So you went out to your club’s AGM for a few pints and you woke up the next day as the treasurer. How did that happen? Fear not, we’re here to help. Grab yourself a cuppa, sit back and read on for everything you need to know about being a sport club’s treasurer.
1. What on earth does a treasurer do?
Essentially, the role of a treasurer is to understand and control the flow of money that is coming in and out of your sports club. A club with well-managed accounts will be able to grow much quicker than a club with no one looking after it’s finances. That’s where you come in.
Your duties across the year will include:
- Ensuring that up-to-date records of your club’s income and expenditures are tracked and maintained (most likely using accountancy software)
- Planning the club’s yearly budget (with input from the club’s committee) and monitoring how this budget is used throughout the year
- Presenting annual reports on the club’s finances to key stakeholders
- Being the go-to person for any accounting questions that your club has
- Arranging insurance, licenses and direct debit payments for your club
Almost all of these duties require access to a laptop or computer.
2. I’ve just landed the role, where should I begin?
Begin your role by meeting with the club’s previous treasurer. Ideally, you should have a short handover period where they can pass on the knowledge and experience they have gained in the role. This is a chance for you to go through the previous year’s accounts with them and ask any questions you have about the rationale behind their decisions. If it isn’t possible for you to meet with them face-to-face, you can request an information pack with top tips, passwords and any other details you’ll need.
“There’s a lot of misinformation on the internet.”Dave Gibson, Blu Sky Tax
You’ll find the role a lot easier if you have a background in accounting. If you don’t, it’s still perfectly possible to do a good job. You’ll just need to do a bit of research first.
The internet can be a useful source of information, but be wary to only look at trusted and legitimate sources. Information that you find on forums might be out-of-date or unrelated to your club.
There are also plenty of books you can buy to learn more about accounting. Here are a couple of suggestions to get you started:
3. How can I work well with my club’s committee?
A club treasurer is integral to the smooth running of the club, so you’ll need to work closely with the entire club committee. Set clear boundaries of what your role can and can’t do, so that you don’t end up doing more than you can manage.
“Everyone on the committee appreciates what an important role the treasurer is.”Mick Thompson, Treasurer of the Rugeley Cricket Club
Here are some ground rules to set with the team:
- Ask another committee member to take responsibility for chasing up membership payments. Don’t be afraid to delegate if you feel like you’re always the one asking for money!
- Make sure to specify how much time you have to work on the accounts and which days you’ll be doing so.
- During busy times for the club (e.g. when you have a lot of games on), you might need to work up to 8 hours a week on your treasurer responsibilities. Let people know when it’s getting too much.
If it isn’t happening already, start scheduling monthly committee meetings where you can regularly discuss the club’s incomings and expenditures. The committee will appreciate having a regular update from you on how much money is available to the club. A committee meeting is also an opportunity to discuss and pass any purchases that need to be made. If you can encourage the habit that all purchases must be approved by you, your job will become a lot easier.
“A treasurer’s role is easier if everyone else in the club knows what they’re doing.”Mick Thompson, Treasurer of the Rugeley Cricket Club
If you feel like the committee members aren’t making your job as simple as they could be, consider sending round a set of guiding rules to provide some structure. Here are a couple to get you started:
- All purchases must be discussed with the treasurer before being approved.
- All purchases should be proved with a receipt. All receipts should be given to the treasurer immediately after making the purchase.
- Petty cash should be given to the treasurer in a labelled envelope.
4. Is there any software that can help me out?
In the past, being a treasurer would have meant filling in a whole heap of paperwork and keeping track of expenditures in an accounts book. Luckily for you, these days everything can be digitised and there is a range of software to help you keep on top of your club’s accounts.
Here’s a run-down of the best software options available to you:
|Xero||Designed for small businesses
Works on your phone and tablet
Can create purchase orders, pay bills and claim expenses
24/7 phone, email and live chat customer support
|Not used by all accountants (this is only an issue if you need to hire an outside accountant)||30-day free trial, then £20 per month|
|QuickBooks Online||Can automate everything, including invoices, bill payments, and credit card transactions
Free phone and live chat customer support
|App features are limited compared to online version||30-day free trial, then £10.50 for first 6 months (£15 a month after that)|
|Zoho Books||Easy-to-use dashboard
Can create account reports, balance sheets and cash flow statements
Can track inventory in real-time
|Doesn’t include payroll services
Limited ability to integrate with third-party apps
|14-day free trial, then £12 per month|
|Wave Accounting||Can track expenses using receipt scanning tools
If you’re signed up, you can take advantage of discounts offered by Wave’s partners
|No app available
Credit card processing and payroll function are charged on a pay-as-you-go basis Customer support is available at an extra cost
|Free (with ads)|
Treasury and spreadsheets go hand-in-hand, so if you’re not going to use any of the software above (we urge you to do so), you’ll need to make sure you’ve got Microsoft Excel (or Numbers, as it’s called on Macs).
Many laptops will have Excel pre-installed; if not, you can find an online version here. If you’ve never used Excel before, there are a host of tutorials available which show how easy it is to get the hang of. Remember, if your spreadsheet contains sensitive information (such as budgets or turnover) you should password protect the document. This means that no one can open it without entering a password you’ve given them.
We are also a big fan of Google Sheets, a free alternative to Microsoft Excel.
5. Which bank account should I be using for my sports club?
Having a bank account is essential for your club to make sure you’re not always carrying petty cash around. There are a heap of bank accounts out there specially designed for sports club treasurers.
The right bank account for your club will depend on it’s size and annual turnover. We’ve done the research on bank accounts so that you don’t have to:
|Bank Name||Account Options||Features||Cost|
|Santander||Treasurer’s Current Account
Treasurer’s Savings Account
|Designed specifically for clubs and societies with an annual turnover of up to £250,000 and up to 3 signatories||Free day-to-day banking
0.25% AER/ Gross (variable) interest rate on savings
|Lloyd’s Bank||Treasurer’s Current Account||Designed for organisations that turnover less than £50,000 a year
Free presentation cheque available for prize ceremonies
|Free day-to-day banking (as long as your account remains in credit)|
|TSB||Treasurer’s Current Account||Designed for organisations that turnover less than £50,000 a year
An experienced relationship manager will support every account
Business debit card and credit card available
|Free day-to-day banking when you’re in credit (credit card costs £32 per year)|
|Natwest||Community Account||Designed for not-for-profit organisations turning over less than £100,000 a year
Cheque book and Paying In book available
|Free banking (subject to status)|
|HSBC||Community Current Account
Community Savings Account
|Designed for clubs with an annual turnover of less than £100,000
Community Savings Account is only available if you have a Community Current Account
|Free day-to-day banking
Savings Account rate improves every 30 days if you leave your savings untouched
6. How do I manage my club’s budget?
Preparing a yearly budget for your club ensures that you have a greater level of control over all of your club’s spending and activity. It means that the club will be more organised and smarter with it’s money, as you’ve taken the time to be forward-thinking. Without a budget, your club will most likely run out of money by the end of a financial year!
Planning a budget can take up to 3 months, so make sure to leave enough time for yourself. You should call a meeting with the rest of the committee to get their opinion on the projected incomings and outgoings of the club for the next year. Try thinking about all possible eventualities, it’s important that you don’t leave anything out:
- Will you need new equipment for your members?
- Will any of your team require training?
- Is there any software you’ll need to purchase to help run the club?
- Do you anticipate the need to rent some extra pitches?
- Are any of your bills expected to increase or decrease?
- Are you expecting to receive donations from a fundraising event that’s being planned?
All of these possibilities should be considered in the budget (plus a little extra in case of emergencies).
Remember that you can look at last year’s budget plan as a basis. Take note of areas where the club came in over or under budget, then adjust the new year’s budget accordingly. A budget should always have higher revenue than expenditure.
7. How do I deal with taxes and VAT?
Taxes are a compulsory contribution that your club will need to pay based on your turnover. Any donations your club receives are not taxable but your profits from trading and interest on savings usually are. You can pay your corporation tax via the HMRC website.
If your total income is below the threshold of £83,000 you are not required to pay VAT. If your income (excluding donations) is above £83,000 then will will have to pay VAT on top of your corporation tax. A standard rate of 20% VAT is applied to most items. You can use an online VAT calculator to easily add and remove VAT in your calculations.
8. How do I make payments for the club?
Throughout your role, you’ll be responsible for making a variety of payments on behalf of the club. Whether that’s to the electricity company or your club’s employees, make sure you keep a note of when payments are due so that you’re never late.
Before paying any bill, ask for a proper invoice or receipt. Don’t pay anything out of the club without there being evidence for why you’re paying. They’ll be some bills which you need to pay every month – make it simpler for yourself by setting up a direct debit or standing order with your club’s bank account.
If you have paid employees, you need to set up a payroll system. This can be managed through your accountancy software. You’ll need to operate PAYE (pay-as-you-earn tax) to deduct National Insurance and Income Tax payments.
9. What needs to be included in an annual report?
At the end of the year, you will need to present an annual report of the club’s spending. This report should give a clear picture of your club’s financial position.
The report needs to include:
- A statement of income and expenditure, summarising the main categories where you’ve spent money and made money over the year. In this statement, you need to take into account any bills that have not been paid (“timing differences”) and any fall in the value of assets owned by the organisation (“depreciation”).
- A balance sheet, summing up the assets your club owns and any liabilities (e.g. debts).
If your club’s turnover is in excess of £100,000, it might be worthwhile getting a qualified accountant to prepare your annual report. Depending on the software you picked, you might be able to generate these reports automatically!
10. Who can help me (and listen to my rants) if I get stuck?
If you get really stuck with your club’s accounts, we recommend scheduling a phone call with a qualified accountant who can give you advice. If it’s out of your club’s budget to hire an accountant, some companies offer free advice which you could take advantage of:
- Become a member of ProHelp for free advice
- Ask an accountant a question for free on The Accountancy
- Claim a free, no obligation meeting with Startups Recommends
- Ask a tax question for free with The Cheap Accountants
11. What are my legal responsibilities?
Now for the legal bit! Did you know that your sports club needs to comply with the same legal obligations as a business? These are extensive and it’s important to adhere to them (both from a legal standpoint but also for the safety of your members).
Your legal responsibilities cover the following areas and action points:
- Your personal responsibilities
- Operate your club according to rules set out in a governing document.
- Act honestly, responsibly and carefully towards all your members and employees.
- Ensure that you are protected against personal liability (you don’t want to be held accountable for what the club has done or failed to do).
- Health and safety
- Identify potential health and safety hazards in your club’s premises.
- Think about health and safety risks for all of your club’s activity e.g. games and matches.
- Take into account the different types of people who may be at risk e.g. those who are vulnerable or have disabilities.
- Take reasonable steps to eliminate or reduce risks.
- Review your health and safety assessments regularly.
- Your activities
- Minimise your impact on the environment.
- Check what regulations apply to your club’s activities.
- Ensure that your club doesn’t discriminate in the way it provides its services.
- Do not trade unfairly (i.e. if you’re selling membership to the public, don’t use aggressive sales tactics or leave out key information about the product).
- If you’re fundraising, you need to comply with all of the associated regulations.
- You may be responsible for the actions of your employees and volunteers.
- Respect employee’s rights and comply with employment law.
- Use PAYE to pay employees. You are legally required to make National Insurance contributions and to deduct income tax from your employees; you cannot pay them cash in hand.
- Do not discriminate in how you recruit and treat employees.
- Other legal issues
- Comply with laws on keeping accounting records, filing public accounts and reports, and paying taxes.
- Handle personal information carefully.
- Get the right insurance for the organisation and its assets and activities.
We recommend printing out your legal obligations and having them to hand in your office or clubhouse. Make sure everyone on your club’s committee is aware of them too (especially anyone who’ll be hiring any employees or dealing directly with members). You can find a full printable version in HSBC’s Knowledge Centre.
12. What are the common mistakes I should avoid?
If you can remember these 5 rules, you should manage to sidestep the downfalls of sports club treasurers before you:
- Set up clear structures and ways of working with your fellow committee members.
- Stay on top of your role by setting aside a few hours for the role each week. It’s difficult to play catch up if don’t look at the club’s accounts regularly.
- Ensure that all ingoings and outgoings are recorded accurately, so that you can always report back to the committee and key stakeholders.
- Try to avoid handling too much petty cash as this can leave room for error. Promptly bank any petty cash so that it is safe in the club’s bank account.
- Speak and listen to your club’s members, committee and stakeholders. A successful treasurer understands the needs of their club.
Make some extra money for your club with GoRaise
It’s always helpful to have some extra funds for your sports club! Introduce your club to GoRaise and it’ll be the easiest fundraising you ever do. Simply start with GoRaise every time you, your club members, friends and family shop online. A percentage of the purchase made will come back to your cub as a donation, at no extra cost to you. The more supporters you have, the more money you can raise. Burghfield Bowls Club just raised over £130 in a month – and it didn’t cost them a penny!
Thank you to Dave Gibson, Blu Sky Tax, and Mick Thompson, Treasurer for Rugeley Rugby Club, for their insight, advice and input to this article.
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