pexels-photo-935988As treasurer, the specific tasks and duties that you will directly perform will be determined, at least in part, by the size of your organisation. For example, in very small nonprofits, the treasurer wears “many hats”, and you will find them taking care of the accounts, as well as directly handling cash and deposits, creating the budget and offering the board advice.

You may even find them performing other duties not directly related to financial matters, such as creating a fundraising campaign or monitoring membership rolls. In a larger nonprofit, treasurers often have staff members to take care of many of the day-to-day routine tasks and assume a more advisory role.

While the responsibilities assigned to the treasurer seem to be a heavy burden, modern accountancy software like Admin Bandit, automates many of the more tedious processes, freeing up the treasurers’ time and making it easy for even the novice treasurer to fulfil their duties.

A Watchful Eye

Regardless of the size of your nonprofit and the specific tasks that you will be called upon to perform, your primary responsibility is to manage and oversee your nonprofit’s finances and to set the tone for how financial management is conducted in your organisation. For this reason, many people equate the role of treasurer with that of a “watchdog” that guards the NFP’s financial health and reputation.

In addition to managing cash flows, overseeing the accounts and planning the budget, treasurers need to be aware of the many risks that can lead to a loss in their organisation, as well as work with other board members to come up with a plan to minimise or otherwise mitigate the effects of these risks.

They must take action to establish controls that reduce potential conflicts of interest, and that ensure that the NFP’s funds will be spent in accordance with its mission and that actions taken by the NFP are both unbiased and transparent.

Like a personal physician watches over the health and welfare of their patients, non-profit treasurers “watch over” their organisation’s financial health, and, produce reports for the board that help them to make better, more informed decisions.

Keeping the NFP on Time and On Track

Most NFPs have specific filing deadlines that must be made, as well as other requirements that they must meet to qualify for specific tax concessions and other favourable tax treatments. The treasurer is responsible for seeing that these forms are completed accurately and are lodged promptly. They are also responsible for registering their charity or other NFP with the appropriate agency and obtaining all necessary permits and licenses.

Treasurers should also send timely confirmations of their donors’ contributions for their own tax purposes. They should keep track of any specific requests and requirements attached to particular funds. In addition to financial accounts, many treasurers track other things for their nonprofit, such as volunteer hours and the receipt of membership dues.

Planning and Advising

Treasurers also help their NFPs plan for the future by creating the annual budget and advising board members on matters that relate to the nonprofit’s finances. They also prepare and present regular reports on the status of the nonprofit’s finances to the board.

Be Ready to Recruit Your Replacement

A volunteer treasurer should always keep in mind that they will not be the treasurer forever. From day one, a good treasurer sees that the NFP’s finances are kept up-to-date and ready for a new treasurer to step in at any moment.

Establishing sound financial management practices and controls, updating and reconciling the accounts on a regular basis ensures that your nonprofit is ready to welcome a new treasurer should you unexpectedly become unable to fulfil your duties. By actively helping your board recruit your replacement you are doing your part to help your board with succession planning and ensuring that your next nonprofit’s next treasurer has the skills and experience necessary to perform the job well!