Changes in our cookie payment procedures are coming, so thought I should circle back to something that was too heavily emphasized and sounded like a requirement during cookie training. We have made some major changes to the cookie program trying to make it EASIER for you, the busy parent and troop leader. But not all changes are easy, especially in the transition to them and thinking things through.
During cookie training, there was strong emphasis placed on allowing the council to sweep your troop's cookie payment from your troop account. That was a change offered this year by the cookie baker and the council with the hope of making your life easier. We recognize many of you have to plan ahead to get that payment either to a service center or a staff person to get it to us on time. The ACH (banking term for automated clearinghouse) payment is meant to make it easier for you to have the payment made. We don't plan on using this for anything other than the cookie payment at this point, and the signer on your bank account has to authorize any sweeps. We cannot see your checking account when we do this. We are simply given permission to sweep those funds from your account into the council account, so we can pay the cookie baker. I heard some concerns that we would be "looking at troop checking accounts." We are too busy to do that; we do audit troop accounts on a random or periodic basis, but as a general rule, we do not have the time to look at a troop account.
The one caveat here is that GSUSA is starting to "require" that we look at more troop accounts. But that is still in discussion, and the council staff stays very busy with the current workload, so we have no plans to do this at this time. I want to be clear that we are happy to do an ACH transfer of cookie funds from your troop account to the council account to make it easier for you. However, you do not have to do this; it isn't required; and we always welcome your check as payment. We are continually interested in trying to make the life of a troop leader easier.