Finance Policy

FINANCE POLICY

1. Aim – the aim of this policy is

  • To protect Carterton U3A’s assets
  • To identify and manage the risk of conflicts of interest, loss, waste, bribery, theft or fraud
  • To ensure that financial reporting is robust and of sufficient quality
  • To ensure that the Trustees comply with Carterton U3A Constitution,  Charity Law and the reporting requirements as set down by the Third Age Trust
  • To protect the Trustees against the charge of failing to protect Carterton U3A’s assests and funds
  • To ensure Trustees and Group Leaders do not suffer any financial loss related to the running of Carterton U3A

2. Background to the need for proper financial records

Following detailed discussions between the Third Age Trust and the Charities Commission the U3A has been advised that ALL income and expenditure of the U3A’s charitable activities (i.e. all its activities) must be reported in its annual financial statements.  This encompasses ALL income and expenditure, whether it be for membership fees, group activities, main meetings or trips/outings.

3. Protection of Carterton U3A’s assets and general financial procedures

The Treasurer maintains a record of all income and expenditure and the financial status, in sufficient detail to enable the Trustees to manage the finances and assets.  The accounts and supporting documentation are available and should be monitored by the Trustees and annually the accounts must be inspected by an independent examiner. The Treasurer will provide a statement of accounts to the AGM and answer any questions from the membership.

Bank accounts must be arranged to provide dual authorisation for the issue of cheques and three signatories should be registered with the bank. Payments by internet banking may be made by one of the authorized signatories.  A debit card is held by the person arranging the trips.

A budget is to be created by the Treasurer, each financial year, showing income and expenditure, prior to the setting of the Membership fee for the following year.  The membership year will run from the 1stJune; members joining after 1stDecember will pay 50% of the full fee.

Gift aid will be claimed according to HMRC rules.

All equipment must be documented in the Asset Register and provided as part of the yearly audit process.

Reserves in excess of six months running costs need to be justified by the Trustees.  These amounts must be used according to the charitable objectives of the U3A and benefit as many members as possible, such as a decrease in annual membership fee or the purchase of capital equipment.  Under no circumstances should excess reserves be repaid to members.

Carterton U3A cannot raise funds for other charities nor can the speaker’s fee be paid direct to a charity.  A collecting box for a charity is permissible.

No payment is permitted to members for lecturing, tutoring or other work. Legitimate expenses such as stationery and postage can be reimbursed.

Beacon provides a robust way of tracking all income and expenditure via the Ledger.  This will be maintained by the Treasurer and reconciled monthly against the bank statement, reviewed by a second Trustee and any discrepancies resolved.  Beacon is fully compliant with GDPR.

4. Groups’ Finances

All people attending a group must be a U3A member and hold a membership card.

All groups must be financially self-supporting and their finances ‘ring fenced’

Group leaders should not suffer financial loss related to the running of their Group.

Group leaders may book and pay for room hire and collect appropriate funds from group members to cover that expenditure.

Group leaders may authorise the collection of appropriate funds from group members to cover refreshments or other expenditure which has been agreed beforehand.

Group leaders should preferably appoint a member to collect money, record fees and expenditure and take care of funds.

Any events involving coaches or hall bookings should be paid on invoice by the Treasurer.

All Group leaders should send the Treasurer a financial statement at least every six months outlining, income  and expenditure.

If a group decides to stop meeting, all remaining funds should be returned to the Treasurer to be paid into the U3A bank account.

Approved by the Committee on 11thFebruary 2019 and to be reviewed annually.