ACCOUNTING for Everyone

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Treasurers Guide Part 3

Every year you will be responsible for presenting the accounts at your annual general meeting. This is generally not as daunting as it may appear. All the facts and figures you need are right there in your account books. Your committee will not want a blow by blow account of every transaction, nor will they want to hear the detail of every account balance. All they are really interested in is how much is in the bank (and therefore available to spend in the forthcoming year). However, a short statement should be made as to how much was received during the year, how much was spent, and whether the accounts show any unusual trends (eg. “subscriptions have doubled during the year”).

The finer details (eg. the balances of every account, and an income/payment statement) should be included in a printed report available to everyone for later digestion.

If you are treasurer of a registered charity there will almost certainly be legislation that you will need to follow. Please check with your local Inland Revenue Service.

Hints and Tips

Use dedicated computer accounting software. It will save you a lot of time even if your organisation doesn’t have many transactions.

Learn the basics of double-entry. If nothing else, it will make you more confident as a treasurer.

Keep your accounts as simple as possible. It results in less work and makes them easier to read.

Always make regular backups of the accounts. Keep them in a safe place. Ensure the committee knows where to find them in case anything should happen to you.