter must file its Form 990-N by the following May 15.
There is no financial penalty for failure to file a Form 990-N. However, failure to file the required form for three consecutive years can result in termination of a chapter’s tax exempt status.
Larger Chapters Should File Form 990 or 990EZ Each Year
Larger chapters with revenues generally in excess of $25,000 must file a Form 990 each year. If a chapter has revenue of less than $100,000 in a year (and assets less than $250,000), it can file the simpler Form 990EZ.
Instructions for filing Form 990 or 990EZ, and the form itself, can be obtained by going to www.irs.gov/charities and following instructions above under Form 1023. Generally tax exempt chapters should not owe any taxes. However, there are certain types of income (for example, advertising revenues from a journal) that constitute unrelated business income and may be taxable. Large ASMC chapters, and especially those that may have unrelated business expenses, should consider hiring a tax professional to file appropriate forms.
Form 990 is generally due on the 15th day of the fifth month after the end of the chapter’s tax year (but you can apply using Form 8868 for as many as two three-month extensions).
There are financial penalties for failure to file Form 990 returns, and the IRS is “cracking down” on organizations that do not file. If you not filed in the past, but should have, we suggest that you just file the forms that are currently required. If the IRS does ask why you have not filed in the past, you might want to indicate that there are extenuating circumstances. Indicating that you are a small organization with frequent changes of volunteers may, on a one-time basis, be sufficient to achieve a waiver or reduction of any penalties.
State tax returns
Chapters should access the appropriate web sites and check with their state tax agencies about any state requirements for tax filing.
Incorporating Your Chapter
Chapters must decide whether or not to incorporate. If a chapter is not incorporated, its members or organizing individuals may be held personally liable for torts and contractual obligations of the organization. However, a smaller chapter made up of volunteers may decide that the work and formality required to incorporate outweighs the benefits.
Incorporation is a matter of state law. Each state requires the filing of a certificate or articles of incorporation with some officially designated body. Chapters wishing to incorporate should check with legal counsel or investigate the procedure on state web sites.
- General Accounting
There has been a long-felt need to devise an accounting team for use by Chapters of the American Society of Military Comptrollers. This system has been designed to fulfill that need. An attempt has been made to have it as simple as possible, and to design it along practical lines enabling its easy use. At the same time, the system is complete enough to fully satisfy the accountability requirements of most Chapters.The Chapter should bear in mind that keeping adequate and proper records is only the first step. If they are to be meaningful and have purpose, the records must be used and referred to as often as the demand dictates. This use should enable officers, directors and the Chapter to get a clear financial picture at any time of the Chapter’s operation and to see the financial status of the Chapter. The system should provide support for any particular transaction and must be adequate to provide for the safe-guarding of chapter assets and prevent malfeasance or misfeasance.The accounting and auditing policies and methods followed by Chapters have been many and varied. It is essential that there be uniformity in respect to certain things. All Chapters should comply With the following:
A. The Treasurer will be the cash receiving and disbursing agent and the official bookkeeper. All funds must be handled by him or her and recorded on the chapter records by him or her.
B. The books of the Chapter will be kept on the basis of the calendar month. That is, all entries will be brought up to date and reports prepared as of the last day of each calendar month during the Chapter year.
C. All cash received must be deposited promptly. All payments are to be made by check, except minor payments which may be made from petty cash. In other words. payments are not to be made directly from cash received.
D. All checks used are to be pre-numbered by the bank. The Chapter may elect to have two signatures required on checks.)
E. Every check issued must be supported by a voucher properly drawn and signed by the President and the Chapter director responsible for the payment.
F. Check stubs must be carefully kept up to date showing deposits and withdrawals so that the available bank balance will be shown at all times.
G. Bank reconciliations will be made monthly by the Chapter director responsible for auditing. Bank statements will be sent directly to that member.
H. The books shall be open for the inspection of all Chapter members at any reasonable time. They shall also be available at designated Chapter meetings.
I. The Treasurer will make periodic reports to the membership of income and expenses and assets and liabilities. The report will be signed by the Treasurer and the director responsible for bank reconciliations (auditing). (See item g above.)The basic policies as set forth in the introduction should be adhered to in the use of this system. The headings on the forms of the System are self-explanatory and can be followed easily. However, following are detailed step-by-step instructions relative to the proper and correct method of using the system. It is suggested that whenever there is a question as to the exact meaning of any particular section or column that reference be made to the instructions, the specific problem should be presented in detail to the National Office.
- Cash Receipts
The first entry of the month should be the bringing forward of the last month’s bank balance. The amount should be in the Cash Balance column only.
All cash received shall be recorded on a cash receipt voucher. This applies to National and Chapter dues, workshop registration fees, and all other items of revenue received. A numbering system, such as RI-3 could be used to identify receipt number I for FY 83 Revenue entries in the system will originate from receipt vouchers. Any revenue transaction can then be checked back to the point of original entry–the receipt voucher. Each cash receipts voucher should contain all of the information necessary to support the receipt. As an example. a voucher supporting meal receipts should identify the prenumbered meal checks that were sold.The total amount of cash received from chapter meals, national and chapter dues, workshop registration fees, and all other items of revenue received should be entered in the appropriate columns of a Journal. After each entry into the system, the cash balance should be computed. (in the event of receipts, add to the balance.)Cash and checks should be deposited in full as frequently as necessary; no less than once a week. It is unwise to keep cash on hand, and it is also a bad habit to hold checks for long periods of time. ALL CASH RECEIVED SHOULD BE DEPOSITED. Therefore, the total amount of cash received should equal the total of the deposits or any given period. The amount of each deposit should equal the total amount of cash received since the last deposit. Add the amount of the deposits to the amount in the Cash Balance Column on the prior line.When the items received in a given month have been entered in the Cash Receipts section of the Journal, the total received from Meals, Dues, Registration Fees, and Other Revenue items should equal Total Cash Received. As just stated, the Total Cash Received should be the same as the Deposits.
The columns should contain the entries as follows:
- Meals: Revenue from tickets sold for luncheons or dinners when not included in workshop fees. Revenue from “happy hour” activities should also be included in this column.
- Dues: Chapter and National dues.
- Workshops: All revenues from educational events. including advertising in programs, etc.
- Other: All other revenue. such as interest received on deposits, sale of rings and pins, etc.
- Cash Payment
As a general rule, the Treasurer should have all of the current month’s bills paid by the last day of the month. He or she should take the Disbursements Voucher with the bills attached, from the unpaid file and prepare the checks. Checks should be signed by the Treasurer (President also if two signatures are required). Checks should be properly recorded on the check stub giving date, payee, check number, amount, and a reference to the voucher.
Preparation of the disbursements voucher is important, as there must be some authority for every check and, also, adequate explanation. Uniformity in this respect can best be secured by the use of the disbursement voucher. Vouchers are signed by the director responsible for the activity and approved by the President, and are then given to the Treasurer for payment.The date paid, check number, the name of the individual or firm to whom paid should be entered in the appropriate columns of the Journal. The total amount of the check should be entered in the Paid Out By Check column. This amount should be subtracted from the Cash Balance amount on the prior line. The amount paid on the same line under the proper heading should be entered in the expense columns on the double page to show what the payment was for. The Journal now becomes a complete record of all disbursements. It will enable one to see at a glance what the money is being paid ‘or, to look up any item quickly, and to easily prepare a summary for the monthly report or any other necessary reports.Each of the columns should contain the entries for expenses as shown below. Each item should be identified in the column, “Program,” as to the program concerned, such as education, publications, research, etc. Examples are:
Postage: Stamps, stamped envelopes, Post Office box fee, etc.
Newsletter: Paper, artwork, printing, typewriter rental, etc.
Meals: All meals, except chapter guests, the cost of liquor when
receipts are in “Meals-Receipts”. This includes Chapter subsidy when
the charge to Chapter members is less than the cost to Chapters.
Gifts:Gifts to Chapter speakers, award plaques, certificates, etc.
Supplies: All supplies except stationery: bookkeeping supplies.
Stationery: Cost of printing letterheads, artwork, envelopes without
Honoraria: Fees paid to speakers or seminar or workshop leaders.
National Dues: The National portion of dues remitted to the National
Office. This is normally only for new members, as renewal dues are
billed by the National Office. For new members, chapter dues can be
collected and retained by the chapter.
Travel: In-city travel, as well as inter-city travel of officers,
members, and speakers.
Officers’ Expense: Direct expense of officers as incurred in the
pursuit of their activities.
Entertainment: Guest meals, refreshments at directors meetings, etc.
Other: All other expenses, including bank service charges.
- Balancing The Journal
To balance the two Journal pages, columnar totals should be compared as follows: the totals of the columns headed Meals, Dues, Workshops, and Other, should equal the total of the column headed Total Cash Received. The column headed Paid Out By Check should equal the totals of all disbursement columns from Postage, Newsletters, Stationery, etc. extending across the second page. By subtracting the total of the column Paid Out By Check from ‘total Cash Received, the result should be the same as the last amount in the Cash Balance Column after adjusting for the beginning cash balance.
- Month Ending Procedure
All records should be written in ink. However, pencil totals of columns brought down to date from time *to time during the month will save considerable time at the end of the month. The work at the end of the month will normally be done starting on the last day of the month and finished before the next chapter meeting with the order of steps as follows:
- The columns of cash receipts and disbursements should be footed.BR>
- The bank balance as shown by the check stubs should agree with the cash balance column. The balance will be reconciled with the bank statement by the auditor.
- The bank reconciliation should be prepared by the auditor by:
- Comparing the canceled checks with the entries or, the bank statement. (A reconciliation, in accordance with the instruction on the back of the bank statement should also be performed.)
- If they correspond. the checks should be sorted in numerical order and checked against the entries in cash disbursements, placing a small check mark behind each amount if the check has been returned.
- The unchecked items will thus represent the checks outstanding, and the amounts are added and the total deducted from the balance shown on the bank statement.
- By deducting the outstanding checks, the reconciled balance should be the same as the available bank balance on the check stubs and as the cash balance in the Journal.
- Prepare monthly reports. The information on the Income Statement (page 1) will be taken from the columnar totals of revenues and expenses in the Journal. Page 2 of the Monthly Report will contain a program analysis of the revenue and expense items on page 1. This analysis will be prepared using information from the “Program” column in the Journal. The programs should be those identified by, the Chapter as having major importance in the chapters activities. The totals of the Program Revenue and Expense columns of page 2 of the report should agree with the totals on page 1 of the report.
The Balance Sheet on page 2 will be handled on a memo basis (accrual basis). Accounts Receivable and Accounts Payable will be aggregated from subsidiary memo records and kept up to date as payments are received or disbursements made. Furniture, Fixtures, etc. will also be accumulated on memo records.There will be no accruals for receivable and payable in the Income Statement. Reports of workshops and seminars, although computed on an accrual basis, should be converted to a cash basis so as to be integrated into the Income Statements. Thus, accounts receivable will be considered revenue when cash is received, and accounts payable will be considered expenses when paid.
This chapter is adapted from a publication by the Association of Government Accountants with permission.
An audit of the records should be performed at the year-end in addition to an audit of the year-end financial statements. The Executive Committee should appoint a member of the chapter who is a Certified Public Accountant to perform the audit, or hire an eternal auditor to conduct the audit. The primary purpose of the audit is to determine that all cash received and paid out has been properly accounted for by the Treasurer. All recorded transactions may be scrutinized by the auditor. A check should be made: (1) to ascertain that all the cash received was recorded in the cash records and deposited in the Chapter’s bank account; (2) that cash was disbursed only for authorized expenditures, and (3) that the statements fairly reflect the results of Chapter operations for the Chapter year and the financial condition of the Chapter at the year end.
- IntroductionAs a minimum, the following procedure should be followed:
- The money columns of the cash receipts and disbursements record should be footed for all twelve months, or for as many months as seem advisable, if test checking is being used.
- Test checks should be made to assure that cash receipts entries are properly supported by Cash Receipt Vouchers. These amounts should also be traced to the duplicate deposit slips and to the bank statements. Cash Receipts Vouchers should be examined for authenticity.
- Totals of cash receipts by months should be compared or reconciled with the total deposits in the bank as shown by the passbook or bank statements (i.e. proving cash).
- The duplicate deposit slips for the last three or more weeks of the audit period should be compared item for item with the entries in the cash receipts records. This comparison should be made to see that there are no items deposited in the bank that have not been recorded in the cash receipts record. Unrecorded deposits might be made during the days immediately preceding the close of the period in order to repay funds previously borrowed by an un-entered check so as to avoid showing a shortage at year end. Also, if there are two or more bank accounts, a check might be issued on the last day of the year on one bank and deposited immediately in a second bank without recording either the check or the deposit. This is known as “kiting” and should be detected by comparing the duplicate deposit slips with the entries in the cash receipts record. If the auditor wishes a bank to confirm duplicate deposit slips, the slips should be taken to the bank for confirmation.
- Obtain a cut-off bank statement and cancel checks from the bank about three weeks after the end of the accounting year. Look for checks issued but not recorded in the Journal by comparing checks returned by the bank with entries in the cash disbursements record. If any checks that were deposited at the close of the period were returned by the banks on which they were drawn because of insufficient funds or for other reasons, they would also be discovered at this time by the auditor. Cut-off statement should be mailed directly to the auditor.
- Checks paid and returned by the bank should be compared with the entries in the cash disbursements record.
- The total cash payments by month as shown by the cash payments records should be compared with or reconciled to the total payments by month as shown by the bank statement and cancel checks.
- Cash payments should be verified to Cash Disbursement Vouchers.
- Cancel checks should be examined by:
- Comparing the name of the payee and the amount of the check with the entry in the cash payments journal.
- Endorsements on back of the check should be carefully scrutinized for agreement with the check payee.
- Supporting documents and checks bearing the Chapter’s own endorsement or payable to Chapter officers should be investigated.
- Notations on paid checks representing the bank’s cancellation date should be examined to determine that checks are applicable to the period under audit.
- The numbers of all checks should be accounted for.
- Cash Disbursement Vouchers should be examined for authenticity.
- Accounts receivable should be circularized by letter or verified by phone. Fixed assets should be verified as to value existence.
- The year end financial statements should be verified by proving revenue and expense figures and balance sheet items.
Upon completion of the audit, the auditor should prepare an audit report. The report should be addressed to the Chapter with copies to the incoming and outgoing Chapter Presidents and Treasurers. The Chapter auditor should also discuss the results of his audit at the first meeting of the board of directors after completion of his audit.