There’s a lot to be said about reading one of your stories in print and especially when it relates to a project that is really doing some good in the community. One such project is from a threesides client – Admin Bandit – Software for Volunteer Treasurers. Nerida Gill is a solo-preneur who has created Australia’s first custom made accounting program for community organisations and grass roots organisations. Check out her website for more information and have a read below of the story which appeared in the March 2009 edition of the OurCommunity.com.au newsletter.
Okay – before you go any further – we didn’t write the article from scratch – we adapted it from Admin Bandit’s Survivial guide for volunteer treasurers which is available on the admin bandit website. It’s a great read and a very useful educational tool aswell. Grab a copy because there’s a lot more handy tips like the ones below.
Volunteer Treasurers – From Villain to Superhero in a few short steps
At Our Community, we run a Board Matching Service, which helps to put community groups in need of new board members in touch with people with skills to offer.
One of the most frequent requests we get is for treasurers, and yet these are often the hardest vacancies to fill. Nerida Gill from Admin Bandit takes a look at why people are so reluctant to take on the role of treasurer, and how you can overcome your own fear of doing the books.
Most people run in the opposite direction when asked to take on the role of treasurer. In fact, it’s probably the least understood role in an organisation but, with a bit of know?how, it’s not difficult.
And it is actually very rewarding — managing your organisation’s finances effectively is one of the best ways you can add real value to your local community.
You don’t need to be an accountant, a book keeper or a financial magician to be a treasurer, you just need to start with the right attitude and some insight into what’s required.
By using the right tool for the job and taking some time to understand what’s required to be a treasurer, it can be a simple and straight forward task.
The following checklist has been designed by Admin Bandit to help new volunteer treasurers settle into the role and build confidence.
Arrange a Handover
1. Schedule a coffee or catch up with the outgoing treasurer to swap important documents. This includes handing over the accounts, cheque books, receipt books, invoices/receipts for purchases, bank statements, budgets, reports and any other relevant documents.
2. If your organisation uses accounting software such as Admin Bandit, get a tutorial on how to use it, including passwords.
3. Hand over the treasurer’s or financial procedures manual, if your organisation has one. If not, you can create one when you’re more familiar with your role — this will add value to your organisation and future treasurers will breathe a sigh of relief!
4. Discuss any unfinished business, such as due bills or income, and any spending commitments or expected income that isn’t in the latest budget.
5. Ask questions! This is your chance to discuss any worries, have accounting concepts explained or get troubleshooting advice. Grab the outgoing treasurer’s contact details for future reference.
Change Bank Signatories
6. Your organisation probably has a rule that two or three committee members, including yourself as treasurer, must sign, and thus authorise, cheques and bank withdrawal slips. You need to update your bank’s records of who these people are, which is as simple as picking up a form from any branch and then filling it in. All new signatories will probably need to go to the bank and show 100 points of identification, unless they are existing customers.
7. Start as you plan to continue — getting organised now will give you a clear picture of what you’re doing and set the tone for your tenure as treasurer. It will also save many hours of late night hair?tearing and rummaging through a mess of paperwork.
8. Hopefully your predecessor was just as diligent as you’re going to be, which means you can leisurely go through the accounts, checking everything is filed correctly and familiarising yourself with what’s required. If not … well, you may have a bit of work to do! But rest assured your organisation will thank you for it.
With a bit of planning, some organisation and insight, you can take the role of volunteer treasurer from Villain to Superhero.
Find the right tool for the job, set up good processes for your committee and turn up to every committee meeting with your head held high knowing your organisation is in good shape.
Nerida Gill is the creator of Admin Bandit – accounting software for volunteer treasurers, which she designed from her own experience of being a volunteer treasurer in an effort to turn the task of managing books from a dreaded job into a simple weekly task.
Find out more about Admin Bandit at www.adminbandit.com.au.