• Melissa Walton-Jones

Finer Finance Fridays #16


EXCELLENCE AND EXPERIENCE THAT COUNTS!

Every well run organization's day to day financial management is done by a chief financial officer, an accounting director, or some combination of those positions. These roles are necessary to ensure money and financial transactions are handled by someone with the required skill-set and level of competence and accountability for the job. This applies not only to Corporate America, but to not-for-profit organizations as well.

So, What is the Role of a National Board Treasurer?

Although, it's not the exact same in our organization, it's pretty common practice for the Treasurer to chair the Finance Committee and present a report of the budget and financial condition of the organization at the Board meeting, usually taking the statements that have already been prepared by the on staff financial officer and reporting them to the Board and stakeholders of the organization. Board Treasurers tend to focus on the issues that matter to the Board or Leadership most. For some, that’s cash position or year-to-date actual expenses compared to the budget. For others, it’s how the organization is doing compared to last year. Sometimes recommendations are given for corrective action.

While monitoring the financial condition of the organization is a basic and necessary role, we must Aspire to MORE from our ideal National Board Treasurer. We should see our treasurer as the facilitator of a financial brain trust within the sorority that can help the organization think very strategically about the relationship of our mission (programmatic thrust) to our money, both short and long term. We should see our treasurer as someone who cares about the financial literacy of the members of the organization and the members of the community. We should see our treasurer as someone who provides insight and analysis to adequately assess the financial health of our organization and make data-driven decisions that support and sustain us for another one-hundred years. I see our treasurer as me, someone who has proven results and the required skill-set and level of competence and accountability for the job. You should consider me as "The Visionary Protector of the Bottom Line."

WHY DOES EXPERIENCE MATTER?

I am the most qualified candidate and I believe that the position of National Treasurer requires us to redefine our expectations to align with someone who has an adequate background in accounting and substantial financial experience. Being an accountant and auditor in "Corporate America", isn't just my job, it's my career, it's my livelihood. As a member of numerous professional accounting and audit organizations, I am held to a higher ethical standard than most, as it relates to the financial management of any organization. I support the financial decisions of leadership for a multi-billion dollar corporation, $14 billion to be exact, and I also manage my own budget, which requires me to account for every penny. There is no room for doubt or questions of integrity.

In any elected office, especially while dealing with financials, I am bound by the same code of conducts for those organizations, which directly impacts my professional reputation, as well as the code of conduct for our sorority. I have spent time over the years in finance, but also in learning the particulars of our organization and applicable not-for-profit laws and regulations important to the short and long term success of our organization.

IT'S JUST THE TREASURER, RIGHT?

The race is on, and we are very anxious about the possibilities for who our next International President will be, but as American politics have proven, it's critical to have skilled, competent, and trust worthy officials across the board, literally. The Treasurer can be most effective to the sisterhood when she is facilitating and encouraging strategic thinking about ways to uphold the rich heritage and legacy of our sorority’s principles and our position in global communities; ways to ensure our organization’s financial stability and viability, and ways to develop financially savvy leaders across all levels of our organization; while guiding us to a model of financial sustainability. This role is about more than income and expenses, The treasurer must be about identifying new ways to increase revenue, while lessening the financial ask of our members, especially our Zeta Doves and seasoned sorors, by leveraging and developing new partnerships and sponsorships to financially support our programs and initiatives. The financial health of our organization depends on this position.

MY COMMITMENT TO YOU

As an elected officer, I would be beholden to the SISTERHOOD. My commitment is to YOU; to provide support for the goals and objectives of the sorority; to engage the sisterhood and our auxiliaries by listening, understanding, and taking action on what is needed. I plan to accomplish this by using the Pillars of Finer Finance: Financial Resources, Financial Refinement, and Financial Reporting. These pillars, together will strengthen our overall financial management in five critical areas: planning, monitoring, operations, governance, and accountability.

1) Financial Resources is the commitment to provide knowledge and tools that empower women of Zeta, Amicae, and youth to take ownership of their finances and lay a solid financial foundation for the future.

Key Deliverable(s):

  • Integration of financial reporting and membership management tools to establish seamless online dues payments and financial reporting for all levels of the organization.

  • Tamias and Tamias-Grammateus templates & training curriculum for all levels of the organization and auxiliaries.

2) Financial Refinement is the commitment to provide a plan and platform to standardize and centralize financial oversight, controls, and accountability. ​Key Deliverable(s):

  • Standard Financial Handbook (SOP) for all levels of the organization.

3) Financial Reporting is the commitment to provide timely, accurate,and responsible reporting to the sisterhood.

Key Deliverable(s):

  • Complete and timely financial reporting on all levels of the organization.

WHY AM I RUNNING? There is no better time like the present to be the change you want to see. To be clear, my motivations for running for this office are simple, I want a prosperous, well informed, fiscally organized and sound Sisterhood; one that is sustainable and better positioned to grow and focus on our members, our communities, and our collective social commitment to be "community-conscious, action-oriented " members of the greater society. My job, if elected, is to make sure that happens, while working together with you to properly equip the next level of financial leaders on all levels of our sorority. Your job is to hold me accountable to that.

I look forward to seeing you in NOLA in July and earning your vote for National Treasurer. In the meantime, you'll be hearing from me! To support these efforts, please consider making a campaign contribution. Your non-tax-deductible contribution to the Finer Finance Campaign will go to fund campaign activities such as literature, travel, and lodging on the campaign trail. Please know that your personal gifts are greatly appreciated, but are not deductible for Federal income tax purposes.

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PROUDLY ENDORSED BY: OMEGA IOTA ZETA CHAPTER │ STATE OF MISSOURI │ MIDWESTERN REGION

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Soror Melissa Walton-Jones, Zeta Phi Beta Sorority, Inc.

2020 Candidate for Re-Election: International Tamias