As your club decides to put on a TAOM convention, you must understand
that you are autonomous from the TAOM organization. Whether you make
money or go horribly into debt, the TAOM organization won't come to your
rescue. Make sure you pick a Treasurer that you can trust.
TREASURER: Acts as treasurer for the convention, establishes a
convention checking account, and oversees the administration of the
account. This person also works closely with the President to work up a
convention budget, works with the Talent Chairman to work up a talent
budget, disburses all funds according to all budgets, and works according
to the TAOM Constitution concerning accounting and records as required
by the TAOM organization. At the beginning of the convention, the
Treasurer provides the Talent Chairperson with checks made out to each
performer. Only the Convention President/Chairman and the Treasurer
have power to write checks. The account is terminated at the
convention’s conclusion, after all disbursements are made.
There should only be one address where all invoices and financial
correspondence is sent. Usually this is the Treasurer's address. If the Treasurer
so chooses, a post office box can be secured for the convention. One single
address for financial matters will minimize the headaches associated with getting
all the bills paid before, during, and after a convention.
A budget must be developed for your convention. You might want to
examine the budges of previous TAOM conventions and then parallel your
budget accordingly. You will usually multiply all the figures in your budget by
about fifteen percent, as compared to the last time your club hosted a TAOM
convention. The budget can always be revised, but you must consider your best
and worst case scenarios. Some categories you might consider for your budget
will be indicated on an additional sheet in this chapter.
You might also consider a separate "Promotions" and "Advertising"
categories in your budget. This will delineate money for the Promotions
Chairman to use without interfering with the printing of flyers and posters,
advertising in magazines, and so forth as provided by the Promotions category.
The Treasurer should make periodic reports to the President. A computer
spread sheet is the best way to make such a report. You might also use a simple
computer invoice program to create invoices for use in billing individuals for
moneys owed you.
Your Treasurer will probably need to open a convention checking account.
This account should be first augmented by the TAOM organization's advance
they will give you, and money from your own magic club account (or from the
account that contains the profit from the previous time you hosted a TAOM
Only two people should have the power to write checks, essentially the
Treasurer and a backup person such as the President, just in case something
happens to the Treasurer. The Treasurer and President should be bonded.
Make sure your Treasurer has change (money) on hand at the convention
site. Small matters usually come up that require cash. Certainly the Treasurer
should have enough checks on site at the convention to take care of any matters
that need financial attention.
Many performers will need to be paid cash. Follow the procedures used by
both the IBM and SAM conventions. They have a system whereby the Treasurer
has checks pre-written for each performer. The check is usually attached to a
regular #10 business envelope with the performer's name on it. In the envelope is
the same amount of cash as the amount on the check.
When a performer is paid, he is given the check to endorse immediately.
Immediately the performer returns the check back to the Treasurer, and then the
Treasurer gives the performer the envelope of cash to "cash" their check. The
check becomes the receipt showing that the performer has been paid in full. Note
that this payment procedure is specified in the standardized performance
contract (found in the Talent section of this convention planning guide).
Yes, this means that the Treasurer will have a lot of cash money on him,
but this is how most magic conventions pay their performers. Most performers
that work other magic conventions will expect this same payment procedure as
they work the TAOM.
Obviously the Treasurer should make arrangements to use the convention
hotel safe. The Treasurer and Talent Chairman need to coordinate their efforts
so that the Treasurer knows what is promised in the performance contract for
It should be emphasized that the Treasurer cannot wait till the end of the
convention to pay performers. Performers should be paid immediately after
services are rendered. Payments can be made backstage immediately before an
evening show. Don't wait till an evening show is completed to come backstage
and make payments. It is hectic backstage after a performance and some
performers will actually leave the theater immediately after their performance and
before the evening theater show is completed.
Most performers will need cash so that they can pay their hotel bills. Other
performers will not be able to stay to the end of your convention. They will fly in
for their performance, perform, and will need to fly back out the next day to their
next performance destination. They must be paid on the spot after their
From Kevin Stadler
Dallas 2000 TAOM Convention
October 16, 2000
It is a good practice to write into the note section of each check the budget
category that the expense falls under. The same thing should be done with each
deposit slip except note the categories of income on the back with the amount for
each. This way the process of reconciliation is much easier and the end of
convention accounting has an audit trail.
Since much of the money for the convention comes in within the last two
weeks, it makes sense to plan the budget with a best case and worst case
scenario. In this way you can recommend either increasing or decreasing
expenditure well in advance of knowing the actual outcome of the convention.
Bear in mind that the local club bears the burden if the convention loses money.