The purpose of this document is to agree the management rules that will be applied to the financial affairs of the Naphill Village Hall and Playing Fields Council (“the Council”).
The Council has charitable status.These rules are necessary to:
a)Protect the Council’s assets for the benefit of the whole community
b)Identify and manage the risk of conflicts of interest, loss, waste bribery, theft or fraud
c)Ensure financial reporting is robust and sufficiently detailed to enable sounds decision making when applying funds
d)Enable the charity trustees to comply with the law
2.1The financial year runs from 1st January to 31st December.
3.0Conflicts of Interest
3.1Conflicts of interest can impact on the quality of decision making.All Council members have a responsibility to declare that they have an interest in an item on the agenda or one that is raised during a Council meeting.
3.2To avoid any conflicts of interest, the Treasurer shall not have a financial role within any other village organisation.However in the event that we are unable to find a Treasurer that meets these criteria then the Treasurer must declare any interests in any other local organisations at every meeting.
4.0Role of the Treasurer
4.1The Treasurer is the guardian of the Council’s assets and is responsible for:
a)the day to day management of the Council’s financial affairs
b)maintaining adequate and effective financial controls
c)recommending the annual budget
d)providing reports on financial performance for the committee
e)carrying out a monthly reconciliation of the bank statements
f)organising the annual independent financial examination
g)collecting and banking income
i)if applicable, paying staff in accordance with PAYE regulations
j)ensuring the annual accounts are completed as soon as is practical after the end of the financial year and definitely before the AGM in April
k)lodging a copy of the accounts, together with an up to date list of Trustees, with the Charities Commission
l)organising suitable insurance cover
m)taking regular meter readings
5.0The Annual Budget and Financial Performance Reporting
5.1The Treasurer will recommend an outline budget at the November committee meeting and this will be formally agreed by the Council at the December meeting prior to the start of the new financial year.
5.2Finance will have a separate heading on the agenda of each committee meeting and time will be set aside for discussion of financial matters.
5.3The Treasurer will prepare a report for each meeting showing performance against budget.This will be circulated to all Council members and any major discrepancies, either positive or negative, noted in the minutes.
5.4Details of cash flow and bank balances must also be reported, and minuted, at each meeting.
6.1Opening and closing bank accounts requires the minuted approval of the Council.All bank accounts set up to handle the Council’s money must be in the Council’s name.
6.2Bank accounts will be reconciled monthly and any discrepancies bought to the attention of the Council at the next meeting.
6.3Bank statements for the last 3 months will be brought to the Council meeting and be available for scrutiny.Any Council member may request a copy of a bank statement at any time.
6.4Two cheque signatories are required for every cheque written.Cheque signatories must be Trustees of the Council.
6.5The Council must review bank mandates and authority limits annually at the AGM.
6.6Internet banking will only be permitted if it is possible to apply two levels of authorisation to any internet banking transaction.
6.7Council members with access to the Council’s bank accounts must ensure that these are never disclosed to persons unknown, or by email, or in response to unsolicited telephone calls or emails.
6.8Council’s bank accounts may only be accessed electronically by Council members running suitable firewall and anti-virus software on their computers.
6.9PIN numbers, user IDs and passwords issues in conjunction with Council’s bank accounts must be kept confidential.
7.0Authority for Expenditure
7.1The Treasurer has delegated authority to pay utilities invoices and other regular payments up to a limit of £1000 in value without first seeking approval from the Committee.
7.2The nominated Trustees with responsibility for aspects of hall maintenance (currently Dave Evans, Norma Clarke and Clive Lawrence) have delegated authority to spend up to £200 on repairs/replacements without first seeking the authority of the Committee.Any cost incurred will be reported to the next meeting.
7.3All other expenditure must be approved in advance by the Committee and minuted as such.
7.4In an emergency, the Chairman may approve expenditure to a maximum of £2,000 without first referring to the committee but must declare this at the next meeting.If the amount required is over £2,000 the Chairman must consult and get the agreement of two other Trustees, ideally one of whom should be the Treasurer.The maximum amount of expenditure to be incurred this way would be £7,500.
8.0Major & Capital Works
8.1For major works (defined as over £5,000 in value) three quotes will be obtained and the final decision, which will be made based on best value for money and need not necessarily be the cheapest, will be made by the Council.
9.1Lettings rates will be agreed in advance for the coming financial year and will only be varied with the prior permission of the Council.
9.2All lettings will be invoiced and controls maintained to ensure that the correct amount of income is collected in a timely manner.Invoices will state the payment due date clearly on them.Outstanding debts will be reported at Village Hall Council meetings.
10.1The Treasurer is responsible for defining adequate procedures and controls over cash at Council events and for advising volunteers of the rules that are in place to protect cash.
10.2All income should be recorded promptly in the accounting records.
10.3Cash and cheques held in locked cash box in a secure location.
10.4Cheques and cash must be banked regularly and promptly.Any outstanding banking in excess of £200 should be reported at the Council meeting.
10.5Paying in slips must be reconciled with bank statements
10.6Cheque books must be kept securely.
10.7It is forbidden to sign blank cheques or to post-date cheques.
10.8Payments and reimbursements will only be paid in cash up to the value of £50.Supporting documentation is required for all reimbursements.
10.9Personal cheques shall not be cashed out of money held on behalf of the Council.
11.1The independent financial examiner will be appointed by the Council and the appointment minuted accordingly.
11.2The financial records will be audited annually and the results of the audit made available to all Council members and displayed in the Village Hall and on the village web site.
12.1Trustees have a duty to apply the charity’s income for the benefit of its beneficiaries.This means that income generated should be spent for the furtherance of the charity and not accrued or invested.
12.2However the Trustees have deemed it prudent that £15,000 will be kept in reserve to be used for emergency expenditure.This reserve will be held in a secure bank account in the name of the Council which provides a competitive rate of interest.
13.1It is important that we have a high level of public trust and confidence in our work as the future of the village hall and playing fields depends on the support from local people and on volunteers from the community.
13.2If the Village Hall falls victim to financial crime resulting from Trustees not putting adequate financial controls in place then the Trustees will have failed to meet their legal duties to the charity.
13.3The committee will therefore maintain and review a financial risk register detailing any major risks to the financial position of the charity, methods of mitigation and probability.
13.4As a policy, any instances where it is suspected that the charity is a victim of financial crime will always be reported to the police and to the Charity Commission following an initial investigation by more than one member of the committee.
14.1The Council are aware of the growing trend for “tainted” charity donations and will refuse or return any donations where they feel this may be a risk.
15.0Data Protection and Data Monitoring
15.1Any paper copy records of the charity’s business should be stored appropriately and all archives must be stored in the Village Hall (we need a locked filing cabinet for this).Financial information must be kept for a minimum of 7 years.
15.2Where charity information is produced by computer it should be running anti-virus and anti-spyware software and care should be taken to protect other members from inappropriate use.
15.3Key charity documents should be backed up in the Village Hall Dropbox account .All Trustees should have access to these, however where they contain personal information they should not be disclosed outside of the committee members.
15.4The Trustees will ensure that the charity is registered under the Data Protection Act and that this registration is renewed annually.
16.1The Council will aim to cover all expenses by fundraising and will not commit the Council to expenditure that it is unable to fund from its own reserves.
16.2However in the unlikely event that the Council requires to take out a loan this must be agreed unanimously by the Council members and the decision minuted accordingly.Any resulting loans will be in the name of the Council.
17.0Stores and Equipment
17.1Delivery notes, Invoices or receipts must be obtained in respect of all goods received and goods must be checked as regard quality at the time delivery is made.
17.2Any stock should be kept to a minimum and maintained at the level consistent with operational requirements.
18.1The Treasurer is responsible for organising suitable insurance cover for the Council’s assets including the village hall and any public liability insurance.
18.2Copies of insurance certificates will be circulated to the Council.
18.3The Treasurer will negotiate insurance claims on the Council’s behalf.
19.1These financial standing orders will be reviewed annually at the AGM.
This policy has been approved by the Council at its AGM held on 30th March 2015.