A crucial aspect of running a charity is good money management. The Trustees are ultimately responsible for fund raising and deciding how the charity spends its money. The financial year starts on 1 August and the Trustees draw up an annual budget to allow the charity to fulfil its charitable purpose(s). One of the Trustees acts in the role of treasurer to the charity and maintains the definitive financial records which are submitted to external accountants at year end to prepare the statement for the annual report.
The task of detailed budgeting for each team's activities is delegated to their committees. The Trustees impart a great degree of financial freedom to committees and, in exchange, the committees take responsibility for ensuring that money is well managed. Each committee must have a named person to act in the role of team treasurer. To help minimise risk for everyone involved, certain requirements are placed upon the committees, related to money, and these are detailed below.
- 1.Each committee must draw up a budget for the programme that they are looking to deliver and seek approval for the budget from the Trustees.
- 2.The Trustees must approve a budget before any spending is committed or incurred.
- 3.The budget(s) must not be publicly available. This is to avoid suppliers being able to know exactly how much the charity has to spend on a given service/product.
- 4.All spending must be made within the most recently approved budget. It is the responsibility of each team treasurer to liaise with the Trustees to get a budget approved and to gain approval for any modifications to a previously approved budget.
- 5.The Trustees must approve any reallocation of funds between budget lines where the amount being reallocated is greater than £1000. The committees are free to reallocate funds between budget lines below this threshold.
- 6.The budget maintained by the committees must include, as a minimum, the following information for each budget line.
- Short name
- Description (ideally with some information as to how the amount was determined)
- 7.It is advised that a 10% contingency is allocated to each budget line to allow for unforeseen changes in cost.
- 8.Each committee must define and operate a system of authorising spends against lines in an approved budget. Volunteers must never spend their own money expecting reimbursement without explicit prior agreement from the team treasurer.
- 9.Only the Trustees have access to the SR bank account. Therefore, all reimbursement claims must go via the Trustees. It is the responsibility of each team treasurer to ensure that evidence of purchase/expenditure (receipt/invoice) and a record of the spend against specific budget line(s) is recorded for each transaction. This information must not be made public for the same reason as the budget not being made public (it is also likely to include personal information such as addresses). The Trustees may request access to this information at any time.