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Chapter Organization

The Bylaws of the Society authorize the Executive Committee to establish chapters for the purpose of providing it's members the maximum benefits, opportunities and services offered by the Society, in it's program to encourage self-improvement and to give each member an opportunity for free interchange of ideas with the objective of improving financial management. It is essential that every chapter establish and maintain an efficient and well-informed executive and administrative organization, in close contact with the National Headquarters. A knowledge of the practices, procedures, and services of the National Headquarters will assist chapter officers to give and receive the benefits expected from their participation as chapter executives. The Society is a professional organization comprised of a National Headquarters and individual chapters. Only through the effective administration of the chapters can the members enjoy all the benefits of the Society. Each chapter, as an integral part of the Society, should encourage performance by individual members in the interest of the chapter and the Society. The primary purposes of chapter activities are:

  1. To develop member interest and participation;
  2. To motivate each member in assuming and fulfilling responsibilities to the chapter and its members;
  3. To develop a working relationship with the National Headquarters;
  4. To promote interest in and extend the benefits of membership in the Society;
  5. To encourage inter-chapter meetings and activities;
  6. To assist in the development of new ideas and programs for dissemination throughout the Society;
  7. To identify members with leadership ability and develop those members as chapter officers;
  8. To develop a spirit of fellowship and cooperation in the chapter activities as well as obtain their active support of the National Headquarters' activities.

The chapter will be of such size as to operate efficiently and effectively. A chapter shall not be established with less than six active members. Each chapter shall adopt and be governed by their own Constitution and Bylaws which should be patterned after those established by the National Society. The chapter Constitution and Bylaws must be approved by National Headquarters.

The chapter program should be developed into well-rounded activities in the general field of financial management that will appeal to the interests of the membership. A general plan of meetings and programs should be developed and approved by the chapter Executive Committee in advance of meetings for the chapter year. In developing the plan, consideration should be given to the type of general membership meetings to be held. These include, but are not limited to, (a) panel speaker meetings, (b) formal talks or briefings, (c) case studies, (d) workshops, and (e) joint meetings with other organizations. The meeting place and the format of the meeting should be covered in the plan. The formal chapter program is the most important factor leading to the general success of chapter activities. Interesting and dynamic programs will draw members to meetings and will encourage prospective membership. To ensure that programs are successful, the program should be handled by a member who will give maximum effort to the task. Often, a vice president will be given this assignment because this is an excellent means of demonstrating effectiveness and preparing the vice president for consideration as chapter president.

Chapters are encouraged to prepare detailed programs a year in advance. (required for Five Star status) Advance planning has advantages. First, it creates and develops a well-rounded program. Second, it enhances the possibilities of securing good speakers. The program should be published and distributed to members well ahead of time, thereby assisting in publicity to encourage attendance. Remember, the Society is a specialized organization in that its members are involved in a wide variety of financial management programs. chapter programs are most valuable when the member can envision an application to the member's own field of endeavor. However, an occasional program of a general nature, such as executive development or personnel administration, can prove interesting and draw a good attendance.

1. Chapter Membership

The Society chapter exists solely for benefits to be derived by its members. All chapter activities should be involved with some phase of training or practice to improve the members' knowledge of military financial management activities. Most Society members become members by invitation. However, some are drawn to the chapter meetings of their own volition because of their personal interest and because it affords them the opportunity to meet colleagues in their fields of expertise. It is the responsibility of the Membership and Attendance Committee and one of the Vice Presidents to introduce new members at their first meeting and to be sure that they receive material about the Society such as Bulletins and Bylaws. The new member induction ceremony should be given a place of importance. A new member will obtain a high opinion of the Society if the induction is performed thoughtfully and with dignity.

2. Chapter Dues

Dues for the Society will be prescribed by the National Council at its annual meeting for the succeeding membership year. The dues remitted to the Society shall include the cost of subscription to the Armed Forces Comptroller. Each membership application should include a remittance for one year's dues in accordance with the current dues schedule. There shall be no application fee. However, the chapter may charge their members an annual assessment for the operation of the chapter. This chapter assessment shall be in addition to the established annual dues. Chapter dues must be filed with the Executive Director, stating the amount and the purpose. Individuals are not permitted to pay only local dues, without payment of National dues and vice versa. Dues shall be due and payable during the member's anniversary month each year. Any member not paying dues within 6 months will be dropped from the chapter roster. Individuals who are within that grace period of six months will continue to receive the Armed Forces Comptroller but will not be considered members in good standing. A member whose membership shall have been forfeited for nonpayment of dues must submit a previous membership application for reinstatement.

3. Relationship with National Headquarters

The Society strives to maintain an organizational structure that promotes contact and communications between the chapter officers, the National Headquarters and members. The chapter president has the responsibility as liaison to the National Headquarters. The National President and members of the executive committee make periodic visits to chapters throughout the year. These visits supplement the continuing contact with chapters maintained by the National Executive Director. The principal value of visits by national officers is the exchange of information and suggestions. Visits by National Officers are valuable as a major means of keeping the National Headquarters informed and provide for a close-knit, friendly, frank, and personal interaction. An informal meeting with the chapter Executive Committee is desirable at the time of these visits. Arrangements for visits to chapters should usually be made several months in advance; so if it is not possible to include a regular meeting, there can be an informal luncheon or dinner with the chapter officers and members. The maintenance of any organization depends on the effectiveness of its communication system between all chapters and the National Headquarters. The objective of the communication system of the Society is to provide flow in both directions: to and from members, chapters, the National Executive Director and staff, through direct mailings, e-mail correspondence, phone calls and personal meetings. The National Headquarters was created to provide service to the chapters, it has the responsibility of keeping the chapters informed on current happenings within the Society as well as the activities of other chapters. From time to time, National Headquarters will make suggestions to chapters on methods to increase membership and give counsel and information on any aspect of chapter operation and activities. However, to function properly, the National Headquarters must be furnished information such as names and phone numbers of the chapter officers, chapter mailing address, corrected membership rosters, answers to questionnaires and surveys requested, and any other essential data on an as required basis.

4. Formation of New Chapters

It is the policy of the American Society of Military Comptrollers to encourage the formation of new chapters when it is in the best interest of the Society and the members of the new chapter. The National Executive Director will be in close contact during the new chapter's organizational period. If evidence exists that the chartering of a new chapter would be adverse to the welfare of the Society, a new chapter will not automatically be issued a charter. Additional information concerning the formation of a new chapter can be found in Chapter 5 of this handbook.

5. Chapter Officers

The elective officers of the chapter shall be a chapter President; President-Elect and/or one or more Vice Presidents, depending on the size of the chapter; a chapter Secretary, and a chapter Treasurer. The eligibility of the various classes of members for chapter office shall be specified in the chapter By-Laws. The officers shall hold office for at least one (1) year and shall be eligible for re-election. Each chapter has the option of providing for a chapter President-Elect who will serve as Vice President prior to assuming duties as chapter President. This optional procedure in effect precludes a chapter President from serving successive terms. It is suggested that election and subsequent installation of chapter officers take place in late spring or early summer of each year. This would permit the new officers to be introduced to the membership prior to the close of the current year. Any positions coming vacant during the chapter year will be filled in accordance with the local chapter by-laws. In addition to the elective officers of the chapter, a number of Chairpersons should be appointed by the President to head various committees. The committees should include (1) executive; (2) program; (3) education and training, (4) membership, (5) meetings and attendance; (6) and nominating. The chapter by-laws should address the chapter committee structure and how to add others as needed. The number of officers and chairpersons may be expanded or contracted and one or more of the activities may be assumed by an officer or chairman. The number and functions of committees should be tailored to the needs and size of the individual chapter. The chapter President shall be the chief executive, leader and spokesperson for the chapter. The President has responsibility for the conduct of the chapter and, when present, shall preside at all meetings of the chapter, including Executive Committee meetings. The President shall be responsible for the enforcement of the By-Laws and resolutions of the National Headquarters and of the rules regulating chapters, and shall keep the National Headquarters fully informed of the affairs of the chapter. The President shall consult the National Headquarters, when necessary, concerning the business of the chapter and its activities. The National Headquarters uses the chapter President as liason for association business, including the National News and membership rosters. The chapter Vice President(s) or President-Elect shall have duties delegated by the chapter President. The Vice President or, if there is more than one, the Vice President designated by the President, shall perform duties of the chapter President in the President's absence. It is suggested that the Vice Presidents be designated to head, or oversee, one or more of the committees, such as the program committee, the education committee, or the membership committee. (Appropriate committee assignments relieve the chapter President of some functional areas and also provide a firm basis for the proper administration of chapter operations.) The chapter Treasurer shall be responsible for the custody of chapter funds and their proper disbursement under the rules prescribed.. The Treasurer shall make periodic reports as required by the National Headquarters and other reports which the chapter may require. The chapter Treasurer shall be the disbursing officer of the chapter. At the conclusion of the Treasurer's term of office, the Treasurer shall turn over to the new Treasurer all the funds, records, papers, documents, and property of the chapter relating to the business of the chapter which are in the outgoing Treasurer's possession. At this time the chapter's financial records will be subjected to audit. The Treasurer will respond to questions necessary to resolve any audit questions. The chapter Secretary performs duties delegated or prescribed by the chapter President. Records of the membership and an attendance record of all club meetings shall be kept under the Secretary's jurisdiction. The Secretary shall notify members of the chapter of all meetings and shall do any and all things normally required by the National Headquarters, the chapter President, and other chapter Officers and members to keep them informed of the chapter affairs on a timely basis. Procedures for installation of officers can be found under FAQ at http://www.asmconline.org/faq/installation.shtml.

6. Chapter Committees

Standing Committees include, but are not necessarily limited to: Executive, Program, Education and Training, Membership, Meetings and Attendance, Nominating, and others as needed. The Executive Committee should consist of the chapter officers and the immediate Past President. The chapter President should be the chairperson. The Executive Committee should be responsible for all chapter business and matters concerning the welfare of the chapter. It may present recommendations to the chapter for action. Next to the membership itself, the Executive Committee possesses the most authority. The Program Committee has the responsibility for developing a well-rounded program in the general fields of financial management that will appeal to the membership. The efforts of the Program Committee will have a marked impact on the success of the chapter in achieving the goals of the Society. The Committee should develop a general plan of programs for the approval of the Executive Committee. (In the planning, the Committee should give consideration to the types of programs that would benefit and appeal to the membership.) The Committee has the responsibility for securing speakers, panel members or other program materials for each technical meeting; offering to meet and escort an outside speaker to the meeting, making hotel arrangements and seeing that program participants reach their departure point on time; determining whether the speaker needs any special aids and notifying the meeting arrangements committee (if there is one) of the requirements well in advance of the meeting date; securing picture and biographical data from the speaker and forwarding to the Chairman of the Publicity Committee; providing program outline to the chapter President and Secretary in ample time for preparation of chapter meeting notice; and, finally, arranging for a letter of appreciation for each speaker outside the chapter membership. The Education and Training Committee has the responsibility for developing, promoting, and improving the understanding of military financial management by (1) members of the Society, (2) non-members interested in military financial management, and (3) students and educators at nearby colleges and universities. In carrying out this responsibility, the Committee should work closely with the National Headquarters Professional Development Committee, educational institutions in their area, and other professional organizations. It may also arrange public seminars on financial management and invite other professional organization members and local business representatives to participate. If seminars are planned, thorough preparation and advance publicity are essential to assure good attendance. The group leaders should be carefully selected and have full knowledge of their subjects. The Membership Committee has the responsibility for promoting the interest of prospective members in the chapter. In order to increase membership in the chapter, the Committee should develop a list of potential eligible members. A major source of this type of information is usually the knowledge of the prospect. Where there is no direct personal contact in the agency, a personal visit or letter to the head of the office will often prove effective. Prospective members should be invited to attend a future chapter meeting. Members should be encouraged to mix with the prospective members to discuss their similar interests. Special personal efforts should be made to invite prospective members to meetings where an outside speaker is featured and the subject would be of interest to the prospect. They should call members who are not attending meetings to ascertain the reason and invite them to come back. The committee should review non-renewals and determine the reason(s) for dropouts; particularly where a member had been active but lost interest and resigned. Perhaps a personal contact by the chapter President with that individual would identify any weaknesses in chapter management or the Society so that improvements can be made to avoid future non-renewals. The Meetings and Attendance Committee has the responsibility for increasing the interest of present members so as to improve attendance at meetings. The Committee is also responsible for arrangements for meeting places and meetings. In carrying out this responsibility, the committee should:

  1. Canvas membership as to preferred meeting date and time;
  2. If appropriate, make provisions for beverage service, menu and table arrangement for each meeting;
  3. Notify meeting place of number expected to attend meeting;
  4. See that facilities required by speaker are on hand, such as a lectern, slide projector, etc.;
  5. See that the head table is set up as specified by the President.

The Nominating Committee. A Nominating Committee should be appointed by the chapter President not later than the February meeting of each year. The committee should suggest names of members for nomination for chapter office so that they can be announced at the April meeting. In selecting the nominees, it is important that the slate include a cross section of the chapter membership. The objective is to provide the membership with the feeling that one or more of the chapter officers has interests similar to each of the individual members. The committee should strive to have nominees for each office who are willing to devote a reasonable amount of time to chapter activities. The committee shall also report the nominations to the Secretary of the chapter, prior to the April meeting. If provided in the by-laws, additional nominations may be made. The Secretary of the chapter shall have ballots prepared showing the nominations. The ballots may be in such form as the Secretary may find practicable, and shall be provided to each member. Provision should be made for prompt return of the ballot so that the Secretary can tabulate the votes and submit the results to the President prior to the meeting at which the results are to be announced. Any ties shall be resolved by the Executive Committee. The announcement of the election of new officers shall be made at the May or June meeting so that the incoming officers may have some time to formulate plans, select chairpersons of committees and prepare technical and other programs. If the chapter desires, this permits the June meeting to be primarily a social meeting with only brief business items included on the agenda by the incoming president.

7. Chapter Membership Meetings

Chapter meetings are valuable from the standpoint of the program and as a means of bringing the members together at regular intervals. In many instances, even greater benefits are derived by individual members from the new contacts and friendships with other members. The members of the Society usually have similar backgrounds with many common interests and experiences. To gain the maximum benefit and enjoyment, members must get to know each other. The selection of a convenient and attractive meeting place is a most important factor. Quality food and good acoustics are sure to have a positive impact upon attendance of members and guests. It is desirable to have members participate in the selection process by giving them an opportunity to express preference for meeting time, location, and cost.

Other important factors that make membership meetings successful are: (a.) adhering to a definite time schedule; (b.) directing program content toward the majority of the membership; (c.) publicizing the meeting well in advance and (d.) interesting meetings with educational value (not just a luncheon or a supper club meeting).

General membership meetings should also be used to keep the membership informed of the chapter finances, planned activities, news about national programs, member announcements and awards and recognition.

8. Committee Reports The chapter President should call for committee reports at least every other month, either at an Executive Committee meeting or a chapter meeting. Each standing committee should report at regular intervals, while special committees responsible for certain specific duties should submit their reports as required. Sound chapter operations may be demonstrated to the members by the manner in which reports are called for, by the response of the committee chairman (or in absence of the chairperson another member of the committee), and by the way in which the chapter takes action . 9. Audit Reports Within ninety days after the installation of new officers, the chapter accounts should be audited by an appointed auditor or an auditing committee appointed by the chapter President, and a report rendered to the membership. A copy should be sent to the National Headquarters. 10. Chapter Records and Finances Chapter officers may accumulate a considerable volume of correspondence and other material. It is desirable that this be reviewed prior to the conclusion of each officer's term of office and that material without permanent value be discarded. An excellent way to do this necessary housecleaning is to review accumulated records with the incoming officer and discard unwanted material. In general, the records that are kept on a long-term basis are:

  1. Membership records,
  2. chapter minutes,
  3. chapter by-laws,
  4. chapter financial records,
  5. a list of current and prior chapter officers, and
  6. a copy of this chapter handbook.

It is suggested that the chapter Executive Committee approve a retention schedule for financial and similar records of a semi-permanent nature. One chapter officer should be designated to maintain the chapter handbook. The handbook can be locally reproduced if the chapter President determines that more than one copy is necessary. Additional copies are also available for purchase through National Headquarters. It is critical that all local reproduced copies be updated with all changes as provided by the Executive Director. There is no prescribed method or restriction by the National Headquarters as to the manner in which the chapter funds are expended. Accounting and auditing guidance is provided in a separate chapter of this manual. chapters should, however, adhere to the following National Policy Declaration:   "NATIONAL POLICY DECLARATION" Number 1-80 1. In Accordance with the American Society of Military Comptrollers Constitution and By-Laws dated 21 May 1980, the following policy applies to the National Council and all American Society of Military Comptrollers chapters. 2. This policy will be followed in the expenditure of funds derived from meetings, conferences, symposia, and other events sponsored by the American Society of Military Comptrollers. 3. The attention of all is called to the following Article II, Section 2.G. 'Insure that no part of the net earnings of the organization shall inure to the benefit of, or be distributable to its members, trustees, officers, or other private persons, except that the organization shall be authorized and empowered to pay reasonable compensation for services rendered and to make payments and distributions in furtherance of the purposes set forth in Section I of the above. No substantial part of the activities of the organization shall be the carrying on of propaganda, or otherwise attempting to influence legislation, and the organization shall not participate in, or intervene in (including the publishing or distribution of statements) any political campaign on behalf of any candidate for public office. Notwithstanding any other provision of these articles, the organization shall not carry on any other activities not permitted to be (a) by an organization exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 (or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law), or (b) by an organization, contributions to which are deductible under section 170(c) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1954 ( or the corresponding provision of any future United States Internal Revenue Law.)'. 4. This Policy Declaration will be a permanent record of each chapter in accordance with By-Laws VII Section 1.B". 11. Inactivation of a Chapter A chapter which falls below six members or whose membership has become inactive, should contact the National Headquarters for guidance. Records of a Chapter surrendering its Charter for any reason shall be submitted to the National Executive Committee and disposed of at the Committee's discretion, pursuant to Article IX of the National By-Laws.

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