Voucher System Description and Policies

Goal: To provide a means of funding ASMP chapters that:

  1. fits within good accounting practices,
  2. does not unnecessarily inhibit the freedom of chapter leaders,
  3. is manageable from the chapter’s perspective,
  4. is manageable from a staff perspective.

ASMP’s chapter policies provide that the ASMP National Board may appropriate from national revenues a sum of funds on an annual basis to be used at the chapter level and at the discretion of the chapter leadership within the parameters set by the Board.

The voucher system is simply a means of reimbursing chapters for certain expenses incurred by them in the performance of their function. Unlike the prior rebate system, the current voucher system requires that a chapter make an expenditure, which when reported to National will be reimbursed to the chapter. Alternatively, the chapter could use the voucher system to have a vendor’s invoice paid directly from National.

Under this system, the National Board sets funds aside for chapters. Each chapter then submits its requests, for either reimbursement of expenses incurred or for payment of purchases ordered, provided that these expenses and purchases are within the categories of authorized expenses.

The main elements of the system are:
a) nature of authorized expenses;
b) procedures and paperwork for obtaining payment, and
c) method of accounting for the expenses.

Let’s take each of these in turn.

The nature of authorized expenses is defined by policy set by the Board in consultation with the chapters. While the following concept list is not all-inclusive, it demonstrates the approach the Board has taken. Generally, chapters fulfill membership recruiting, social and educational roles in ASMP. The main activities used to fulfill these roles are meetings and newsletters coupled with some administrative apparatus. The types of expenses which flow from these activities are predictable. Printing, postage, graphic design, telephone, speaker expense, food and beverage, facility rental, equipment rental transportation, part time help, salaries and insurance are good examples. These are the kinds of expenses eligible for payment under the voucher system policy.

Procedures. There are specific procedures and paperwork required to obtain reimbursement of funds expended from the chapter treasury, or payment for materials and services ordered by the chapter. Payment can be sent to a chapter, a company or an individual. The voucher form provides a template for the data needed to authorize payment or purchase.

All vouchers must be submitted within 60 days of purchasing by or billing to the chapter, and vouchers must be accompanied by original invoices or receipts. Exceeding the 60-day requirement will result in the denial of payment, making the chapter and its officers directly responsible for paying. Once received at National and approved, a voucher will be scheduled for payment in the next check-writing batch. National writes checks twice a month.

Each year, your chapter is allocated a certain amount of money from the National treasury. The amount is based on the number of members and affiliates (excluding student associates) who are listed for your chapter in the ASMP member database on October 1. The chapter can start spending the money the following January 1, and the money is supposed to last all year.

If your chapter requires advance funding for any purpose, you must submit a written request in advance to the National Executive Committee, which will promptly put it before the National Executive Committee. Along with the request, you must send copies of the latest bank statements for all bank accounts of the chapter. The National Executive Committee shall have the sole discretion in deciding whether to advance the funds.

Employees. Chapters may not hire employees or professional service providers without the approval of the National Executive Committee.  All employees are to be paid through the National payroll system, which is set up to handle tax withholdings. The chapter can choose whether to repay National from a local account or, if it has enough in its National funding account, to have the money deducted. If there isn’t enough in the chapter’s National account, the chapter must send National the money in advance of the payroll disbursements.

Major contracts. Chapters may not enter into any financial commitment with a face value of $3,000 or more without the review and approval of the National Executive Committee. For its part, the National Executive Committee will conclude its review within 48 hours of receipt at the National Office. ASMP National cannot enter into contractual relationship with its chapters.

Accounting for expenses. The bookkeeping for reimbursements or direct payments will be done in accord with our normal accrual accounting procedures. Regardless of the date when we receive your voucher, the books will show the date when the purchase was actually made or the service was performed. (Thus, submitting a voucher late is never an advantage.) This gives an accurate picture of the organization’s expenses and liabilities at all times.

To help you submit vouchers that conform to the accounting system, National has prepared written guidelines and a Frequently Asked Questions page. These guidelines have listings of the types of expenses authorized for reimbursement or purchase, instructions for completing and filing the forms, and information about the required documentation. Vouchers will have to be sent to the National Office so that original copies of substantiating invoices or receipts can be verified.

National will supply financial reports on a monthly basis to the officers in each chapter, who are responsible for further dissemination of the reports.