Unit Banking - Independent Trips

HST Guidelines
Allocation Categories for Trips
Quick Tip 18 – Requesting Funds in Foreign Currencies
Wire Transfer request form
Fundraising guidelines
New Trip Treasurer Orientation Information about planning an independent trip and the budget template
For assistance email trips@guidesontario.org or international.adviser@guidesontario.org.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Do units get a separate account for independent trips over 72 hours?

Yes, when the trip is over 72 hours and has an approved SG. 8, you will receive instructions to open a new trip account. All expenses and revenue related to the trip MUST be run through this account. Trips deal with a much larger budget and more activity than a typical unit account. With a trip account it is a smooth transaction should a girl in your Pathfinder unit may end up moving to another community, but still wishes to go on the trip with you. See 10 easy steps to plan an independent trip.

Trip SG. 8 is approved, how do I open a centralized bank account?

Upon approval of your SG.8 you will receive an email from the trip support staff with further steps, including opening a separate trip account. Your trip will be assigned an iMIS number and unit name based on the destination and year of travel. This is established for the purpose of record keeping and entering data in to iMIS as an Extra Ops Unit.

Who do I send my deposit slips and receipts to?

Documentation (receipts and deposit slips) related to your independent trip bank account need be forwarded to:

GGC, Ontario Council
Attn. Independent Trip Banking
180 Duncan Mill Rd., Suite 100
Toronto, ON M3B 1Z6

Or you may scan and email documentation (that has the transaction number, scanner's initials and date scanned) to trips@guidesontario.org at least three times a year (Dec 1, March 1 and June 30).

Why do we need detailed comments when verifying deposits?

Centralized banking is a great tool to keep track of your revenues and expenses. Staff at the provincial office will use this information when working with you to reconcile the account after the trip. Track all revenues by participant. When allocating personal deposits (independent trip revenues), fundraising and special event revenues and cookie money list the names of the participants and how much is being deposited for each person. For example: $1000 deposit, $250 each for Jen, Laura and Brianna; $250 from spaghetti dinner divided amongst Jen, Brianna, Laura, Karin and Penny equally. When verifying a donation, include the donor's name. Donations are divided equally amoungst all participants.

What allocation categories do I use on the webform?

Centralized banking categories differ for independent trips then what you might typically use for your unit account. Click here for allocation categories for trips.

Do I include taxes when verifying expenses for purchases made outside of Ontario?

No, HST and taxes only need to be separated in centralized banking if they were incurred in Canada.

How can I arrange for payment of pre-trip expenses in foreign currency?

The preferred method of payment is your trip purchase (credit) card. If using the purchase card is not an option, submit a manual expense. On the Manual Expense form, indicate the type of currency (e.g. USA, Euros) in the "Comments" Field. Make sure the amount is the amount is in the foreign currency (no need to do the conversion). Submit documentation to trips@guidesontario.org.
A money order or wire payment is issued and processed for all foreign currency requests. The unit will be charged $25 for a wire payment as well as the exchange cost of the currency (i.e. Total CAD dollar cost of money order/wire payment less the amount originally input on the Manual Expense form). Note: some foreign service providers may charge a fee for processing credit cards. These costs should be taken into consideration for the trip budget, and the trip budget should be updated when these costs occur.

Does a Trip Unit need to complete a Year-end Reconciliation (checklist) in the years before they travel?

Trip Units are expected to complete a year-end reconciliation (checklist) online annually by June 30. The form summarizes the banking for your Trip for the current Guiding year. In the travel year, Trip Units are required to complete their year-end reconciliation (checklist) no later than 30 days after travelling.

We need cash while travelling, how can we get this?

We encourage you to use your purchase card as much as possible, but sometimes cash is needed while travelling. To get the foreign currency you may need, submit a manual expense for an “Advance,” and email trips@guidesontario.org with an explanation of the anticipated use of the cash advance. Please allow 2-3 weeks for your request for a cash advance to be fulfilled. Use the cash advance calculator to keep track of cash spent. All receipts, including the currency exchange receipt will need to be submitted along with the cash advance calculator following the trip. Any leftover cash should be deposited back into the account noting the conversion rate used.

Can we use our purchase card to purchase foreign currency?

Some currency exchange locations will accept payment by credit card, however this is not recommended as you will likely incur service charges and these agencies provide a lower rate of exchange when a credit card is used. Currency purchased using the purchase card will be treated as a cash advance, and will need to be reconciled as such.

What is the procedure to get a Wire Transfer?

Wire payments can be used to send deposits/balance of payments for International trips to the World Centres and any other foreign vendors. There is a $50.00 banking fee charged to your Trip Account for each payment on top of the amount of exchange into Canadian Dollars.
  1. Complete a Manual Expense form , stating the type of foreign currency in the comments
  2. Make sure the amount is in the foreign currency
  3. Submit documentation or receipts to trips@guidesontario.org.
  4. Submit banking information of recipient/beneficiary including: Recipient/beneficiary Name and Address - Recipient/beneficiary banking information :Bank name, address, ABA Routing#, IBAN#,Swift#,BIC# (this information is provided by recipient)
  5. Provide payment due date. Note: wire payment can be set up in advance; payment request must be submitted at least 5 business days in advance from the due date.
See Quick Tip 18 – Requesting Funds in Foreign Currencies

Can the purchase card be used in other countries?

Yes, but before travelling abroad, notify US Bank Canada (1-800-588-8065) of where you will be going. Otherwise, they may suspect unusual or fraudulent activity and lock your card. You can also e-mail trips@guidesontario.org.

What do I do if my purchase card is declined while we are travelling?

The location you are trying to make payment at may not accept our purchase card technology. Try it again at an alternate location when possible. We are working with US Bank to get a list of symbols to determine where our purchase cards will be accepted. If your card continues to be declined, contact us by phone (1-877-323-4545 ext. 2484) or email trips@guidesontario.org and we can work with US Bank to determine what the problem is. You can also contact US Bank with the number on the back of your card. They will ask you for the last 4 digits of the phone number at the provincial office in Toronto which is “6666” and the last 4 digits of you iMIS number. If you have to use your personal funds or credit card to make a payment while travelling remember to keep a receipt and to submit a manual expense upon your return home.

Postponing or changing trip destination (trips over 72 hours with trip unit in iMIS)?

If you wish to postpone, email trips@guidesontario.org. We will make the necessary changes in iMIS and to your centralized bank account. If your trip has already opened a bank account, please note that your deposit slips will continue to read the previous year’s date. Please manually adjust this when making deposits.

If you decide to change the destination of your trip, your previous trip will be considered cancelled and you will need to submit new Safe Guide paperwork. Use of fundraised monies towards a new trip will have to be looked at on an individual basis by Ontario Council Executive members.

One of the trip participants has decided not to come, how can I reimburse the family for the payments made to date?

  • Complete the ON Council Refund Request Form and submit it to on-trips@girlguides.ca.
  • Once the form has been received, reviewed and approved the treasurer can enter the reimbursement as a manual expense.
  • Ensure that you are not refunding the participant any money that was used towards non-refundable expenses (i.e. deposits on accommodations or airline tickets) and fundraising/financial assistance payments.

Independent Trip Subsidy

Ontario Council provides eligible members with additional funding for independent trips that meet the criteria. For details and how to apply click here.


Girl Guides of Canada cookies are the official fundraiser for the organization and this is the only approved fundraising vehicle that benefits all levels of Guiding. Participation, at all levels, is expected in both fall and spring cookie campaigns. However, if your Unit chooses to hold another type of fundraiser, it must be approved by Ontario Council. All fundraising must follow the guidelines set out in the GGC Governance Policy - 01-19-01

Use the Fundraising Application (FR. 1)

Guidelines for establishing the distribution of fundraised funds

Once you have sent in the appropriate Safe Guide paperwork, starting with the SG. 8 (and FR. 1) and the trip has been sanctioned, an Extra Ops Unit will be created in iMIS for the trip. All sanctioned independent trips over 72 hours must have a separate trip Bank Account. For interprovincial trips, this would apply for those that involved extended travel and are complex to plan. For full details regarding trip planning for Ontario Council members, see 10 easy steps to plan an independent trip.

To learn more about trip planning and approval read the Safe Guide – International Travel 72 Hours or More Planning Guide or Safe Guide – Activity Guide – Travel: In Canada – 72 Hours or More (see page 77)

Need help with trip process, forms or advice? Contact trips@guidesontario.org or international.adviser@guidesontario.org.
6/20/2024 9:51:45 PM