Choosing the Right Bank Account

Once you’ve developed your conference budget, you’ll need to make arrangements for a conference bank account. Compliant conference bank accounts may come in the following forms:

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IEEE Concentration Banking

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The preferred banking provider for events operating in United States Dollars or Canadian Dollars is IEEE Concentration Banking (CB) accounts. CB accounts are no different from a checking account you might open at a local bank.  You’ll have the ability to collect revenue into an account that’s unique to your event, to access checks or a debit card as necessary, to request checks or electronic transfers through a secure online portal, and to view online monthly statements. Funds in your CB account will also earn monthly interest. 

 

 

To open a CB account, contact your conference business analyst or Conference-Finance@ieee.org

Local Bank Accounts

Conference organizers also have the ability to open an account with a local bank of their choosing. These accounts should be opened in IEEE’s name using IEEE’s tax identification number. Also, the IEEE Senior Director of Financial Services (or a designee) must be added as a signer on any local conference bank accounts in order to ensure alternative signatures should the need arise. 

Co-Sponsor, University, or Not-for-Profit Accounts

In some cases, a university or other not-for-profit organization may collect funds and make disbursements to vendors on behalf of the conference. In this case, a Fiscal Agent Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), (DOC 27 KB) should be signed by the Sponsoring OU and the not-for-profit organization (Agent). In some cases, the agent may also be a financial sponsor on the event, but a Fiscal Agent MoU will still be needed in addition to the Sponsorship MoU.

Note that even if the entity managing the funds is considered a not-for-profit, if they are being paid for providing goods or services of any kind to the conference, they should sign a contract rather than a Fiscal Agent MoU. See the section below on Management Companies for more details.

Conference Management Company Accounts

Conference Management Companies, sometimes called Professional Conference Organizers (PCOs), play an important role in the financial management of many conferences. In some cases, the PCO may collect revenue and disburse expenditures on behalf of the conference. If a PCO is handling this responsibility for your event, the specifics should be described in a contract between the two parties.  

The IEEE Master Management Services Agreement (MMSA) provides a template for spelling out the nature of the work performed, including financial management.  If you have questions on the MMSA, please contact conference-contracts@ieee.org.

Geo Unit Accounts

In general, the best practice is for organizers to open a unique bank account for each financially-sponsored conference. That account is then closed at the conclusion of the conference’s financial activity.

In some parts of the world, opening and closing a bank account for each event may not be practical or even possible. In those cases, using an existing, approved, IEEE Geo Unit account—like a Section account—may be a viable option for managing the conference’s funds. If you intend to use a Geo unit account, it’s important to confirm approval from that unit’s leadership and ensure that conference activity is segregated from unit activity for financial reporting. Contact your conference business analyst or Conference-Finance@ieee.org if you intend to pursue this path for banking.

After Your Event

  • All IEEE conference accounts must be closed within six months of the event’s conclusion.
  • If the account was created exclusively for your event (not including CB accounts), all bank statements should be submitted to the MCE Business Operations team. Be sure to include a last statement showing that there are no funds left in the account.
  • Accounts that were pre-existing and that are used for other purposes (i.e. university accounts, section accounts, etc.) do not need to be closed, but all conference funds must be returned to the sponsoring OUs within 6 months of the event’s conclusion. A formal notification that this has occurred should be sent to the MCE Business Operations team.

We Are Here to Help

If you have questions about choosing the right bank account, please contact the MCE Business Operations team.