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Finance Basics for Scout Units

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Guidance for Troop/Pack/Crew/Ship Treasurers and their Assistants:


Annual Budget

Must be ready for the start of the new fiscal year and approved by the Scout Unit Committee. The budget sets the guidelines for 1) funds needed to be raised and 2) cost parameters for all activities for the year.

Operation Reserve

Capital Reserve

Unit Membership Dues

Generally you would collect member dues in full at the beginning of the program year. This way all families stay committed to the program for the full year. NOTE: All unit fees and credits should be specifically approved by the Unit Committee at the start of each fiscal year. The treasurer should be ready to recommend the appropriate amounts.

It is best to keep the billing statement for all families as simple as possible. The following worksheets are recommended>

  • 2020 Scout Unit Billing Worksheet - Download and Use this worksheet to track what each family in your unit owes, credits given and payment history. With grand totals. Please note the two major sections on this worksheet: 1) Total amount billed and 2) Total amount collected.
  • 2020 Supplemental Billing Worksheet - Same Worksheet! But it can also substitute for when the scout unit decides to collect extra funds from participants to do an extra event.

Special billing considerations:

  • Credits for to encourage adults to accept positions in the unit as a committee member, etc.
  • Credits to offset the fiscal hardship on families with 2 or more youth participating in the unit ("Siblings discount"),
  • Credits for families experiencing fiscal hardship.
  • Installment payment plan for families experiencing fiscal hardship.

Fiscal Year Layout

There are several ways to set the fiscal year for your scout year.

  1. Calendar Year [Jan-Dec] - traditional format
  2. School Year (Troop) [Aug-Jul] - Preferred format for troops and crews with the following benefits:
    • Membership dues and fundraisers are collected at the beginning of the year with eye towards preparing major events of the year
    • Year ends with major expenditure event - (summer camp and/or hi-adventure or jamboree)
  1. School Year (Pack) [Jul-Jun] - Preferred format for packs - all the same reasons as above.

Partial year adjustment: You can declare an odd year - one with either fewer months or extra months for if you want to move your unit from a Calendar Year to a School year fiscal program (or vice-versa).

Bank Accounts

Bank Reconcilition

Use this worksheet each month to proof the ("ending") bank balance to your cash book. Post first any bank entries such as bank fees or returned check fees onto your books.


  • All unit expenses should be paid by check which creates a written record.
  • Send a copy of the check log and bank reconciliation monthly to Unit Vice Chair that has audit oversight over the Treasurer. (See above)
  • Unit checking account should require two signatures on all checks.

Expense Vouchers

  • Every expense should include an approved expense voucher. (Exception - Disbursements covered by a written contract such as monthly rental agreement.)
  • All Vouchers must include original receipts.
  • All Vouchers must be approved by any member of the unit Key 3 Leadership.
  • No Leader can ever approve a voucher payable to himself. (One other member of the Key 3 should approve this voucher.)

Travel reimbursements

  • Current (2020) USA Mileage reimbursement is $0.575 per mile. This rate is what you can claim on your taxes. The actual reimbursement rate can be modified (up or down) by vote of unit committee depending circumstances.
  • Mileage rates may vary by country and by currency and by metric system.
  • Print a Google Map to show actual mileage for route taken. (This might be challenging for travel to remote campsites?)
  • Individuals may opt to submit a gasoline receipt of the mileage reimbursement.
  • Scout units may opt to allow a higher rate for large vehicles (passenger vans) that consumer a higher rate of gas.
  • Guidelines applicable for your unit should be listed on the expense voucher form.


Download from GoogleDocs (Free) these Scout Finance Excel Worksheets that you can modify and use for scout unit - see sections above for more info:

See Also