Have questions about Automated Clearing House or Collection Problems Reports? Check below for a list of frequently asked questions around Girl Scout banking.
Automated Clearing House (ACH) FAQs
Expand All | Collapse All
What is an ACH and how does an ACH work?
ACH stands for Automated Clearing House. ACH works by allowing a third party (River Valleys) to either debit or credit a troop’s bank account electronically. Troops will simply deposit all money corrected from the Snacks & Magazines and/or Cookie Program into their troop’s bank account. The ACH debit amounts for each program are explained below and in the Snacks & Magazine Troop Guide and the Troop Cookie Manager Guidebook. On predetermined dates, the amount is “debited (withdrawn)” from the troop’s bank account into River Valley’s bank account.
What are the key dates for the ACH debits?
Snacks & Magazines Program
There will be ONE debit (withdrawl).
- November 28 – Deadline to deposit money into troop’s bank account
- November 30 – Deadline to submit Collection Problem Report for parent or customer issues
- December 7 – ACH debit will be processed
- Week of December 10 – M2OS will be updated to reflect the ACH
There will be TWO debits (withdrawals).
- March 11 – River Valleys will run report to determine first ACH amount
- March 12 – Deadline to deposit money into troop’s bank account for first ACH
- March 15 – First ACH debit will be processed
- Week of March 18 – Smart Cookies will be updated to reflect ACH
- April 3 – Deadline to deposit money into troop’s bank account
- April 12 – Deadline to submit Collection Problem Report for parent, customer, or excess inventory
- April 19 – Final debit will be processed
- Week of April 22 – Smart Cookies will be updated to reflect the ACH
How will I know how much will be debited (withdrawn)?
Snacks & Magazines Program
The amount that will be debited (withdrawn) from the troop’s bank account is the final balance amount owed to council that reflected in M2OS.
The first debit (withdrawal) will be calculated by multiplying $1.00 by the total packages owned by the troop on March 11 minus any deposits credited to the troop in Smart Cookies for girl delivery and/or direct ship orders.
- Example: If the troop’s Total Pkgs Received in Smart Cookies lists 846 packages as of March 11, then River Valleys will debit (withdraw) $846 from the troop’s bank account.
- Example: If the troop’s Total Pkgs Received in Smart Cookies lists 846 packages as of March 11 and the troop has $300 in girl delivery and/or direct ship deposits, the River Valleys will debit (withdraw) $546 from the troop’s bank account.
April 19, the second debit (withdrawal) will be the total that is in the Balance box on the Troop Balance Summary Report.
Does my troop have to have a bank account to participate in ACH?
Yes. Juliette Girl Scouts are the exception as they are not allowed to have bank accounts. See Where do Juliette Girl Scouts deposit money? for more information.
What if my troop’s bank account is not at Wells Fargo?
Your troops account does not need to be at Wells Fargo for an ACH to be processed. An ACH can occur between any financial institutions.
How often should deposits be made?
We encourage troops to make weekly deposits of money. To keep the money safe and secure, it is in the best interest of the troop for money to be deposited frequently. It is also in the best interest for the customers as it minimizes the amount of returned checks (non-sufficient funds, closed accounts).
Does the person making the deposits into the troop’s bank account need to be a signer on the account?
No. Please keep in mind that deposits into the troop account can be done by a variety of people and is not required to be a signer on the account. The troop leader will need to make sure whoever is making deposits has the troop’s bank account number and/or deposit tickets for the troop’s bank account. Cash deposits made by a non-signer may need to provide photo ID when making deposit.
Can a troop predetermine the amount pulled from their account?
No. The ACH amount is predetermined by the formula listed above and cannot be adjusted.
Can a troop have the money debited out earlier then predetermined dates?
Yes. If your troop has a large balance in the account and would like the council to ACH the money prior to the predetermined dates, you can call 800-845-0787 and talk to the Troop Finance Specialist.
What if there is not enough room to write all the checks on deposit ticket?
River Valleys has created a fillable PDF for you to use called the Deposit Ticket Check Listing Sheet. Within the Deposit Ticket Check Listing Sheet, you will enter in the currency, coin, and check numbers and amounts, and the totals automatically calculate for you. This form can be attached to a deposit ticket and brought to the bank when making a deposit. An electronic copy can also be saved for back up documentation of the deposit.
Who are checks written out to and how do we endorse checks for deposit?
Checks must be written out to Girl Scouts and endorsed “for deposit only” when depositing.
What should I do if I know that money will not be in the bank for the ACH?
Timely and regular communication among the leadership of the troop is vital component of the success of ACH with your troop. However, we understand that emergencies do happen. If you find that this is the case, the troop will need to complete the Collection Problem Report by the dates listed in the guidebooks.
If the money is not in the troop’s bank account when the ACH debit is processed, what happens?
If the troop bank balance does not have sufficient funds to cover ACH, an NSF charge may be incurred. River Valleys will not reimburse troops for these charges. River Valleys will contact the troop regarding the returned ACH via email. The troop leader and/or troop cookie manager will be contacted, and arrangements will be made for payment.
Can families or troop leaders deposit money into their personal account and then write a check to the troop?
No. When this is allowed there is a greater chance that the money will not be turned over to the troop or the families check will be returned due to NSF or closed account.
Where do Juliette Girl Scouts deposit money?
Juliette Girl Scouts need to deposit ALL their money into the council account using the special encoded council deposit tickets, which are available from Product Program. Juliette’s do not keep any of the proceeds earned as cash. This is due to GSUSA and IRS regulations that state that Juliette Girl Scouts cannot have checking/savings accounts in their name. Additionally, Juliette money cannot be deposited into parent/guardian personal accounts and a check written to pay for the cookies to the council account.
What if our troop is participating in only online orders for Snacks & Magazines and/or Cookies?
The money paid for online Snacks & Magazines and Cookies will be automatically deposited into the River Valleys’ bank account and credited to the troop in M2OS and Smart Cookies.
If your troop is only participating in online sales and is due a refund, River Valleys will process that refund via ACH.
Will M2OS and/or Smart Cookies be updated to show the ACH debit from the troop bank account?
Yes, the ACH debit amounts will be reflected in M2OS and Smart Cookies 1-2 days after the money is debited from troop’s bank account.
What if we accidentally deposit money into the council’s bank account instead of the troop’s bank account?
Contact Becky Rettler at 651-251-1211 or email@example.com ASAP to make sure the funds have been credited to the troop. ACH debits will be adjusted instead of the council transferring the money to the troop’s bank account and then having to transfer the money back for the ACH.
Expand All | Collapse All
Collection Problem Report (CPR) FAQ
Expand All | Collapse All
What is a Collection Problem Report (CPR) and where do I find it?
A Collection Problem Report is an online web form which must be completed in any of the following situations (see questions below for more information on each scenario):
- ACH Refund Request (due to data entry error)
- Bank Fees Reimbursement Request (due to high deposit activity)
- Excess Troop Cookie Inventory
- Family Outstanding Balance to Troop
- Troop Cookie Manager or Troop Leader Outstanding Balance to Troop
- Juliette (Individual Participant) Outstanding Balance to River Valleys
- Returned Check (NSF/account closed) Reimbursement Request
- Stolen Product/Money or Counterfeit Money Received
Go to the Collection Problem Report form. Or find the form by entering Collection Problem Report in the search bar. You will not be able to submit the report unless all the information has been completed and any supporting documentation has been attached.
What if we have a parent/customer that has an outstanding balance?
Making immediate contact with the parent/guardian is by far the most effective method of collecting payment. Please attempt to resolve the issues within your troop during the sale. Be sure to document the situation and all attempted contacts.
If money remains uncollected at the end of the sale, you must complete a CPR no later than November 30 for Snacks & Magazines or April 12 for the Cookie program. The ACH debit amount will be adjusted to leave this balance in the troop’s bank account and will short the amount owed to the council instead. River Valleys will then contact the parent/guardian to try and collect the debit. If the parent/guardian fails to communicate with council, or if the parent/guardian does not abide by a River Valleys’ payment plan, the debit will be referred to a collections agency.
Troops are NOT to use troop proceeds to cover any outstanding balances. The troop proceeds belong to the girls and by using these funds to cover an outstanding balance; the girls lose out on their hard work.
If the debt has not been paid by the beginning of the next program season, that girl will have restricted access to selling Snacks & Magazines and/or Cookies.
River Valleys does not follow up with troops and/or service units on the status of CPR’s. Troops and/or service units can contact River Valleys if they are interested in status of CPR.
If a Collection Problem Report is submitted after the final ACH debit, the balance owed by the parent/customer will be returned to the troop’s bank account via ACH.
What if there is a returned (NSF/closed account) check deposited into the troop account?
Do not attempt to collect repayment from the check writer.
The signer on the troop’s bank account that receives the bank statements is the person who will receive the legal notice and bank statement in the mail for returned checks. It is REQUIRED that we receive the Legal Copy (front and back) of the check and not a printed copy of the check from your troop’s online bank account. When you receive the legal copy (see sample below) of return check notification from the bank, complete and submit a CPR and include a copy of both the bank statement and the legal copy of the returned check. It is important that we receive a copy of the front and the back of the returned check. The reimbursement will be delayed if all required documents are not submitted.
The check amount and bank fee (if applicable) will be refunded back to the troop’s bank account via ACH.
Sample of Legal Copy of Returned Check
You may be charged a fee by the bank if you choose to print a copy of the returned check directly from the troop’s online bank account. This copy will not be accepted by River Valleys and we will not reimburse for any of these bank fees.
What bank fees could our troop incur and what do I do if these bank fees are incurred?
Some troop bank accounts have a limit on the number of free transactions that can post to the account per month before a fee is charged. Contact your bank if you have questions on their transaction limits.
If the troop bank account incurs bank fees during the months of November and December for troops selling Snacks & Magazines or during February, March, or April for troops selling Cookies, you must complete a Collection Problem Report and include a copy of the bank statement. The bank fee will be refunded to the troop’s bank account via ACH.
What if council pulls an incorrect amount from my troop’s account?
Your attention to M2OS and Smart Cookies is important. Any wrong entries in girls selling, transfers, or transactions will affect your balance. Since we will pull funds from your account based on these variables, it is possible that an incorrect amount could be pulled. If you discover that the incorrect amount was debited from the troop’s bank account, please complete a Collection Problem Report and your troop will be credited or debited accordingly.
What if my troop has excess cookie inventory to be sold after the Cookie Program is over?
Excess troop inventory is the financial responsibility of the troop. If your troop has excess cookie inventory and would like to seek an extension to sell inventory and an adjustment to the final ACH debit, you must complete a CPR with the amount of excess inventory (broken down by variety), and your timing and plans for selling cookies. The final ACH debit will be adjusted accordingly.
How do we handle if money or product has been stolen from the troop or family?
The family/troop will be responsible for any money owed to the troop or River Valleys unless the following required steps have been completed:
- A police report has been filed – you will need to provide a copy.
- An insurance claim has been filed – you will need to provide a copy.
- Depending on the incident, a claim should have been filed with either Homeowners or Auto insurance. If insurance does not cover the claim, you will need to get a letter from insurance carrier stating that your claim is or is not covered— this letter, if applicable, will need to be attached to the Collection Problem Report
Once all the required paperwork has been received at River Valleys a confirmation email will be sent.
What do we do if the troop receives counterfeit money from a customer?
Request a letter from the bank stating that the bank received/kept the counterfeit money—you will need to provide a copy. Once all the required paperwork has been received at River Valleys a confirmation email will be sent.
Do the deadline dates for CPR’s apply to Returned Check and Bank Fee problems?
No. Reports can but submitted during and after the sales for both returned checks and bank fees. We know some checks will not clear the account until after sale or you may not get the bank statement until after the sales are over to show charged bank fees.
Who do I contact if I have any questions?
Expand All | Collapse All