The Fire Company has a nearly $300,000 annual budget, thus the position of treasurer is important in managing the money properly. For the past six years Ivan Stoltzfus has filled that role. It was not a role that he stepped into overnight, but rather, the prior treasurer, Paul Fisher, mentored Ivan while he learned the details of the position. In fact, Paul and Ivan still work together on the Fire Company’s investments to make sure the money is at the right place at the right time.
Ivan had been involved in his family’s business since the age of 14 so he grew up knowing about the financial side of a business. According to Ivan, a good treasurer needs to be willing to learn, have an interest in finances, and be good with numbers.
The hands-on work of the treasurer includes depositing money, keeping records current, and paying the bills. At the end of the Fire Company’s fiscal year, which follows the calendar year, the treasurer reviews closely all the yearly income and expenditures.
Budgeting is another area where the treasurer gives input. The Fire Company officers view a budget as a planning tool, rather than a restrictive tool. In fact, the budgets have been developed for the next 20 years with the big picture in mind. Building projects and equipment purchases have already been planned for years in advance.
At the Fire Company there are checks and balances to ensure the security of fire company funds. This includes only four people being allowed to sign checks. Each check requires two separate signatures. Also, at the fundraisers there are always two people who receive the incoming money, count, and deposit. Each year, a member at large is designated to receive copies of all financial statements and to verify that those balances agree with those reported by our financial officers.
Serving as treasurer requires attendance at least three monthly meetings. The treasurer is part of the Board of Directors and attends those meetings. For the General Membership meetings he prepares a monthly report that is projected on a large screen. At all times he needs to have the paperwork ready in case there is an audit.
Ivan explains, “If there are any issues with the bank as far as our finances are concerned, I, as the treasurer, am responsible. It gave me confidence to have Paul Fisher help me out until I had a good understanding of the position. It is fun to be a part of a winning team!”