How to Open a Checking Account for a Political Committee

A political action committee (PAC) is a type of committee whose sole purpose is to either elect someone or work in the effort of defeating a candidate. Many political leaders these days have PACs to collect funds, in order to have a strong bank account when the time comes to run for office. For example, Sarah Palin has a PAC even though the next presidential election is years away. Because of this, it is important to have a checking account to collect funds and use them as necessary.

In order to open a checking account for a political action committee (PAC), the PAC must be first approved by the Federal Election Commission (FEC). This requires an address for the PAC as well as a known treasurer to handle the funds. Finally, any PACs you plan on allying with must be in writing, so that the FEC can track any illegal fund transfers.

Designate roles to different people for different jobs. According to an article titled "Watch Your PAC" by the American Society of Association Executives , you should have three people do three separate jobs. One person should be given the job of keeping track of all internal book keeping as money comes into the PAC. Another person should be in charge of all withdrawals and deposits. Finally, a third person should be responsible for periodic audits to ensure that nothing illicit is going on.

Have the treasurer of the committee prepare all the paperwork for the account so that only those that work for the treasury section of the committee have access to the funds. In recent years, numerous committees have had funds stolen because they have given power to a person who had enough authority to get the money out. See source below for examples of this occurring.

Go to the bank with the paperwork describing your federal recognition as a PAC and set up a bank account with the committee name as bank account name. For example, if you were running for office and you named your PAC "John Smith for America," you'd put the name on the bank account as John Smith for America. This is done for tax purposes, but more importantly, to protect the contributor from having his/her contributions stolen. If it is in the candidate's name, it becomes much easier for them to go in and steal money slowly while fixing the books to appear as if the money never existed.