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Recording disbursements for a party committee

Check and cash disbursements

Disbursements must be made by check or similar draft drawn on an account maintained at the committee’s designated campaign depository.

A committee may make disbursements from a petty cash fund, but petty cash payments to one person for any one purchase or transaction may not exceed $100.

Regardless of whether a disbursement is made by check or from a petty cash fund, the required recordkeeping information must be maintained.

Records needed

All disbursements

Each disbursement must be identified by:

  • Date;
  • Amount of payment;
  • Name and address of payee; and
  • Purpose of disbursement (a brief explanation of why the disbursement was made, such as "dinner expenses" or "postage").

Disbursements exceeding $200

For each disbursement of more than $200, the committee must keep a receipt, invoice or canceled check (in addition to the information for all disbursements).

Contributions and expenditures on behalf of candidates

In addition to the records discussed for all disbursements, a committee must keep the following records on expenditures made on behalf of candidates:

  • Name of candidate and office sought by candidate, including the state and, for House candidates, congressional district; and
  • Election for which a contribution was made (to facilitate reporting).

Credit card transactions

For each credit card transaction, a committee must retain a monthly billing statement or customer receipt and the canceled check used to pay the account.

Credit union checks or share drafts

A committee may use carbon copies of share drafts or checks drawn on a credit union account provided it also retains the monthly account statement (showing that the draft or check was paid by the credit union).

Best efforts to document disbursements

If a treasurer fails to receive a receipt, invoice or canceled check (required for disbursements exceeding $200), he or she must make at least one written effort per transaction to obtain a duplicate copy of the needed documentation in order to show he or she used "best efforts."