Keeping financial cash money records might not be the crowd-pulling activity that you had in mind when you started your campaign. But it's a necessary part of campaign management.
By law, any club or association that makes money needs to keep cash money records of what money comes in and what goes out. There are certain ways that this can be achieved and most, if not all, are rather simple. If you don't keep proper records, you could face a fine of up to ?3,000 from the tax man.
The first thing you need to do is appoint a person from your campaign group to be the treasurer.
They need to be an honest, accurate and responsible person. Financial qualifications are not necessary but experience of keeping cash money records of income and spending, paying bills, banking money and preparing basic financial statements is useful.
Next you'll need to open a bank or building society account. Your campaign committee will need to pass a resolution to open the account. Banks can provide forms giving the necessary wording for the resolution. The completed form is returned to the bank along with the names and signatures of those who will be authorized to sign cheques, a copy of the minutes of the meeting at which the resolution was passed and a copy of the group's constitution.
It's worth shopping around for the best bank account deal. Some make charges for deposits and withdrawals unless you keep a balance of ?100 in the account, some have a quarterly service charge and some make no charges at all.
The group must also decide whether it wants a deposit or a current account. You may decide to have a current account for everyday transactions and a higher interest deposit account for reserves.
All elected committee members are jointly responsible for the management of funds. The treasurer should make sure that all committee members are kept informed of the financial position.
Building societies will write cheques for you. This means that no one has to hold a cheque book, but it also means that the signatories must go to the building society to sign the withdrawal slip.You could also consider setting up an account at an internet bank. This would mean that the account could be managed from your home computer, and by more than one person.
The treasurer must be prepared to make regular reports to the committee detailing income and expenditure, and how much is left in the bank.
It's sensible for the treasurer to make monthly reports, even if the committee meets bi-monthly or quarterly. They should be presented to the committee at the first available opportunity.
If committee meetings are infrequent but the treasurer has to deal with a great many transactions between meetings, a small finance sub-committee may be convened for the purpose of checking the finances to ensure there are no problems needing urgent attention.
A reliable system of book-keeping must be established. Ideally, you need a proper cash book as all the columns are drawn for you. You should be able to find one in any good stationers.It's also possible to keep accounts on a computer, using either a spreadsheet or a specialist accounting package. You should still keep a hard copy though.
Set up a system for acknowledging cheques received - either a receipt book/voucher or a form designed for the purpose. Keep copies (or duplicates) of all vouchers or forms. Similarly, if you deal with petty cash, a system for recording cash money's 'ins and outs' is required. Keep copies of all receipts for petty cash.
The important thing is to have a system which you keep to, and ensure it's done on a regular basis. The basic financial report, a Receipts and Payments Account is, in effect, a summary of the cash book. The cash book is also used to check the bank statement (bank reconciliation).
It is important to keep clear cash money records of your group's accounts in case the Inland Revenue asks to see them.