March 10, 2020


So, it’s time to transition… 

You and your chapter’s previous Treasurer are now entering into that ambiguous, sometimes intimidating phase of making sure no one drops the ball or, in this case, the piggy bank! 

“How do we start the transition process?

First, it is important to schedule an initial transition meeting a week or two after elections. Your chapter might already have a structure in place to enforce the transition, but if not, the transition meetings might need to occur on your own time. For the treasury, this might require more than one transition meeting so that policies, contacts, and procedures can be properly relayed and explained fully. It could also extend to include introductory meetings with key people on campus, in the community, or throughout the organization. 

“As a past Treasurer, what should I prepare for the transition meeting?” 

As complicated as this may seem, the preparation for this meeting mostly involves the transfer of documents, records, and contacts. It is important to compile all finance-related notebooks, binders, transaction logs, files, records and electronic document folders to hand over in the transition. These documents may include: 

  • Calendars, timelines, budgeting deadlines, deadlines for applying for university funding and debit cards. 
  • Process for depositing and pulling money from accounts held by the chapter. The past officer should also go through this process step by step with the new officer for the first use of money. 
  • Templates for sponsorship letters and thank you notes to donors. 
  • Budgeting and financial documents from previous years.
  • Assessment of profits, losses, and current assets such as supplies, inventory, materials, and resources. 
  • Login information for school and financial institution accounts. 

You should also either complete or prepare to hand over any necessary communication for transactions, event management, and sponsorship that is in progress. 

“As a new Treasurer, what should I ask for?” 

In addition to the documents listed above, you should also expect to receive and keep note of the following contacts: 

  • Outgoing Treasurer’s contact information for any questions during the transition. 
  • Other student organization contacts such as art, interior design, construction management, and more that your chapter works with on events or programming. 
  • Other professional contacts: sponsors, donation contacts, local AIA chapter, and other professionals. 
  • University staff contacts (faculty, staff, alumni, advisors, campus activities managers, university treasurers) and contacts for where the chapter’s money is stored. 
  • Be sure to update the point of contact for the treasury with the university so that you receive all future financial communications.

“What if I didn’t get a transition with my past Treasurer, how should I move forward?”

In this case, it would be beneficial to meet with the President or Vice President to know about the inner workings of the money systems in the chapter. If nothing else, other chapter treasurers in your Quad, your Quadrant Director, and the National Finance Committee are amazing resources to reach out to when getting started. 

“Is there anything else to think about when transitioning?” 

Maintain an open dialogue and relationship with your past Treasurer as much as possible! Do not be afraid to keep asking questions of them and other officers in your chapter. Treasury is difficult to learn and manage at times, so do not set a standard of perfection for yourself in your first actions in the new role. We know you will succeed in this position, especially with the basis of a solid transition, and we cannot wait to see each of your accomplishments!

Keep checking back every month for new installments of So, You’re The Treasurer as we share our take on treasurer responsibilities, banking practices, and more!