Financial Healthchecks

How can you be sure your financial records and controls are good enough to satisfy your Members, your Funders, The HMRC and the Charity Commission?

No matter how large or small your charity or community group – good systems for financial management and control are essential for accountability, credibility, and viability.

So how can you make sure that:

  • The books are properly balanced?
  • The payroll is operating correctly?
  • Cash is under control?
  • Insurance cover is adequate?
  • Your committee is getting the information it needs to make good decisions?
  • Financial controls are complete?
  • Your annual accounts meet legal requirements?

The answer is simple

A FREE Systems Health Check !!!

Community Accountancy Project will work with you to:

  • Carry out a thorough review of your organisation’s financial and accounting systems
  • Help you to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the systems
  • Prepare an action plan which will help you to get it right for the future
  • Provide advice, information and practical support to help you implement the plan


To request a Financial Health Check for your organisation, simply contact CAP:

T:    020 7249 7109  E:    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  www.caplondon.org 

 

 

 

Reserves

What are reserves?

Reserves are that part of a charity's income funds that is freely available for its general purposes
Reserves are NOT: permanent endowments; expendable endowments; restricted funds; designated funds; and income funds which could only be realised by disposing of fixed assets held for charity use.

Why hold reserves?

Organisations that deliver services, employs staff, rent premises, purchases goods or services must ensure that they have sufficient resources.
There is always an element of uncertainty or risk.
It is good practice for organisations to seek to build some financial reserves that will allow them to meet future commitment or unforeseen expenses without a negative impact on their ability to deliver their services or develop their businesses in the manner planned.

Read more: Reserves

Financial Procedures

1 Purpose of Document

1.1 To define the financial systems used by Community Organisation and how they relate to all areas of the organisation.

2 General principles

2.1 Relevant to budget holders and finance staff. All suggestions for amendments to Senior Staff.Minor amendments/updates to be agreed by Internal Management Team; major amendments by Finance & Resources Sub-group.

Read more: Financial Procedures

Setting up Quickbooks

QuickBooks is a very flexible, user-friendly system, which should save the organisation time and trouble; it will warn you about possible errors and prevent you from performing certain mistakes (e.g. when amount on a cheque don't match). Transactions are easy to alter and reports / invoices can be customised or adapted to suit the organisation.

There is no limit to the number of companies that you can set up. However, you normally will require only one company for your organisation, although it is useful to set up a trail company to practice you need to ensure that it is clearly identified as such.

Read more: Setting up Quickbooks

Full Cost Recovery

Full cost recovery is a means by which you recover rent and other overhead costs. It replaces the old system of funding for core costs and funding for projects. Through full cost recovery, each project pays a bit towards core costs like rent and the chief executives salary. The government is encouraging all public sector funders and the Big Lottery to all for full cost recovery in funding applications. Many trusts are also following suit.

Riverside Elders provides advocacy, Minor home repairs and healthy eating/lifestyle advice to people aged over 60 living on an estate. The aim of the project is to enable people to live in their own homes rather than be taken into sheltered accommodation.

Read more: Full Cost Recovery

Forecasting Income

The income budget is usually more sensitive than the expenditure budget and subject to fluctuations and change. The organisation will need to make assumption in order to make estimates of future income and these should be noted down an the most important ones provided with the budget. The estimates will not make sense to anyone without explanation of the basis. Different types of income will need slightly different techniques for forecasting, but it should be possible to group income into categories of:

  • Confirmed / definite
  • Probable
  • Possible
  • Uncertain / target

Read more: Forecasting Income

Year End Checklist

Before accounts can be prepared, you are required to make sure that your organisation comply with checklist below (all documents must be originals):

  • Cash and Petty Cash Books/Computerised Accounts must be fully written/typed up and analysed.All columns must be added up and checked down and across to give the annual totals.
  • There must be a complete set of bank statements for the whole year, plus the month immediately after your accounting year ends.These must be reconciled with the Cash Book/Computerised Accounts.
  • All invoices, receipts, petty cash claims and vouchers must be filed in date order and signed by two authorised signatories (one of whom must be a Trustee).
  • All documents relating to grants and other income must be filed in date order
  • Payroll records must be completed and totalled for the year.Inland Revenue Annual Return (P35) must be completed and a copy kept.
  • Trustees Annual Report, including Directors Report, must also be attached.
  • Names of officers and other committee members who served during the accounting year.
  • Minutes of committee meetings held during the year.

Read more: Year End Checklist

Expenditure Budget

Staff Related Costs:

  • Salaries / ILW
  • ENIC 12.8% after (LEL) £6,475
  • Pension (state the %)
  • Staff Recruitment
  • Staff Development & Training
  • Supervision
  • Professional Indemnity
  • Clothing
  • CRB Checks
  • Agency Staff
  • Staff Travel & Subsistence
  • Staff Cover (sickness, maternity, paternity and staff holidays)

 

Read more: Expenditure Budget

Financial Healthchecks - Free!

How can you be sure your financial records and controls are good enough to satisfy your Members, your Funders, The HMRC and the Charity Commission?

No matter how large or small your charity or community group – good systems for financial management and control are essential for accountability, credibility, and viability.

Preparing a Budget

A budget is a financial plan. It can be drawn up by any group of people who need to know how much it will cost them to carry out a plan of action.

A budget is an estimate of the Income that you hope to generate, and the Expenditure you expect to incur in carrying out the plan.

It can be prepared for a particular activity- 
If you want to hire a coach for an outing to Margate, and provide a picnic, you will need to find out how much it costs to hire the coach, how much to park it in Margate, how much the picnic will cost, and how much you will need to charge the people going. (Or how much money you need to raise to pay for everything!).

Read more: Preparing a Budget

Values and Ethos

CAP is committed to prioritising service delivery to under-resourced organisations. We are committed to;

Providing high quality, accessible, low cost services.
Equal opportunities - both in recognising diversity and in seeking to respond to meet these needs.
Encouraging organisations to be independent and enabling them to help themselves.
Providing our services on an independent and confidential basis.

 

Contact Us

+44 (0)20 72497109
31-33 Dalston Lane
London
E8 3DF
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