UMGSA establishing operational expense account

Expenses were originally paid out-of-pocket and reimbursed by executives

The University of Manitoba Graduate Students’ Association (UMGSA) council passed a motion to establish an expense account and corresponding debit card during its Jan. 23 meeting.

UMGSA vice-president internal Cody Ross said the account will be used for “operational expenses and purchases from establishments that do not accept cheques.”

“Specifically, we anticipate using the debit card to pay for UMGSA events, council meeting catering and UMGSA advertising materials,” he said.

Due to restrictions on current UMGSA accounts, such expenses were paid out-of-pocket by members of the UMGSA executive team or staff who would be reimbursed afterward.

“Our current account that is used for day-to-day expenses requires that transactions are approved by two signing authorities,” said Ross.

“At our current financial institution, a debit card can only be associated with a single signing authority account.

“Also, by adding an additional account, we can limit the funds that are accessible by a single signing authority or debit card holder.”

The current account requires two signing authorities because it holds larger amounts of money.

The new account will have a limited balance and is only meant to cover smaller expenses.

“It is likely that we will establish a guideline for a maximum account balance in the forthcoming policy. I anticipate that the account will not hold more than a few thousand dollars at any given time,” said Ross.

The exact policy for the account and card is yet to be set out and will not be able to be used by the council until another motion is passed approving the policy.

“We will be crafting a usage policy for the debit card via the UMGSA bylaws and policy committee prior to obtaining the debit card,” said Ross.

“This policy will likely be incorporated into the finance section of our governance and operations manual, which will require an additional motion to be presented to the UMGSA council.”

Ross said the motion would ideally be presented at the UMGSA’s Feb. 27 meeting.