From the Desk of Secretary Treasurer Tom Quackenbush
Every three to five years or so, the International, in Washington, sends an Internal Auditor out to each Local to do an extensive review to ensure there are no improper expenditures, failures to obtain approvals or other violations of the union’s bylaws and/or the International Constitution. In the early spring, we endured our regular review and I am happy to report, overall it was very successful.
The audit made me think about my position as Secretary-Treasurer over the last five years and thinking back, I have to admit, that in 2015, when I experienced my first Internal Audit as Secretary- Treasurer, I was a little nervous…. Not because I feared we were doing anything wrong, but more of a fear of the unknown. What did the audit involve? Was I going to be able to answer questions about the work of my predecessors? …etc. That first audit was long and arduous, but a great learning experience overall that tremendously prepared me for our most recent audit.
I learned the importance of maintaining good records with good back up documentation and I learned the importance of keeping the Board involved in many decisions and discussions regarding our financial situation and where to go moving forward. The Secretary-Treasurer’s function is the union’s administrative backbone. And for me, doing the job right is absolutely essential — not only because of the legal requirements concerning accounting, taxes and reporting, but also because it maintains our integrity and financial health.
I do, however, view the role of Secretary-Treasurer as much more than just “keeping track of the money”. While the title of “treasurer” clearly conveys my financial responsibilities, meeting with and working for you, our members, and understanding your needs and how they are intertwined with the overall mission of our organization, is absolutely an essential part of being a good treasurer.
I just wanted to take the time to let you know that the Secretary-Treasurer position of this Local is an important responsibility that I do not take for granted and I am honored to be able to serve.