- Getting volunteers (including officers and directors) to submit reimbursement forms to the finance office
- 9 AM - 5 PM finance office hours are often not compatible with student schedules
- Digital financial forms/guides are not all in one place online (difficult to find)
- Summer senior counselors lack adequate financial training, particularly with the reimbursement process
- Lack of finance transition guides for new directors of some programs
- Confusion as to which program expenses qualify for reimbursements
- Submission of outdated past versions of reimbursement forms
1) Creating a digital reimbursement process:
- PBHA's current reimbursement form submission process is paper only, which creates problems for volunteers who do not know where/how to pick up blank forms OR where/when to turn completed forms. Finance office hours also limit form submission to 9-5PM on weekdays.
- Recommendation: Creating a digital reimbursement form submission process would enable volunteers to submit reimbursements from the comfort of their own homes. They could fill out the necessary parts, attach an image of a receipt(s), and submit it for pending approval from their program director(s). Program director(s) would receive pending reimbursement requests from their email and would have to approve them/sign off before the completed reimbursement form is sent to the finance office.
- All individuals interviewed responded that a digital reimbursement form would help them in their roles at PBHA.
- Further investigation: What platform to use for the digital form (ex: Google docs, Adobe), where people can find the digital form (PBHA website?), how to have completed forms sent to directors pending approval and then to the finance office, process for dealing with incomplete forms?
2) Updating my.pbha.org and program Drives with consolidated financial materials
- Directors have access to their program-specific Google Drive and my.pbha.org (an online interface with access to organizational information and printouts of financial forms). However, these resources contain outdated information and forms.
- Several interviewees noted a lack of organization and updated information within my.pbha.org and their Drive. A few interviewees had never even accessed my.pbha.org as they did not believe it was a useful resource in its current state.
- Recommendation: Update my.pbha.org and Drives to contain the correct information and files (reimbursement forms, missing receipt form, MA tax exempt form, financial staff and officer names and contacts). Get rid of outdated versions of these files after updating.
- Recommendation: Written financial documents (reimbursement policies, summer/term-time budgeting guides, grant submission timeline, reimbursement submission instructions, financial transition guides) should all be found in one folder in every PBHA program's Google Drive.
- Further investigation: Technical challenges of updating my.pbha.org, what to do for programs that do not have financial transition guides?
3) Holding a financial training session for Summer Senior Counselors
- Currently, Summer Directors receive financial training but Senior Counselors (SCs) do not. Many still are expected to buy incur program expenses throughout the summer, but lack knowledge of the reimbursement process due to a lack of training (as two interviewees noted).
- Recommendation: Develop a mandatory basic reimbursement and classroom budget training for SCs for SC Training Week. Topics covered can include: what program expenses are reimbursable, how to submit a reimbursement, common reimbursement form mistakes, how to create a small classroom budget, how to report to directors about financial concerns
- Further investigation: Who will lead the training, how to fit this training into a week that is already full of other important trainings?