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Mr. Admin’s AMEX Card

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Mr. Admin’s AMEX Card
This one is not going to turn out good. A big fight is just beginning to brew over Mr. Admin’s personal AMEX card being used for NAPPS business purposes. This practice has been going on for a number of years and while there have been rumblings of improper use, nothing has ever come of it. Well, all that’s about to change. Here is how we understand the program works. Note that some of this information has come from Mr. Admin himself.

Mr. Admin pays NAPPS bills – not the treasurer. He pays some of these bills with his personal AMEX card. He also uses this same card when traveling on NAPPS business. When it comes time to pay his AMEX, Mr. Admin has his staff cut a NAPPS check to AMEX to pay the statement.

This practice is inappropriate even assuming for a moment that all Mr. Admin’s charges on his personal AMEX card are proper expenses of NAPPS. Yes, we know, that is a BIG assumption but let’s step through the issues:

1. There is no need to pay NAPPS bills with Mr. Admin’s credit card – the NAPPS office can simply write a check.

2. Should Mr. Admin incur costs while traveling on NAPPS business, the proper accounting would be for him to turn in an expense report to NAPPS requesting reimbursement.

3. NAPPS should NEVER write a NAPPS check payable to AMEX – it’s not their bill or responsibility, it’s Mr. Admin’s.

4. Under the current arrangement, AMEX points and/or cash rebates accrue to Mr. Admin personally – not NAPPS. That is not only wrong, that is unethical and inappropriate. It’s NAPPS member’s money paying these bills, not Mr. Admin.

5. Get a NAPPS credit card for NAPPS business travel – avoid the conflict of interest.

6. All paid AMEX statements should be the property of NAPPS, not Mr. Admin. How else would an auditor, treasurer, or heck, even a president know what the check was cut for if there wasn’t any backup. Those records belong to the association.

7. Who reviews the AMEX statement to ensure the charges are appropriate? At this time, no one does – there is no check and balance whatsoever on this practice.

Treasurer Steve Janney made a recommendation at the last board meeting (Feb 4 2012) that NAPPS take action to get its own credit card so the current practice can be discontinued. When the matter came up for discussion, NOT ONE BOARD MEMBER TOOK UP THE DISCUSSION TO THE FLOOR. IT DIED THERE. Note how cautious Steve J. words his recommendation – even so, big kudos’ for someone brave enough to tackle the issue at a board meeting.

Is Mr. Admin is billing NAPPS for non-NAPPS personal expenses through his use of his AMEX card? Mr. Admin uses AMEX points for hotel suite upgrades and first class travel. Mr. Admin is now fighting member requests to see copies of these AMEX statements. The association has retained counsel to advise the board on what to do.

If we are to take Mr. Admin at face value and believe all his charges are for appropriate NAPPS expenses, then why would any reasonable person refuse to provide those records when requested? A better question perhaps is why hasn’t the treasurer or the president been able to gain access to these AMEX statements? Is it for a lack of asking or have then been refused too?

One Comment leave one →
  1. The Good Witch permalink
    2012-03-11 23:05

    Another issue is how the association reimburses members for expenses incurred while on NAPPS business. The membership expects a complete accounting for all expenses reimbursed to not just the administrator but anyone one else who has been paid by NAPPS for so called expenses. If you review the associations tax returns there are years where some members have received more than $7,000.00 in a single year. Thankfully the board adopted a new policy last year and hopefully it has created a system for accounting for these expenditures that the members can trust works. After all it is our money.

    Hopefully someone will ask to see the reimbursement records so we can put this TRUST issue to bed.

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