Monday Maths: 10 things you might not know about Girlguiding accounts

This week’s maths post is aimed at the leaders rather than the girls.  We’ll get back to the fun side of maths next week!

Since becoming the Division treasurer, I’ve learnt a lot about accounts that I simply hadn’t realised while just doing my own unit’s book.  Here are some things, in no particular order:

1) This: Helpful Info About Finance  Firstly, it exists!  Why was I not told about this page when I first started doing my unit’s accounts?  If you take nothing else from this post, take that web address!  It tells you all about the minimum standards for record keeping, rules on what has to be submitted to whom, and when, and all sorts of useful info like that.

2) You can download a unit accounts pack from the members area of the website – but don’t get too attached to it, there’s a task and finish group dedicated to improving it which will be starting work this month!

3) For the tech-savvy unit leader, ask your bank about online banking.  But beware – make sure you have the correct authorisation.  From the Guiding Manual:

Electronic banking is only allowed when dual authorisation is provided by the bank as mandatory for all external payments. Banks that currently supply this free of charge are The Co-operative Bank, CAF and Unity Trust Bank.

4) All individuals responsible for funds are required to undergo an enhanced criminal record disclosure check – this means a DBS check (which used to be called a CRB check).  This means, if you want a parent or other non-leader to do your accounts, you have to get them checked and put them on Go! as a Unit Treasurer.

Not my desk. I promise.
Source: Aaron Logan

5) If you’re a unit leader and you’ve delegated your accounts to someone else, you must review them on a quarterly basis.  If they’re wrong, you will be held accountable.

6) If your income is over £25,000 (I’m sure this applies to some people somewhere, but I don’t know any of them!) the accounts have to be formally examined to comply with the Charities Act.  Scary stuff!  Below that, you just need an “independent review” once a year.

EDIT (17/03/2014): After consultation with the Finance team at headquarters, it turns out that this only applies if you also own land or buildings or have a permanent endowment.  And you can exclude money passed straight through to other parts of Guiding, like the annual subscription fee.

7) The independent reviewer for your annual accounts doesn’t need to have any financial qualifications, but you need to convince the District Commissioner that they’re a suitable person to be doing it.  And they can’t be related to you or the Commissioner.

8) Expenses: if you do a lot of printing, you are absolutely allowed to claim for new ink cartridges and paper!

9) If you don’t claim back your expenses, you can include them in your gift aid claim.  They have to show as a donation in your accounts, though, so you need to “claim” them and then donate the exact same amount back again.

Read more here: (Member’s Area)

10) The annual subscription charges get us more than we realise, including: insurance, legal advice, Go!, criminal disclosure checks, Guiding magazine, grants for new units, grants for existing units and girls, badge programmes, themed resources, international opportunities, online training modules, other training opportunities, and much more.  That’s a lot of things!


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