Club accounts don’t have to be complicated; you don’t need to be an accountant to be a treasurer or read financial reports. Bigger clubs (paid employees and paying tax) may consider seeking support from a bookkeeper or accountant.
There are two main areas related to finance:
- Planning and budgeting
- Managing the money.
All clubs are strongly encouraged to prepare an annual budget. This budget will assist planning your clubs activities for the year and provide a framework for decision making. It’s also a good way to exercise delegation to others as it gives them parameters to work within.
When preparing your budget you should consider the availability of funds (commonly termed ‘cash-flow’), as there is no point spending money before you receive it! As such, clubs should look at the timing month by month of when monies are forecast to come in and go out. This can be based on historical information or scheduled plans and activities.
Planning and budgeting should be a group exercise among those responsible for overseeing the club (the club executive). That said, every committee member should be aware of the clubs budget and should approve the budget prior the commencement of the financial year. Once the budget is set (adopted), it doesn’t stop there. You should have a mechanism in place to track income and expenditure against your forecast budget and also at least once a year (in the middle), review what you planned at the start of the year.
All committee members have a responsibility to manage the club’s finances. A clear understanding of how the club operates and the ‘in’s’ and ‘out’s’ for the financial aspects of the club should be and to do it regularly. There is software to make life easier, instead of relying on the clubs bank balance.
A good Treasurer should be providing you on a monthly basis:
- Profit and Loss Statement - for the respective month and year-to-date (even better if its tracking against the budget)
- Balance Sheet (and/or Bank Statements) – a summary of what cash you have available, the value of the assets you own and any monies to be received or to be paid
- Receivables List – list of outstanding monies others owe the club
- Payables List – list of monies the club owes to others.
Reviewing these reports should provide insight on how the club is travelling now and in the future; if you are able to pay your debts when they are due or fund activities in the future. If you aren’t getting reports from your treasurer, you should be asking for them.
Notably, at your Annual General Meeting the clubs year end profit and loss statement and balance sheets should be reported to members. Best practice is to have these reviewed by an independent accountant or auditor and some clubs must do this by law depending on their annual revenue (over $250,000).
On a day-to-day basis, here are some basic tips to ensure members monies are being handled correctly:
- Using computer based software to track and manage the clubs accounts
- Ensuring multiple people have viewing access to the clubs bank accounts and the transactions associated
- Two signatories on accounts to spend money
- Invest in software for point-of-sale systems for canteens, bars, taking fee payments etc
- Have a financial policy that is adopted by the committee that outlines expected behaviours on spend limits for committee members, procurement, reporting requirements
- Issue receipts when monies are being received
- Minimise the use of cash and promote online and EFTPOS payments. If cash is being handled, have procedures in place where two people are required to count the til and bank funds immediately.