A Charity well Governed
Charity governance is a balanced relationship between the employed staff; the Chief Executive, the Finance Director, etc, and the volunteers on board of trustees. This team is responsible for directing the affairs of a charity, ensuring that it is solvent, well-run, and delivering the intended charitable benefits.
A key role in the effective governance of most charities is that of the Honorary Treasurer as an ‘office-holder’ among the charity trustees. While financial matters are the responsibility of all trustees, it is often the Honorary Treasurer that the other trustees look to on all aspects of the charity’s financial management and reporting.
An overview of the role
The role of the treasurer can be summarised as follows:
- monitoring the financial administration of the charity and reporting to the board of trustees, in compliance with the governing document.
- overseeing the charity’s financial risk-management process;
- acting as a counter signatory on cheques and applications to funders; and
- board-level liaison with the external auditors on specific issues such as the Auditors’ Management Letter and the related board representations.
The extent of the Honorary Treasurer’s duties will vary with the size and complexity of individual charities but they might include:
- overseeing and presenting budgets, internal management accounts and annual financial statements to the board of trustees;
- ensuring that proper accounting records are kept, financial resources are properly invested and economically spent;
- liaising with relevant members of staff;
- chairing any finance committee and reporting back to the trustees;
- monitoring and advising on the financial viability of the charity;
- overseeing the implementation of and monitoring financial systems;
- advising on the financial implications of the charity’s strategic plan;
Edited extract of The Role of The Honorary Treasurer by Charity and Voluntary Sector Group. Download the full version