The Purchasing Agent is a member of the local league Board of Directors and is responsible for coordinating all of the league’s purchases made throughout the year.

Working in tandem with the league’s Treasurer, the Purchasing Agent is tasked with buying items and materials need by the league and its teams, such as, player uniforms and playing equipment, concession stand supplies, safety kits, and field maintenance equipment.

Separating a league’s needs from its wants, and prioritizing purchases throughout the year are how a league stays on budget. Here are four tips to help your league’s purchasing agent effectively manage and organize this responsibility.

  • Designate the Purchasing Agent as the person solely responsible for making all purchases for the league.

    While this does put a heavy workload on one individual, it does significantly streamline the budgeting process. With oversight, assistance, and final approval provided by the Treasurer, having one person do the actual buying makes that he or she accountable for cash flow and all receipts, while also assuring the appropriate checks and balances for sound financial practices.

  • Watch out for shipping costs that can be a hidden budget-buster for a league.

    If shopping online, look for websites that are offering free shipping. The weight, size, and quantity of items purchased will impact the final purchase price. Such items as “L” screens, field maintenance tools, and even baseballs or softball, are heavy to ship, and therefore expensive to have delivered to your league. When purchasing, be sure to budget for shipping or identify free delivery options.

  • Create an annual purchase list.

    Each year you will need to budget for official Little League shoulder patches, first-aid kits for each team, lineup cards, and scorebooks, among other items. While these seem like simple expenditures, they can add up quick, thanks to the large quantities that are needed depending on the size of the league. Have a year-to-year list will allow your league to plan accordingly and avoid last-minute, unbudgeted items.

  • Ask for an invoice.

    If making purchases through a local company, ask the company’s retail agent to provide the league with an invoice. This will give the league a term for repayment, often 30 days, rather than paying at the time of purchase. With this extended timing, the league can effectively reconcile its cash flow, and allocate the money needed to cover the balance of the bill.

While there are wide assortment of purchasing needs each year, a local league can properly manage its outlay of funds by efficiently and strategically planning when to spend money. Such organization is part of broader accounting plan that shows fiscal transparency, oversight, and accountability by the league’s Board of Directors.