Financial responsibilities are divided into six broad categories:
1. General financial oversight
2. Funding, fundraising and sales
3. Financial planning and budgeting
4. Financial reporting
5. Banking, book-keeping and record-keeping
6. Control of fixed assets and stock
Although the Main Board of Directors has ultimate responsibility for ASMAA’s finances, ensuring they are effectively used and that the management committee can account for them, the Financial Board of Directors:
- Ensures funds are used in accordance with the articles and board decisions
- Ensures the use of funds complies with conditions set by funding bodies
- Ensures relevant staff and board members know enough about financial administration, book-keeping and the accounts to be able to do their work properly and make decisions for which they are responsible.
Finance Director and the Auditor
• Advises on fraud prevention measures
• Presents the end-of-year financial report (draft annual accounts) to the management committee
• Presents the audited accounts to the Annual General Meeting.
• Ensures that members at the AGM have a basic understanding of the annual accounts and the budget for the current year.
Financial Director and Financial board
The roles of the Financial Director and Financial board inevitably overlap. In general terms, the Treasurer and Financial board:
• Advises on financial policy issues, for example, what expenses can be claimed and the procedures for claiming them, financial implications of new activities, or the organisation's policy on charging for its services.
• Makes financial decisions, as authorised on behalf of the board between meetings, and reporting such decisions to the board.
• Liases with the bank, ASMAA’s auditors or other financial institutions on behalf of the organisation.
• Prepares the accounts for audit, and discusses them with the auditor as required.
• Decides on security measures to ensure cash or cheques are not misused.
The Treasurer and Financial board have also responsibility for the following specific areas:
Financial Planning and Budgeting
The Financial board advises on areas of financial planning, including:
• preparing budgets for ongoing work and special projects, in consultation with the appropriate staff and funders;
• presenting budgets to the board for approval;
• ensuring accurate records of actual income and expenditure are maintained, as compared to budgeted income and expenditure, and adjusting financial forecasts as appropriate;
• in case of cashflow problems (not having enough money to pay bills when they are due), deciding priorities for paying and negotiating for late payment if necessary.
The Financial board ensures that the board has enough information to make its decisions. This means:
• reporting, in writing, to the board on the organisation’s financial position;
• preparing and presenting financial reports and accounts when required;
• ensuring that the organisation is adequately insured and that the policies are regularly reviewed to ensure that the cover is still adequate and the premiums competitive.
• maintain an appropriate system for calculation, payment and the recording of salaries including tax and social security.
• managing the selection of auditors, reviewing their services to the organisation and recommending their appointment to the AGM.
• ensuring the auditor is providing an adequate level of advice to the organisation which is agreed and set out in Auditors management letter.
Banking, Book-keeping and Record-keeping
Although the Financial board may not do the actual tasks involved in getting money into and out of the bank or writing up the books, they are responsible for:
• advising on the process for choosing which banks or other financial institutions the organisation should use and what type of bank accounts it should have;
• serving as a signatory for the organisation’s bank accounts (all changes of signatory must be approved by the board;
• ensuring there are proper systems for receiving and paying out cash and cheques;
• setting up appropriate book-keeping and petty cash systems, and ensuring related documentation is kept;
• ensuring membership subscriptions are collected and proper membership records are kept;
• ensuring other monies due to the organisation are collected, that guidelines exist for action to be taken in cases of non-payment, and such action is taken if required;
• ensuring receipts are issued, if required for money received by the organisation;
• ensuring all income (including cash) is paid into the bank;
• ensuring all bills are paid;
• ensuring everyone handling money for the organisation keeps proper records and documentation.
Control of Fixed Assets and Stock
The Financial board ensures the organisation maintains proper control of its fixed assets (major equipment, vehicles, buildings and other property owned by the organisation), its materials or supplies (goods which get used up in running the organisation) and its stock (goods such as publications waiting to be distributed or sold). This responsibility includes:
- ensuring the organisation keeps proper records of materials and supplies used in its work;
- establishing systems for stock control and re-orders;
- ensuring the organisation keeps proper records of its equipment and vehicles, including date of purchase, supplier, value, model and serial number;
- ensuring the organisation keeps proper financial records relating to property (buildings and land) it owns or rents;
- ensuring the organisation has all necessary insurances and keeps them up-to-date.