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Valentines Dance by Sixty Plus, finance workers job description by CASH

Treasurer's role

Annual Accounts | The annual accounts are different from the management accounts. They are to enable people outside the organisation to consider its viability, cost effectiveness and whether further funding is appropriate. These accounts are normally checked by an independent examiner or auditor – who often prepares the accounts as well. The treasurer should ensure the auditors receive all the information and papers they need and that they complete their work on time.

Annual Returns | The Charity Commission requires that an annual return (a form they provide) and a copy of the annual accounts is sent to them nine months after the end of the financial year.

Those charities that are companies (of either sort) will also have to complete an annual return within strict deadlines. They may have to complete a corporation tax return (CT600E (2006) Company Tax Return Form – Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs) within a year of the balance sheet date, if they have not obtained an exemption.

Trusts and local authorities frequently require progress reports and forms filling in once or twice a year. The treasurer should ensure that there is a system in place which will make this happen on time.

Annual General Meetings | The treasurer normally presents the annual accounts to the AGM, giving an overview of the previous year’s finances, the prospects for the future – as well as answering questions on financial issues. A finance worker may also be present to help with any technical issues.

Financial Controls | It is a good idea for groups to keep a set of written rules which cover topics like who can order goods, sign cheques or make fundraising applications. These rules help the group to control its affairs and reduce the risk of fraud. The treasurer should ensure that once approved they are reviewed by the committee at least every two years.

There are a variety of insurance policies that a voluntary organisation may need including: public liability to cover accidents to users and members of the public; accident insurance for volunteers and committee members; employer’s liability for employees, premises and contents insurance for buildings and their contents – computers etc. and motor insurance. The treasurer should be confident that appropriate insurance policies are in place.

A fixed asset register helps if you have to make a claim.

Fundraising | The treasurer should review the budgets of all fund raising applications to make sure that the there are sufficient resources to do what the organisation is saying it will do and also check that the application falls within the charity’s objectives. The treasurer does not have to be involved in writing the applications.

Future Trends | A good treasurer will know whether the organisation is expanding or contracting and will have a view of where its funds will be coming from over the next few years.

Solvency | Organisations must be able to pay their bills and meet all other financial commitments as they fall due. An organisation that cannot do this is insolvent. The treasurer should make sure that there is always sufficient funding and cash in the bank (reserves) to meet obligations (Contractual Liabilities). Sickness, maternity pay and redundancy pay can result in unexpected costs. CASH recommends that charities consider having reserves of between 20% and 30% of annual expenditure.

Try it! | Being a treasurer can be very interesting. The role can have a major influence on policy and the direction that a charity takes over the years to come. If you have the time and commitment we recommend that you try it.

Treasurer’s Diary

Many organisations have a financial year which runs from 1 April to 31 March. Some of the tasks listed will not apply to every charity. The treasurer does not have to do all the tasks in the diary, but should ensure that they are being done competently by someone.

Tasks to be completed every month:

  • Pay: staff, Inland Revenue and suppliers.
  • Bank income: all cash income and cheques.
  • Balance petty cash and top up if necessary.
  • Check that all grants due have been claimed.
  • Check that invoices to customers/clients have been sent out and reminders to those who have not paid last month’s invoices.

April | Bring books up to date, bank reconciliation. Prepare 12 month management accounts and present them to the next committee meeting.

Expenses forms P9D or P11D to Inland Revenue. Invoice members for subscriptions if needed.

Ensure that any returns required by funders will be sent on time.

Check insurance policies.

May | Check and update the Fixed Asset Register.

Complete Annual Return P35 for Revenue & Customs. Issue P60s to staff by 31 May.

Prepare for Audit/Independent Examination, produce schedules of debtors and creditors as at 31 March and give to Auditor/Independent Examiners together with books of account, vouchers, invoices, cheque books, paying-in books, copies of last year’s minutes, details of insurance policies, constitution, lists of trustees and employees, management accounts for last year and draft financial accounts if you have prepared them.

June | Check Financial Controls, revise as necessary.

July | Bring books up to date, bank reconciliation. Prepare 3 month management accounts and present them to the next committee meeting.

August | Have a holiday

September | Review your training needs.

Check the fundraising strategy and revise as necessary or ask for it to go on the agenda.

Audited accounts or the Independent Examiner’s reports should be available now and be presented to the next committee meeting.

Write your contribution for the annual report to go with the financial statements.

Check reserves in accounts/report against the policy, consider whether they are sufficient.

October | Bring books up-to-date, do bank reconciliation. Prepare 6 month management accounts and present them to the next committee meeting.

Make sure copies of annual report and accounts are sent to funders. Annual General Meeting, present the Audited Accounts or Independent Examiner’s report to the meeting, comment on the previous year’s finances and the prospects for the future. Thank staff/volunteers as appropriate.

November | Complete Annual Return for the Charity Commission and post.

Send accounts to Companies House.

Complete Corporation Tax return.

December | Attend seasonal celebrations.

January | Bring books up to date, bank reconciliation. Prepare 9 month management accounts and present them to the next committee meeting.

Ensure that the annual returns are sent to the Companies House together with completed form 363.

Consider any financial implications that need to be taken into account in next year’s budget.

Think about the trend, is income growing year by year, static or decreasing?

February | Review staff terms and conditions, contracts of employment and job descriptions etc. Draw up draft budget for next year and present it to the committee. Make any changes they require.

March | Check the fundraising strategy again and revise it or ask for it to go on the next agenda.

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Last updated: Mon, Mar 31 2008 - 04:13:00 PM

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