Treasurer’s main roles are to:
- Inform the bank if there is any change in the signatories.
- Collect the annual subscriptions.
- Pay these and all other monies into the bank promptly.
- Make sure that obligatory payments are paid promptly. These are:
a) Membership fees to federation (which includes the NFWI payment)
b) Pooling of fares for NFWI Annual General Meetings
c) Delegates’ expenses
- Pay all bills and authorised expenses.
- Issue receipts.
- Make sure that all money collected is paid into the bank promptly. Money required to pay out (Petty Cash) should be drawn out from the bank.
- Check current account balance. Should this be excessive, open a deposit account which pays interest.
- Present the independently examined accounts to the committee and then to the members at the Annual Meeting, accompanied by the Bank Statements.
Electronic Account Book
Any WI with a turnover of in excess of £5,000 has to register with the Charity Commission and send a copy of their accounts to the Charity Commission
Useful information to help you preparing your annual accounts
Notes on filling in the accounts book
Internal Financial Controls
Items required for Auditing the accounts
At the year end, before you complete the financial statement:
- Pay any outstanding bills.
- Ensure you have collected all money due and paid it in to the bank.
- Reconcile the bank statement to the balance in the account book. If you have any other current accounts in addition to your WI’s main account then you must reconcile each account, then enter the totals from all bank accounts in the financial statement:
The WI must appoint an independent financial examiner. It is recommended that you use the federation’s IFE scheme; in this case the federation will allocate an independent examiner and the WI should appoint ‘a Federation IFE’ rather than a named person.
If you do not use a federation IFE, the independent examiner must not have a close personal relationship with any Committee Member nor be involved in the administration of your WI, and the Committee should reasonably believe that they have the necessary skills and experience to undertake the examination.
You should provide the independent examiner with the completed Financial Statement and the supporting paperwork. If they are not a federation IFE, you should also provide them with a copy of the WI’s constitution
WI’s with a turnover of more than £10,000
Must file an annual return with the commission online within ten months of the end of their financial year if their yearly income is over £10,000. Click below for a link to the registration page
WIs Must register the WI with the Charity Commission and have their own Charity Number.
The charity annual return is an online form – before you start, you’ll need:
- your charity’s online services password
- your registered charity number
The whole of the subscriptions collected by each WI must be included in the accounts when calculating annual turnover.
Click here for the Charity Commission Breakdown of Turnover
Charity Commission Advice on Protecting your WI from Fraud
If you do not have login access for MOODLE please contact your MCS rep.
Quick Checklist of Financial Controls
- Reference system for identifying members paying subscriptions by BACS.
- More than one member of the committee authorises payments and checks that payments, goods and services have been received
- E-safety protocol should be considered by the committee and a policy put in place.
- Electronic accounts and records should be regularly backed up and a copy of all accounts kept by someone other than the treasurer.
- Check that the electronic banking URL starts with HTTPS (S for security)
- After each electronic banking transaction a printout should be made showing details of the transaction and stored on file as part of the records
- PCs must be kept up to date with anti-virus, spyware and firewall software.
- Keep all the password(s) and PIN(s) secret. (It is important that more than one member of the committee has full access to the electronic accounts or knows how to access the records kept on a computer – have a dedicated ‘WI’ memory stick to back up to)
- Change passwords when treasurers change.
- Be alert to Phising attacks. Committee members should not respond to emails or telephone calls asking them to provide personal security details.
- Report any phising scams to the banks or Government departments affected.
Awareness of the Problems of Using Plastic Cards in your WI
Credit and charge cards
Many retailers no longer accept cheques leading to an increase in the use of card transactions.
Credit card payments are invoiced monthly and there is some ability to intervene in the case of misuse, but controls still need to be in place over their use. Used properly these methods of payment are generally considered to be safe, but certain controls need to be put in place, including setting a clear policy for the use of payments cards, the criteria for their issue, spending limits and their security;
- Keep the credit limit on the credit card below the level of the cash assets held by the WI.
- Set an upper limit on the amount allowed per transaction
- Place restrictions on the types of retailers where the cards may be used, eg blocking their use in betting shops and on certain websites;
- The members must pass the policy for the use of payment cards and a copy be kept, in writing, in the minute book
- Ensure payment cards are cancelled and destroyed when the signatory leaves the committee
- Ensure that card expenditure is supported by a docket and/or invoice and recorded and analysed in accounting records
- Copies of all credit or charge card statements should be examined by more than one member of the committee. The statements are used to record and analyse transactions in the accounting records and are matched with supporting dockets and invoices.
Debit Cards – Beware
Debit cards charge bank accounts directly and payments therefore have an immediate impact on bank balances; their misuse or loss can be extremely serious for the WI. Their use is strongly discouraged as there is no way to safeguard their use.
Advice on WIs Raising Money for other Charities
To clarify the guidance on WIs raising funds for charity. WIs are able to do this provided the causes they are supporting fall within the WI’s charitable objects. ie. for ACWW. This is explained with examples of what funds can and
cannot be raised for, in the fundraising guidance from the NFWI which can be found in the General Information and the IFE Trainers areas on the Moodle.
Many types of causes and services do fall withing the WI objects; WIs are generally able to raise funds for local facilities and service which benefit women and the local community. This would include local health
facilities and local services provided by other charities as described in all the stories of WI fundraising in October’s WI Life.
I hope this clarifies the position.
Anne Wheeler, Head of Finance, NFWI
In order to clarify the arrangements for payments for speakers at WI meetings, the below information has been added to several areas of the Moodle, including the General Information, Membership and WI Guide areas of the Moodle:
WI payments for speakers
In accordance with Charity Commission rules, WIs are not permitted to provide financial support to charities which do not further the objects of the WI, and payment for a speaker could count as such a donation. WIs must therefore pay the speaker and it is then the speaker’s responsibility to make the charitable donation.
Should a speaker request that payment be made directly to their charity, WIs are advised to request an invoice from the charity which clearly states the name of the speaker and that payment is for the services provided.
For further information, please contact the County Treasurer, Diane Coulton.
Rules and regulations are being updated on a regular basis so visit the Government information page for the latest information and claim forms.
Gift Aid provides a great opportunity for WI members to increase the value of their membership subscription to their own WI. The WI is able to reclaim the basic rate tax paid on the total subscription provided that:
- The member is a taxpayer, and
- the member does not receive benefits of more than 25% of the subscription paid.
Note that for Gift Aid purposes, the provision of WI Life does not constitute a benefit, nor is the right to attend WI meetings as long as this opportunity is also available at no cost to non-members. – if you charge visitors you cannot claim Gift Aid for your WI
Attending courses at Denman is considered to be a benefit of membership and the cost of courses must be declared as such.
Click on the link below
Fraud and financial crime is one of the most common types of abuse for charities. These are highlighted in our tackling abuse and mis-management reports.
Charity trustees can avoid basic mistakes and make sure their charity is well protected by:
- ensuring strong financial management and good governance
- putting in place financial controls and ensuring they’re applied robustly
reading our guidance on internal financial controls for charities (CC8)