So they need a Treasurer, and you are wondering whether to volunteer. Or at the AGM you were nominated and didn’t decline fast enough! However you ended up on the brink of “treasurership”, here are some notes to ease your way.
This article is written from my perspective of being Treasurer of the local swimming area for 5 years, and Treasurer of our swimming club for 2.
For me the pleasures of being a swimming club Treasurer include:
- Work with some lovely people
- Learn some business skills and tools that I would be unable to pick up elsewhere
- Opportunity to give back to a sport that my kids love
- Satisfaction of making a real difference
The main downsides are:
- Regular commitment is required
- Committee meetings
- Poor preparation often leads to unwanted future work
You should be numerate and reasonably organised, with an ability to attend to detail. Inter-personal skills are crucial. I am neither a book keeper, accountant nor have prior experience. However I have found that I am sufficiently numerate and organised to do these roles with ease.
A club Treasurer role is more onerous than Area Treasurer simply because a club does more things and has more transactions. For a club Treasurer expect to invest 2-3 evenings per month, area Treasurer 1-2 evenings per month. These estimates include attendance at meetings but exclude attendance at carnivals. Extra time will be required initially to complete handover and get started. The annual audit will also require additional time.
Key methods to do it well and quickly
- Make things clear and easy for your members
- Eliminate cheques and cash
- Integrate with your website
- Use a cloud based accounting system with automatic bank feeds
- Minimise meetings
- Maximise use of online carnival entry systems
- Make, minute and communicate clear decisions up front
- Establish a simple yet effective filing system
- Separate operational finance from commercial matters
- Remember it’s only a swimming club
- Subject matter expert: be fully informed about the financial position of the club at all times
- Financial operations:
- Promptly depositing and recording all monies received
- Arranging and recording all payments
- Maintaining an up-to-date and accurate record of all transactions
- Be a signatory on club bank account(s) with at least one other person
- Be responsible for petty cash
- Invest surplus funds and manage club investment programs
- Issue invoices if required and chase outstanding monies
- Financial Reporting: prepare and present financial statements to the management committee and for the annual report.
- Financial Planning: prepare budgets for the forthcoming year.
- Financial Compliance:
- Prepare annual accounts for auditing and provide auditor with information as required
- File annual returns and statement of accounts with the relevant authorities
- Handle tax returns if required
- Chair / President
- Race Secretary
- Accounting software. An online cloud based system with automatic bank feeds is recommended.
- Website with credit card payment gateway
- Bank account with dual-signatory online banking capability
These opinions are based on my experience of:
- Swimming club with 100 members, $70,000 annual turnover and runs 1 carnival each year
- Swimming area with 20 club members, 1,000 competitive swimmers, $70,000 annual turnover that runs 5 carnivals plus 5 development events each year
Larger, smaller or different clubs may require a different approach. In particular a larger club would benefit from a finance sub-committee to assist the Treasurer.
Here in Australia a new online carnival race entry system is being introduced. Once fully operational and in common use it should automate the majority of transactions for both area and club treasurers and dramatically reduce their workload.
It is therefore much more of a pleasure than a chore