Guidelines for Treasurer
Alternative source of information about this topic is here, Checklist_for_Treasurer. It is more updated, but also pretty short and to the point. So the Guidelines for Treasurer are still very useful for detailed explanations.
BeVolunteer has a legal commitment in his financial management; these requirements should be taken very serious:
- regarding to the legal responsibility of the BoD members
- regarding to the credibility of BeVolunteer receiving money (public or private donations)
Especially the day when we'll apply for public founds, there is no doubt that our whole financial life will be checked in detail.
There is no doubt that these guidelines are annoying and without special interest. But they will try to clearly establish the work of the treasurer, so this work is done correctly and seriously, while making it quite mechanic and so giving possibility to any BV member to assume it.
Treasurers duoFor practical reasons, it's easiest that one of the treasurers lives in France and speak French. The other could be someone having some more precise knowledge on how to manage accounts.
- The treasurer(s) and the executive are the only ones having access to the bank account.
- During yearly GA, the ex-treasurer should bring the financial book and pass all the information to the new elected treasurer(s). They should take a time together to realize the transfert of knowledge
The role of the treasurer is:
- give to the BoD the informations allowing it to apply an appropriated policy
- follow the evolution of incomes and outcomes during the year
- justify the financial management regarding to BV members
- justify the use of funds to financers and the legality of their use to "controlers" (states authorities)
Even if there is only one treasurer the executive is always automatically some sort of vice-treasurer and usually can serve as back-up, for example during times of absence (e.g. travels) of the treasurer(s).
- As long as we don't have paid employees and don't ask for public subventions, there is no special requirement but "simple bookkeeping" (wikipedia in french http://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comptabilitï¿½#La_comptabilit.C3.A9_simple): in short, 2 columns summarizing incomes and outcomes.
Management of documents
- Reminder: financial documents (in accounts book and sorter) are absolutely not public. Members don't have a right to ask for factures or internal documents. On the contrary, budget and summaries are public, and members can ask for a detailled audit of the accounts.
- For organizational reasons, the accounts are managed on paper-way. Factures or incomes justifications are printed out by the treasurer and constitute legal justification of the transaction.
- ALL the transactions (incomes, outcomes, financial decisions or other document) will be notified in the accounts book, as "lines", which will precise:
- the number of the justification document, the date, a short description, the way of the payment, its value as income or outcome, the balance (adding or withdrawing from the previous line), and eventually a category. The accounts book will be a cronology of any financial action.
- The treasurer will write an identification number on ALL the justifications (papers), which will be separately archived in the accounts sorter, in the order of their numerotation (not following their date), so they are easy to find from the accounts. Any operation should have a paper (for operation which doesn't have a paper, it's recommended to manually write a note on a blank paper. It will be useful for the future, when we won't remember what is this number about, especially in case of problems!)
As a summary, the treasurer will have 2 internal documents to care daily (or at the scale of each transaction). Note: the more "daily" this work will be done, the easier it will be to make the work well.
- (1) the accounts book
- (2) the accounts sorter
With a simple guideline: each transaction= a line in (1) and a paper in (2)
What the transactions areIn general, it's any cent going out or in of our accounts. But it's not as simple as it sounds, so we'll go with examples.
- donations from members: each donation is an entry. For IBAN donations it's easy since they appear on the bank account. But when done by paypal it's more complicated: each member's donation is a transaction, that doesn't appear on the bank but each month as a global payment from paypal. So, the fees from paypal should be added as outcomes in the category of bank fees.
- Server payments are realized for periods which doesn't stick with our financial year. Nevertheless, the payment is what is done. It introduces the difference between Bank sheet and the Balance sheet
Bank sheet and Balance sheetIt's 2 different documents, telling more or less the same thing but on different ways.
The Bank sheet
- The Bank sheet is not public but followed by the BoD. JeanYves comment : This Bank sheet can be presentated during the GA to any BeVolunteer member who request to see it.
- It gives the immediate capacity of payment of BeVolunteer, i.e the balance of money we have on our bank account. It's the direct use of the accounts book: the accounts book balance should always stick with the real balance of our bank account.
The Balance sheetIt's a public document presenting the finances of the past year at the GA and which should be accepted by the GA. It's also the basis for the budget of the following year. It's much more complicated than the Bank sheet; the treasurer will make it for GA, but can also make temporal one in order to judge of the state of the finances with the BoD, at any moment.
The balance sheet organizes the incomes and outcomes in 2 columns and by categories. If the Bank sheet already gives a category to the transactions, it will be easier to realize the Balance sheet.
Each line of each column is a category. In 2007-2008, we used the following categories:
- Loss from last year
- Bank fees
- Administrative costs
The difference between the 2 totals gives the benefit or loss, which will be reported on the following year.
Cash moneySince cash money is not easy to manage in accounts (we should open another sheet, the "cash sheet") the easiest is to systematically put the cash on the bank account, so it's managed in the same way than a payment by transfer, check, etc.
The BudgetIt's a legal requirement and basis of the democratic management of BeVolunteer: the GA should vote a budget for the following year, on the proposal of the treasurer.
- Once accepted, it's the duty of the BoD to manage the association in function of that budget and the strokes given by the GA.
- At the following GA, the budget should be compared with the Balance sheet, and see if the objectives have been reached or not. That's the reason why the GA has to accept the Balance sheet. If it does, the GA assume the responsibility of the financial management of the treasurer.
Privacy and data managementThe accounts document are not public, and each donation will be identified for the legal time we are requested to keep the financial documents (10 years). But absolutely none donation will be identified in the public documents. If donors wish to be identified it can be done but has nothing to see with finances management.
- Dictionnary of bookkeeping english/french: http://www.e-anglais.com/ressources/glossary.html
- Bookkeeping obligations of associations (french) http://www.associanet.com/docs/oblig-compta.html
Tasks for the treasurer
Manage received donations
- Check the received donations and thank the donators, they are two cases
- donation via pay pal, the treasurer is notified by email and can follow things with the recent donations page
- donation made by IBAN transfert, these donation are made directtly to the bank, and the treasurer must add them to the list in the donation table to allow for transparency (if not nobody except the treasurer will know that donation has occured)
- Send (if requested) an acknowledment to the donator for some tax deduction
Paying the billsThe Treasurer is in charge of paying the bill and keeping track of the paid bills
The following bills are expected to be paid :
- Server rental(s)
- Domains renewal
- Certificates for HTTPS
- Bank charge
Responsible of preparing the reports for GA
- For past budget
- for next Budget
Responsible of following the bank account
- Check that all payment or received money are as expected
- Check that the balance keeps positive
- Transfer the money receive from paypal to bank account (100 minimum, if not there is a paypal fee)
- The treasurer is, in charge of trying to find solution for BV to receive enough money for the current budget
- This mean to find donator or sponsor
- this also mean to be careful with the way expenses can grow
- The treasurer is also in charge to check that the spent or receive money respect the Statutes of BeWelcome