Bylaws and Policies » Panther Vale Financial Policies

1. Composition of the Financial Committee.

The Financial Committee shall be composed of the Warranted Seneschal and their deputies and the Warranted Exchequer and their deputies. If there are an even number of people, then an additional person shall be appointed in order to ensure that a majority vote will occur. That person shall be a Great Officer of the Shire, and therefore a paid member of the SCA.

2. Terms of Financial Committee.

  1. The primary responsibilities of the Financial Committee are setting their branch financial policy and approving all financial activities (budgets, event budgets and non-budgeted expenditures). An annual budget for all officers will be set during this meeting based on feedback received from the previous business meeting.
  2. Any committee members may, but are not required, to be signatories on the bank account, as long as they are a paid SCA member.
  3. The Financial Committee acts as a form of checks and balances to the Exchequer.
  4. The Exchequer will chair the committee and be responsible for facilitating all meetings. The exchequer‘s role is to review actions to determine whether it is allowable according to policy or law. Once a determination is made that the proposed action is allowable, the financial committee decides, as a team, whether it is desirable to pursue the action. Just because the action is allowable does not mean that it is desirable or necessary. It is up to the Financial Committee to make that determination.

3. Timeframes and methods for meetings.

The Financial Committee shall meet at least once a year to set the budget for the following year and to adjust any policies of the Financial Committee. This meeting may occur in person, virtually, or as a combination of the two. This meeting will occur between the 3rd Quarter and 4th Quarter business meeting, between October 1st and December 31st.

4. Timeframes and methods for action approval under normal circumstances.

As unplanned or high cost expenses pop up throughout the year, the Financial Committee may call a vote during any of the quarterly business meetings. If this occurs, the Financial Committee may also be called into session during a quarterly business meeting to vote on the proposed purchase. The Financial Committee may open up the vote to the consensus of those in attendance at the meeting if they choose to do so. If an officer has an item that they wish to purchase, they will contact the Financial Committee via email at least 30 days prior to the business meeting to be placed on the agenda.

5. Timeframes and methods for meeting and approval in emergencies.

If an emergency meeting must be called, members of the Financial Committee will be given at least a week’s notice if possible. This meeting may occur either in person, virtually, or both. At least one representative of the Exchequer’s office and at least one member of the Seneschal’s office must be present, as well as an additional member of the committee.

6. Reporting Schedule for Branch Transparency

  1. During this meeting, the Exchequer will review the Shire’s finances for the End of the Year Report. The Exchequer will report out the current financial standings of the shire during the Business meeting that follows the annual meeting of the Financial Committee. If the Exchequer is unavailable to attend said business meeting, then they may appoint a designee to do so. The report will include the official minutes of the annual Financial Committee meeting.
  2. The Financial Committee will also check to make sure that all parties have been reimbursed for any purchases made throughout the year. If they have not been, the Exchequer will have 30 days to get the affairs in order and make sure we go into the next fiscal year without any encumbered obligations. The Exchequer must maintain a balance sheet that reflects both encumbered and unencumbered monies.
  3. Reporting requirements for branch reports Reports should include the following documents
    • Financial activity such as a journal or ledger
    • A current list of variances in effect
    • Bank statements for all accounts for the quarter

7. Timeframes and methods for review and revision of the financial policy.

When a revision to the financial policy is proposed, the revised draft must be submitted to the Financial Committee at least 30 days before the planned meeting of the committee. The Financial Committee may also be called into session during a quarterly business meeting to vote on the new policy. The proposed policy must still be submitted for review 30 days before the next meeting. This should be added to the official agenda of said meeting.

8. Event Refund Policy

Individuals requesting event pre-registration refunds must contact the Autocrat, the Shire Exchequer, and the Reservations Clerk for that event in some manner (by email, in writing, or a phone call) one week prior to the posted event date. Post-event refund requests (requests received after the posted deadline) will be considered on an individual basis and only in extreme or emergency circumstances, subject to approval by the Autocrat, Exchequer, and Seneschal.

Any refunds will be issued in the form of a check drawn on the Shire of Panther Vale checking account; there will be no cash refunds. Refund checks will be issued within 14 days of the filing of the event report. A refund request is to be filled out by the Autocrat, Reservations clerk, and/or the Requestor (if possible) and submitted to the Exchequer. Partial refunds for a group reservation where one or more individuals were unable to attend can be issued. No refunds will be issued if the event does not make a profit.

9. Reservations for Foreign Attendees

Residents of Tir Maria and other non-US countries are welcome to pre-register for any Shire event and pay upon arrival at the gate, as per the East Kingdom Exchequer Policy created on 3-16-2015 for Foreign Currency Accommodation (Event Reservations).

10. Complementary Gate Passes

Panther Vale will waive the gate and feast fees for our seneschal, autocrat(s), feastocrat(s), the East Kingdom Crowns and Their Heirs, as well as Foreign Crowns and Their Heirs. The Shire will also waive both gate and feast fees for the Kingdom’s Crowns’ and Heirs’ immediate family, defined as partners/spouses and children.

Panther Vale will waive gate fees for key event staff defined in an event’s budget. This includes but is not limited to MiCs, Kitchen staff, and Coordinators. In order for a position to be considered for compensation, volunteers must put in a certain amount of time (based on the event*) either in pre-event planning, working during the event, or a combination of the two. Any kitchen staff who spends their event working on feasts will have their feast fees waived and be fed.

*This number will be determined by the Financial Committee working with autocrats at each event.

11. Reimbursement for Expenses

Section 1: General Purchases

Shire of Panther Vale members who make approved purchases for the Shire should submit the receipts to the exchequer as soon as possible for reimbursement by check. Every effort should be made to turn in original receipts but a clear facsimile or a copy of a bank statement will be acceptable. The exchequer will maintain a list of approved purchases, which will include the item(s), price and date approved. Reimbursement will not exceed the approved amount more than a small amount, for example sales tax. Any purchases that exceed the approved amount will need to be reviewed by the financial committee for a variance.

Section 2: Event Purchases

Purchases for event expenses shall be collected by the Autocrat for approval. Receipts need to be collected at the event, with possible pre-arranged exceptions allowing no later than 14 days after the event ends. Approved receipts should be submitted to the exchequer at the event, if possible, but not later than 15 days after the event.

Event expenses shall not exceed the approved event budget. The autocrat may reallocate minor expense amounts within the budget so long as the total event expense does not change. If there are expenses outside what was originally budgeted for the event, the autocrat must contact the Financial Committee immediately for explanation and approval of the additional expenses.

All expenses for an event are considered expenses for an event and must come out of the event’s budget. If there are items that would be deemed more appropriately as an item for the general use of the Shire, they must be approved through the official channels before they are purchased. The Shire will not approve expenses after the fact and they will not be reimbursed.

Section 3: Advances

It is the policy of the Shire to reimburse expenses. There are some high-priced purchases that require an advance, for example food for a feast. A check for an advance will be written for the smallest amount reasonable. Receipts must be collected for all funds that are advanced at the event, if possible, but not later than 14 days. If all advanced funds were not spent, the remaining amount must be collected with the receipts.

12. For Anything Not Covered in Shire Policy 

If a specific policy does not exist, then we will defer to the East Kingdom Policy. If East Kingdom policy does not exist, we will refer to Kingdom policy.