Let’s face it. Fraternity presidents are control freaks by nature.
You don’t want to do every other officer’s job. But if you don’t, how will the chapter fit your vision of perfection?
Even though you know you should delegate, guide and lead, it’s easier to do things yourself than to explain. Before you know it, you have your hand in every jar, and you’re sleeping, like, an hour a night.
Take a look at your treasurer. He seems overburdened with financial management of the chapter.
Maybe, you think, if you just step in and handle a few things . . .
*slaps hand away from budget*
It may be your vision and initiative that got you the gig as president, but these things will also get you in trouble if you let them run rampant.
Your chapter elected a treasurer for a reason. He’s competent. He’s on top of things. And most of the time, he just needs you to get out of his way.
However, the president does play an important part in managing chapter finances. You’re there for support and guidance when your treasurer needs it, and to keep brothers to their financial obligations so the treasurer can do his job.
Don’t step on your treasurer’s toes. Walk beside him.
As fraternity financial management experts, OmegaFi understands the urge to jump in and help make the chapter budget a success.
Just make sure you’re helping your treasurer, not hurting by getting in the way or taking over.
Here’s what a fraternity president can do to help keep his treasurer on top of his game.
Play a Role with the Finance Committee—but Not the Lead One
Fraternity budgeting is a stressful process. You may have noticed this by the way your treasurer’s fists keep tightening as you crunch the numbers, as if he’s daydreaming about wrapping his fingers around your neck.
You may or may not deserve this.
Of course, part of your job description is taking part in the budgeting process, helping your treasurer set each committee’s budget in a way that isn’t wasteful but allows them to achieve their goals.
As a chapter leader, you can voice your opinion when it’s needed. But be sure to let the treasurer take the lead.
Not only will micromanaging his budget decisions frustrate him, he’ll start second guessing himself.
That’s bad news for your chief financial officer. If he isn’t a confident and effective leader, your chapter’s coffers could go down the drain fast.
Instead of tearing him down or taking his power, reinforce the treasurer’s good ideas during the budgeting process.
Be constructive about ideas that may have a negative impact on the budget, but also let him fix his mistakes and try to come up with new solutions on his own.
Be a cheerleader for your treasurer and other officers and committee members.
Guide them to be effective leaders and critical thinkers when it comes to budgeting.
That way you don’t have to nitpick things later, the budgeting process is infused with confidence, and your chapter will be stronger for it.
A Fraternity President Who Delegates Means Better Financial Management
An important part of a fraternity president’s job is delegating. As much as you’d like to, you can’t do everything yourself.
Plus, the more effectively you delegate, the more you’ll have time to study.
Your GPA will thank you.
So will your treasurer. The more each brother’s role is defined and structured when it comes to managing fraternity finances, the more easily he can perform his role as well.
Take the vice president, for instance.
Sticking your nose into every committee’s budget all semester long is frustrating for you, annoying for them, and means you’ll end up neglecting other pressing chapter needs.
Let your VP take a detail role with chapter committee planning.
He’ll communicate with the treasurer when budget issues arise. If they’re serious and need your attention, trust that he’ll come to you.
Otherwise, you’ll have access to the treasurer’s financial reports and be apprised of those who aren’t paying their dues on time.
Complete your set duties, like co-signing checks and overseeing outgoing expenses, as well as ensuring your treasurer is following the rules and completing the necessary tasks in coordination with other officers.
A fraternity president is a born fixer—which in this case makes it especially important that he live by the phrase, “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.”
Step in only when necessary. Otherwise, delegate, delegate, delegate.
Who Should Enforce Membership Dues, the Treasurer or President?
Both the president and the treasurer should ensure brothers pay their membership dues on time, with a little help.
To begin with, the treasurer should keep financial records, inform brothers of how much they owe, and collect fraternity dues.
However, there are times when brothers just won’t listen to the treasurer. They tune him out.
He may come to you looking for help.
Understanding the chapter bylaws, penalties of nonpayment, and when to enforce them will back up your treasurer’s bark with a little bite.
Don’t step in until necessary, though. Let him take the lead, and only take disciplinary action when your treasurer has exhausted other options, such as a payment plan.
Otherwise, encourage all your brothers to be strong leaders who’re active in your brotherhood. Raising morale will help brothers feel engaged and more likely to place value in their duty to pay.
Make budgeting and collecting dues easy on your treasurer by using chapter budgeting software. OmegaFi’s Vault is a great way to let brothers or parents pay online, and to track chapter finances throughout the semester.
The easier it is to collect and budget, the less your treasurer will have to rely on you for financial management.
It’s also a great way to create a central hub so you and your brothers can be on the same page.
What financial management role does your chapter’s president play? Does he have a light touch or a heavy hand? Which do you think is more effective? Let us know in the comments below.