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Accounting Made Easy

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    Accounting Made Easy

    ­A new year brings with it a new line of lodge officers, a new slate of goals. But don’t let the sense of optimism and opportunity blind your lodge to the other thing the new year brings: tax season. If spreadsheets make your heart skip a beat or if a pile of receipts gives you a migraine, don’t worry, there’s help available. From filing taxes to keeping track of your annual expenses and revenues, the Grand Lodge financial service team can make the new year less stressful.

    “The biggest challenge I see lodges face is that they don’t update their financial records on a monthly basis,” says Maribel Pasamic, controller for the Grand Lodge of California. “They wait until the end of the year and scramble to get it done in time.” The result is a whole lot of unnecessary stress. But it doesn’t need to be this way. California lodges have access to a suite of tools to make this sort of accounting easy. At the center of this toolbox is Intacct, an integrated accounting system. With Intacct, lodges can keep track of their expenses easily. And since it’s integrated with iMember 2.0, it also makes recording your dues revenue more straightforward, providing you with an invoice for each payment.

    Beyond the ease of use, Intacct makes it simpler to ask for help. Being cloud-based, the Grand Lodge financial services team can access a lodge’s records remotely through Intacct. That also means lodges experience a seamless transition when there’s a change of treasurer or secretary—no longer do new officers have to make sense of a pile of their predecessor’s spreadsheets and Quickbooks files.

    That's precisely what appeals about the program to Eugene Jeanne, junior warden of Petaluma-Hamilton No. 180 and a member of the Hall Association board there. When he first got involved with managing the hall's finances, he found that they were being handled partly by hand and partly through Quickbooks, though only one member was familiar enough with the program to take charge. "So when he was out, we were in a quandary," Jeanne says. 

    Being already familiar with Intacct, he recommended the hall association adopt the system. "Now, we have one person doing the inputs, and each month, I can run the reports and present them," he says. And if he's indisposed, it's easy enough for another member to step in his place. Now, he's turning his attention to getting the Vitruvius No. 145 Temple Association in Petaluma onto the same system.

    And the best part is that as of 2021, this service is entirely free for lodges to use. (A small service fee is still charged for hall associations.)

    Intacct is a simple-to-use service, but for those needing an introduction to it or a refresher, you can contact the Financial Services team to schedule a one-on-one tutorial.

    In addition to Intacct, Grand Lodge offers other free services, including filing your lodge’s annual 990/199 return. Although lodges do not need to be using Intacct to access this service, hall associations must be in order to take advantage of it. Other free financial services offered by Grand Lodge include assistance working with the IRS to reconcile tax problems and management of a lodge’s live membership and general investments. Says Jeanne, "I recommend Intacct to any lodge. It’s a piece of cake."

    If your lodge would like to take advantage of the suite of financial assistance offered by Grand Lodge, call the Grand Lodge Financial Services Team at (415) 292-9170.

    Help with Your Assets

    Lodge halls are important and valuable assets, and each hall’s situation is unique. Grand Lodge real estate services can help with the following:
    • Provide technical expertise and counsel to hall association trustees for real estate transactions with operational limitations, including long-term leases greater than three years; list, sale, and purchase of real property; secured loans/encumbrance of real property; improvement of their buildings; and suggestions for negotiating transactions and structuring short- and long-term agreements.
    • Offer advice on strategic approaches to leverage the value of hall properties.
    • Offer consultations and support for completing and obtaining written approval for Grand Lodge Masonic Properties Committee application packets, using best practices.
    • Advise on capital improvement and building operations issues, such as reserve funding, solar projects, and so forth.
    • Provide support to prepare 6- to 12-month cash flow projections.
    • Provide guidance on preparing multi-year capital projects planning.
    • Offer insurance premium installment plans to halls with cash flow challenges.
    • Serve as a liaison between the hall and broker/underwriter for complex property insurance claims.
    • Run cost-benefit analyses and financial proformas of real estate projects relative to the lodge and hall association objectives.
    • Provide replacement-cost estimates to gauge sufficient coverage against property loss.
    To get started, contact Grand Lodge Real Estate Services at (415) 292-9111 or

    Your January Checklist

    Stay on track of lodge business and prepare for important deadlines. Here’s your January checklist.

    Executive Committee

    • Hold installation of officers or continue to prepare for installation.
    • Meet with the inspector to review your plan for the year.
    • Prepare to attend 2022 Leadership Retreats—details to be released soon.

    Senior Warden, along with Executive Committee

    • Urge presumptive master, wardens, and senior deacon to perform their Master Mason’s proficiency soon, if not already completed.
    • Prepare 2022 budget to present to the lodge in January.
    • Budget for, and prepare to attend, 2022 Leadership Retreats.
    • Ensure that all committee assignments have been determined. After installation as master, confirm audit, charity, and membership retention committee appointments.
    • Review all candidates’ progress toward advancement.


    • Continue sending out dues notices and collecting member dues.
    • Begin preparing secretary’s annual report to present to the lodge in February.
    • Review the list of suspended members sent to you by Grand Lodge and determine if your lodge wants to participate in the 2022 Restoration Campaign.
    • Budget for, and prepare to attend, 2022 Leadership Retreats.


    • Begin preparing treasurer’s annual report to present to the lodge in February.
    • Budget for, and prepare to attend, 2022 Leadership Retreats.
    • Ensure that the lodge financial records are up to date and bank accounts are reconciled.

    Questions? Contact Member Services at or (415) 776-7000.

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    Question of the Month

    Last month we asked how many degrees your lodge has performed since returning to in-person meetings. Of those that responded:

    • (0-3) - 65%
    • (4-9) -  33%
    • (10+) - 2%

    Here's your next survey question