From the East – February 2017

By March 5, 2017From the East

Brothers! I am happy to report our non-investment banking accounts are now fully transferred to Oregon’s locally owned Umpqua Bank. Our accounts with Wells Fargo Bank are closed. The “online warrant system” described in my article last month has been implemented. Our Treasurer and Secretary have been trained to use it, and both report success with this new approach. Our banking is now more readily accessible than ever, yet secure as it has always been. Further, debit cards are now in use by the Secretary and Junior Warden, significantly reducing the paperwork burden of our regular monthly dinner, mailing, and similar expenses.

So, with this success in place, the next project has begun. We are working with an experienced Accountant who specializes in small non-profit organizations. Financial records are being migrated from a desktop copy of Quicken, which has been managed for several years by Scott Mist, PM, to a Quickbooks Online account, to be jointly managed by our Treasurer, Bryan Tranel, and Assistant Treasurer, Christopher Chase, JW.

Our primary motivation for this change is to significantly improve our ability to track expenditures relative to our approved annual budget. Using Quickbooks Online, properly configured by this Accountant, not only will any appropriate officer have access to our records from any secure web browser. But, we’ll easily generate Year To Date budget reports for each stated meeting. This added transparency will make it much easier for us, in the months and years ahead, to soundly manage the patrimony of our Lodge, and put its gains to proper Masonic use.

As you know from past announcements, this year’s Masonic Education focus is Classic Western Philosophy. The 30 minute recorded lectures have been met with appreciation, and our post-meeting fellowship, discussing each evening’s lecture, has been lively and interesting.

I sincerely hope all Brothers of Friendship Masonic Lodge No. 160, Ancient Free & Accepted Masons, will make a point of attending Stated Meetings this year. As always, dinner is served at 6:30pm, the gavel falls at 7:30pm, Masonic Education starts about 8:20pm, and we are making a concerted effort to close the Lodge by 9:00pm, for those who need to return home sooner than others. All are welcome to stay longer for fellowship and lively conversation. If you would like assistance getting to and from the meeting, please contact Secretary Jim Loennig, and he will notify the Officer Corps to help accommodate your needs. You are heartily welcomed!

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