As announced at the Presidents and Rising Stars Academies, Omega Financial will begin providing billing and financial services for ALL Theta Xi chapters beginning immediately.
We encourage our Chapter Officers (especially Chapter Treasurers) to contact a member of the OmegaFi Implementation Team
as soon as possible to begin the process. You can reach a member of the team by calling 800-276-6342 or by email at ThetaXiSetUp@omegafi.com
As implementation of the Fraternity-wide program begins, there are several key points of which chapter officers and advisors need to be aware. To help explain the program, we have prepared a full list of "Frequently Asked Questions" (FAQ's):
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS...
How will OmegaFi’s service help my chapter?
The move to OmegaFi’s Vault Billing and Collection is designed to increase the available chapter funds, reduce the stress of collecting from fellow brothers, improve budgeting and financial controls, and give everyone more time for real brotherhood. Here is how the OmegaFi’s service will help us attain these goals.
- myOmegaFi™: all members and involved alumni have access to this portal where appropriate applications are accessed, a chapter calendar is managed, documents can be uploaded and shared through the Resource Center and polls can be created and published.
- Member Access Plus™: individual members will use this online interface to manage their own financial obligations to the chapter. They may pay their bill online (by credit card, debit card and online check) and may use OmegaFi’s AutoPay feature to have their bill paid automatically, if preferred.
- The chapter will end each fiscal year with a user-friendly report that will aid and streamline the process of filing of the chapter’s IRS Form 990. This will prevent fines being levied against your chapter, and will prevent the possible loss of your chapter’s tax exempt status. If desired, you can even file your chapter’s 990 annually through myOmegaFi™, thanks to a partnership OmegaFi has created with a professional tax corporation (additional rates may apply).
Why a mandatory, universal chapter financial service?
- New IRS Regulations: In 2009, the Internal Revenue Service began requiring that all fraternity chapters annually file Form 990 “Return of Organization Exempt From Income Tax.” Reliable financial records are required and these records must be maintained over a period of years. A number of chapters currently fail to file a Form 990 Return, thus exposing their chapter membership to IRS fines and endangering the chapter’s tax-exempt status. An electronically-based financial records system will facilitate easier maintenance of financial records and compliance with tax law.
- Accounts Receivable Collections: A growing number of Theta Xi chapters are experiencing a disturbing trend of uncollected dues and chapter house rent. Left unchecked these trends will either place unfair burdens on the members who responsibly pay their dues or force chapters to close. Current issues with the economy increase the need for action. The keys to solving the collections problem are:
- Keeping all members fully informed about what is owed and when
Timely, orderly and persistent billing
Multiple and convenient payment options
Member confidence in the accuracy of financial records
- Chapter Financial Security: Over the years there have been Theta Xi chapters that end up as victims of the embezzlement of chapter funds. Most chapter officers are trustworthy. Unfortunately, others make unauthorized loans to themselves with every intention of repaying that loan – only it usually never gets repaid. Worst of all, some chapter officers are fully trustworthy but are suspected of theft simply because they failed to keep full records of income and expenses. Again, current issues with the economy increase the likelihood of trouble in this area and the best solution is a financial services provider exclusively dedicated to helping you achieve these goals.
Why Omega Financial?
We selected Omega Financial, Inc. over other firms based on these factors:
- Track Record – OmegaFi’s experience and capabilities far surpass their competitors, as evidenced by the fact that over 2,200 fraternity and sorority chapters (over 30% of all fraternity chapters in the United States) utilize OmegaFi’s services;
Transition – Omega Financial already works with several of our chapters, which have uniformly had a good experience with the service, and their collection rates are some 25% higher than most chapters not using Omega Financial;
Reputation – Along with those Theta Xi chapters already using OmegaFi, we received very positive recommendations from other fraternities and sororities using their services on both the local and national level;
Staffing – OmegaFi has far deeper staffing than its competitors, staff training is extraordinary, OmegaFi focuses on personalized attention to chapters, chapter officers, and even individual members, and every chapter will have its own account representative with whom to work
What if our chapter is already an Omega Financial client?
You need do nothing. Your chapter will seamlessly transition into the national program. With the implementation of the Fraternity’s national agreement with OmegaFi, best of all, your chapter will soon benefit from a decrease in the fee charged for their service.
What if our chapter uses campus or other financial services?
Chapters currently using an official financial service provided by your campus (sometimes known as a “bursar” system) or a third-party, bookkeeping firm MAY be allowed to be exempted from the program. If this is the case, please contact either me or Director of Operations Ron Trucks immediately to discuss an exemption.
However, there are two points to keep in mind…
- While an exception may be made to our financial services policy, your chapter will not benefit from customized services that will be offered only through our arrangement with OmegaFi.
If you are using a third-party bookkeeping firm (and are not required to use a campus financial service) you may find OmegaFi’s services competitive and more comprehensive. I encourage you to examine all options before making a final decision.
When will the OmegaFi service begin?
All chapters will be required to sign up for Vault and Billing Collections prior to the beginning of the Fall 2012 semester. However, your chapter does not have to wait. You can sign up immediately, and OmegaFi will give your chapter a discounted rate. Call 800.276.6342 and request to speak to a member of the Theta Xi Implementation Team or email ThetaXiSetUp@omegafi.com.
How do we learn how the program actually works?
As we work through the set-up with Omega Financial, we will keep in communication with all the chapter officers of the implementation and training process. However, here are two key points:
Omega Financial will have staff joining us at the 147th Anniversary Convention in St. Louis this August. Along with a presentation to introduce the system to the entire group, we will be scheduling smaller break-out sessions with their representatives to work with Chapter Officers and advisors. Because of this, the Grand Lodge has determined that along with the Fall Semester President from your chapter attending as your Official Delegate, each chapter’s Treasurer should be attending as the Alternate Delegate. If there is a scheduling conflict and one or both of you cannot attend, please contact Director of Operations Ron Trucks as soon as possible.
OmegaFi has a strong track record of personalized service beginning with set up and training and extending through officer transitions. Along with one-on-one contact with chapter officers and treasurers, their training program includes web-based conference call training with key members.
Our Chapter Advisor helps us with finances!
Guidance from your Chapter Advisor is extremely valuable and is supported by the OmegaFi service. The system will be set-up so that designated chapter/colony officers and alumni advisors may have access to the chapter’s account. OmegaFi will provide training whenever the chapter/colony officers change, making the transition from one officer to another more seamless than ever before.
How much will the OmegaFi service cost?
Your chapter will pay a percentage of payments received, as they are received. This makes the OmegaFi fee performance-based and does not stifle your chapter’s cash flow. As you prepare your budget for next year you will need to include an expense item to cover the costs of the service, but for most chapters this system will pay for itself by helping you collect more of the dues and fees that you bill your members. In fact, chapters using OmegaFi collect an average of 97% of everything that is billed to their members. For most Theta Xi chapters, that will be a substantial improvement.
While this will be a new expense for some, we have negotiated a significant discount for our chapters and we believe that the increase in cash your chapter will experience, the ease of the system and the stability it will provide will be well worth each chapter’s investment. It will also provide an easier mechanism for holding members accountable to housing agreements and their other financial responsibilities to the organization.
What if we are already using a financial services company other than Omega Financial?
Effective immediately, please do not contract independently with any other financial services provider, or renew any existing relationship for these services. Please contact me or Director of Operations Trucks directly if you have any questions.
All chapters should be signed-up for OmegaFi’s Vault and Billing Collection services by July 1, 2012. Though our program will not be officially required until that date, I encourage you to sign-up with OmegaFi immediately and begin to receive the benefits of their service. OmegaFi has agreed to honor our special discount even before the official July 1 start date. You may visit www.omegafi.com and click on "Vault" and "Inquire Within" to submit information to receive pricing for your chapter that includes Theta Xi’s special discount.
Those of us here in the national headquarters have heard many great things about OmegaFi’s service from our chapters in recent years and we are all very pleased that Theta Xi is engaging with such an outstanding firm. I am confident that our partnership will bring tremendous benefits to our entire organization.