School Business Affairs September 2020

22 SEPTEMBER 2020 | SCHOOL BUSINESS AFFAIRS FINANCE AND ACCOUNTING Protecting Booster Club Funds in a Virtual World Now is the time to ensure school and district fundraising organizations are operating with appropriate checks and balances. By Sandra Pfau Englund, Esq. Y ou’ve bought a priceless work of art. You tell all your friends and family about it and invest time and energy finding just the right place for it in your home. A few months later, you come home to find that your priceless work of art is gone. The police ask you ques- tions: Why didn’t you have a security system in place? Why did you let people know where you put it in your home? Who knew about it? You feel like you are getting blamed for someone else’s crime. Embezzlement in booster groups is no different. Booster club funds, which the group works hard to secure, can be stolen by someone we know if proper security measures aren’t in place. Pivoting to a Virtual World Embezzlement looks somewhat different today than it did in years past when the embezzlers put money into their pockets rather than into the account, misreported funds, and used club credit cards for personal items. Booster clubs have transitioned to virtual transac- tions: online fundraisers, e-transactions and e-checks, as well as electronic transfer apps like Venmo, SquareCash, Zelle, and PayPal. During the COVID-19 pandemic, ARTUR/STOCK.ADOBE.COM