How To Run the Back Office
BY S. KIRK WALSH, FOUNDER OF THE AUSTIN BAT CAVE
Even if the organization has limited funds, I would suggest hiring a part-time bookkeeper in order to cut checks to the staff and pay the payroll taxes. When Gerard Richards was here a few years ago, I told him what happened with our payroll tax and how it went unpaid for about a year, and this situation with the IRS almost took Austin Bat Cave down. It was scary, but it was because our back-office systems were not in place. The bookkeeper and the Treasurer need to work together closely so that all of the taxes are being paid and all of the necessary filings are happening. It’s critical to the health of the organization. Along the way with ABC, several individuals tried to help out, telling me that they would help me create a set of financial measures for our success (grants and donations), but the bookkeeping is so important to building transparency and clarity. Also, it’s important to build infrastructure for tracking donors and their information. This is something that has been built over time at ABC, but I wish that we’d had this kind of system in place from the beginning.