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Treasurer for a community sports club

Treasurer for a community sports club

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HI! Was hoping some of you may have experience of finances in a sports club.

Briefly, I have agreed to sponsor a local rugby team (company name on shirt sleeve, etc) - it isn't a huge amount & I have personal connections - and they have asked me if I would also be interested in being treasurer for the forthcoming season.

I said I would look into it as I had never done it & have no idea what is involved. I do not know who was doing it before or whether they are likely to be already fully compliant with whatever the rules are.

Any advice greatly appreciated - thanking you.

Replies (29)

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By duncanedwards
04th Feb 2015 21:15

Best bet
"I ... have no idea what is involved. I do not know who was doing it before or whether they are likely to be already fully compliant with whatever the rules are"

Best bet would be to ask them what they want and get them to put you in touch with the previous incumbent. (If they decline, that might be a bad sign.)

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By bernard michael
05th Feb 2015 10:20

What is involved is hassle.

When I qualified at my post qualifying chat with the senior partner one of the wise saws he gave me was never be a treasurer of anything. The few times I've ignored this I regretted it.

Also once you accept trying to resign is difficult

Make your excuses and decline is my advice

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By pawncob
05th Feb 2015 17:34

Agree

I agree with Bernard. I act as auditor to a sports club, and every year  I have to deal with a different treasurer, with  no continuity, so they always seem to start from scratch. Stay away.

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By Paul Cowham
06th Feb 2015 10:56

I specialise with the voluntary sector and deal with a large number of charities with volunteer treasurers (and I have 1 casc). I am also the treasurer of a charity.

The easy option is to avoid this as others have said. However, having a competent treasurer can make a big difference to an organisation such as this. If the club is something that you would like to help and are passionate about then it can also be a very rewarding experience. If all accountants shied away from being treasurers on voluntary boards then the voluntary sector in the UK would be in a much poorer state.

Probably the first thing to check is how the accounting records are maintained - the treasurer should not (generally) be involved in bookkeeping but provide some oversight. If there is a good bookkeeper then this would be a more attractive option to get involved in. I would be careful to specifiy how much time (in advance) you are willing to put into this and what your role would be.

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By Mr_awol
06th Feb 2015 11:21

Im disappointed by the negative advice here.  Yes, it is usually more work than suggested at the outset and yes it is often difficult to withdraw as you always feel guilty about doing that is you haven't lined up a replacement,

But these organisations need someone and I would be best to have someone capable.  The reason for high turnover often because someone well meaning but without he necessary skills offers to give it a go, because those with the skills re too frightened of the impact a mistake might have on their min role or unwilling to help.

The biggest problem I find is that people are constantly trying to throw cash at you - raffle money, subs, etc.  Sometimes in envelopes sometimes not.  They don't care about receipts and just want it off their hands.  I try to always carry a receipt book and wont accept a penny from anyone unless they accept a receipt.  That way I have a proper record of all money ive had and everyone knows (and often complains) about my insistence on receipts being given which means that there can never be any doubt about whether ive had money or not.

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By NG
06th Feb 2015 11:30

Thankless task...

A few years ago I agreed to be treasurer for a local community project which I thought was very worthwhile. However the amount of work required (I also held down a full-time job) was over-whelming. There were absolutely loads of people involved at every meeting which as a shy person I found quite intimidating - public speaking never having been my thing. I was asked for figures at short notice and in the end when I did manage to resign (and during the whole engagement) - not a single word of thanks!

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By Golfemmo
06th Feb 2015 11:33

Treasurer

 

First ever post!

I have been an Hon treasurer for a Charity a Golf Club and a Community Sports Centre, which is also a registered charity..

Yes it is a right royal pain but the satisfaction, especially from helping a charity, is excellent. Make sure there are adequate accounting records and controls in place (I liked the receipt book suggestion), make sure that, if required, all submission have been filed and enjoy the role.

One piece of advice though don't do it for more than say three or four years. With the charity I did ten years and as previously mentioned when you try to resign the guilt card is played. Explain that change is good as it brings a fresh look at the way things are done.

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By Nashdown
06th Feb 2015 19:47

Thank goodness for some positive comments

I despair when I read some of the negative comments posted. It's a good job we have people who are prepared to put themselves out and as one of the contributors commented - a good treasurer makes a world of difference.

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By Michael.Hall
06th Feb 2015 11:52

It's not all negative...

I was appointed Treasurer to my son's football club almost six years ago, mostly because nobody else was willing to step into the fray! I also serve on the club's Management Committee.

Although I agree that there can be more than my fair share of hassle involved (especially when the annual subs are up for renewal!), on the positive side, it still gives me a great deal of pleasure, knowing that I'm helping provide a facility where the local young people can come, not only to play football, but also to socialise and meet up with friends, etc.

As ours is quite a sizeable club (over 300 members, 23 teams, ranging from tots right through to an U18's side, and Ladies too!), I use QuickFile for bookkeeping, and PaySubsOnline for membership administration, etc. I also have some involvement with arranging the club insurance, and various other admin-type tasks. All told, I probably spend about 2-3 hours per week on club matters.

Hope this gives you some idea of what can be involved tracey2412 - if I can offer any further help, please do not hesitate to ask.

 

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By JWB
06th Feb 2015 12:19

It's a great way to get to know people and get involved in the community but it can be quite time hungry.  

As with all these things you get out of it what you put it, with a financial background you'll find it a doddle to record expenses and income.  You don't have to go to every committee meeting but I find that the committee appreciates having good financial information so they know what they can afford to spend on things and can budget.  (I have been treasurer of a village hall for a couple of years)

Only do it if it is something you will enjoy otherwise you will resent it taking up your time.

 

 

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By TerryD
06th Feb 2015 13:08

I think that your first task is to establish how the club is constituted - is it a charity? A CASC? Just a members' club? This is vital as without that knowledge you will not know what, if any, accounting and reporting laws apply. This will also affect the club's status for tax purposes.

Then you need to understand what books are kept, what controls exist (e.g. over cash receipts), and who does what in terms of financial management. Following on from that, you need to know exactly what your role will be and will it be an official post - e.g. if the club is a charity, will you become a trustee? You then need to consider whether you have the necessary skills to do the job.

I hope you find that you can accept the post as the club is clearly something in which you have a strong interest, and, as others have said, it can be a very rewarding role to be assisting in a practical way. 

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By neileg
06th Feb 2015 14:24

The problem is...

If you are a finance professional of any type the lack of regard that your committee colleagues will show towards internal controls, proper bookkeeping, etc will drive you nuts. Nor will they in general be able to read and understand the simplest of financial statements.

I once acted as treasurer of a small organisation. I was accused of misstating the accounts because I had shown the gross income and expenses of a fund raising event when they only understood the 'profit on the night'. Needless to say, I resigned as treasurer and as a member of the organisation.

My advice would be to avoid small clubs. If you want to be philanthropic give your time to a cause that can use your skills and experience.

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By pauljohnston
06th Feb 2015 14:27

@neileg

Neil your experience matches mine.  Never again.  I will however help with fund raising and other worthy causes but never again treasurer.

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Hallerud at Easter
By DJKL
06th Feb 2015 14:59

By default

My experience was not within my control, near the end my son's primary one year , when he was 5, my wife attended the AGM for the school after school club he attended, she returned and advised me that I was the treasurer. She managed to later get herself appointed treasurer of the PTA which meant I also drafted their accounts (but at least did not need to attend their meetings)

Well roll on, my son is now 23 and I am still treasurer. For years I ran the payroll, prepared the accounts and imparted my wisdom re sundry boozy committee meetings (well the meetings are reasonably sober, it is the afters where the serious drinking occurs)

When RTI came in we outsourced the payroll and I currently am still trying to set up an idiot proof Auto Enrol pension scheme  which once in place will be my final contribution before attempting to give up the role, but only if I find a successor.

To me the role is part that of having joined a religious sect,which you can't leave once enrolled, however it does give me some satisfaction to know I have helped steer it from an organisation with circa £4,000 of reserves to one with nearly £40,000. In addition ,without the office bearers and committee there would have been no after school care at the school, we usually serve circa 50 families a year and also run  during some school  holidays and are now running a before school club.

I am really lucky, we have excellent long serving staff who deal with 99% of matters and myself and the rest of the committee in the main have little to do

 Apart from the current AE issue I have 3-4 meetings a year, pay the wages every 4 weeks, having received the payslips from the firm we now use for this , draft year end accounts (receipts and payments 3-4 hours work at most), attend AGM , submit online the annual return to OSCR and deal as signatory with the staff disclosures as lead signatory as and when required. At most I spend  maybe 24 hours a year in total, not really that bad.

However after 18 years I think I will be trying to bow out at the  May 2016 AGM which will bring up a round 20 years in the role. (On to my third head teacher at the school now)

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By Malcolm McFarlin
06th Feb 2015 15:06

VAT One of the biggest problems I've encountered

is the practice of club members to 'net down' takings i.e. if the bar takings are £500.00 and expenses have been paid out for £100.00, then the figure often passed to the Treasurer are the net sales and not the gross sales i.e. £400.00.

This has a big impact if your club is liable to be registered for VAT since the sales are often under-declared.  The liability of income to VAT can certainly be confusing.  HMRC PN 701.45 is a useful guide. However, as an initial guide:

Bar takings -standard rated; stolen takings must also be accounted for.

Catering -standard rated

Social Membership -standard rated

Gaming machines & social functions -standard rated.

Membership subscriptions for playing members -exempt

Sponsorship income -usually standard rated unless the donor receives no significant benefit, then it is outside the scope.

Match Fees -exempt for members use of the playing facilities but can be standard rated for non-members.

Match fees for covering the cost of catering and transport is usually standard rated.

Hope this helps as a starter.

Malcolm McFarlin

www.mandrtaxadvisers.com

 

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By iainroe
06th Feb 2015 15:33

Keep it Simple

As mentioned previously, identify what type of organisation (CASC, charity, etc) as this will dictate the level of work/accountability required

I have been on the committees of several canoe clubs (currently treasurer of one) and my advice would be to keep the book-keeping process as simple as possible. The reason, that if/when you do stand down the person taking over from you will have minimal questions.

I am fortunate that my current role requires perhaps only a few hours a month, mainly payments & updating accounts prior to committee meetings/AGM. Other officers have been "trained" to bank cash and send me an email to confirm what the receipts were for. We have recently implemented internet banking which saves time & effort trying to meet up with a second signatory to get cheques signed. My next big task will be finding an interest bearing account for surplus funds (any suggestions much appreciated - for non-CASC, non-charity organisation).

Hope this helps.

Iain

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By zebaa
06th Feb 2015 17:14

Go for it.

I am treasurer for two small clubs & and in the past have been treasurer to large trade body. I find the job very rewarding and because of the position you will at least get a hearing from the other committee members. As as been said most members have no clue how to read an I & E and balance sheet. 

I dislike cash and try and avoid it, but sometime I can not. For example membership subs. In one club these are by transfer into the club account or by cheque only. In the other club I collect cash on a weekly basis but try and write down the amount in a pad, carried for that use, straight way.

Internet banking is good, until you get locked out.

If you can give the time I suggest you go for it. If you can not, say no. Best of luck.

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By tracey2412
06th Feb 2015 17:35

WOW!

Thank you for comments negative & positive! It's good to know it warts & all!

I have only briefly had time to scan read so far (manic couple days, don't ask!) so I will digest it all properly over the weekend and revert.

Thanks again for taking the time to reply. 

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By George King
07th Feb 2015 11:57

Treasurer

 

Be prepared to become a full time unpaid skivvy and become the public enemy No1 to the membership!!!!!!!!!!

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By evileve
07th Feb 2015 15:57

I am treasurer of a riding club - riding is an interest of mine so it's volunteering that means something to me.  It can be a pain, regarding other committee members inability to note things down, where money comes in/out.  We run events, and I have created a Petty Cash sheet on A4 with big boxes to fill in, for them to use on these occasions, and instructions that ALL receipts and payments are marked on.  I couldn't have made it easier - but they still write all over it, accross the boxes, not filling them in, with only half the information.... but hey, it's half more than I used to get!  Always made more confusing too when committee take money they are owed out of what they may owe the club in entry fees, and don't really explain it properly so I know what they've done. 

BUT, I will continue to support this club because it's only a small club, and I really wouldn't like to see it go under - getting volunteers to help these days is a struggle, so if I can keep doing my bit I will.  And it's not that bad really - worst bit is doing the Treasurers report at the AGM as I'm not really good at public speaking. Couple of beers first does the trick :-0

 

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By Stuart.thomson
07th Feb 2015 16:55

Every club is different. I was treasurer of a very large amateur sports club but it had a professional team so a large payroll. Very rewarding experience and in some ways I miss it but I would also say I am meg lad that period of my life is over. I have tried below to lint out some matters from own experience for you to consider.

I would suggest you do the following before committing.
1) look at what type of constitution the club has. This impacts on statutory responsibilities.
2) the extent of cash transactions and how are these managed. Cash increases hassle, risk, etc.
3) what is the current state of books, budgets, projections, strategy. Or are you starting from scratch?
4) what support do you have. Bookkeeper, payroll, cashier. In my case going to the bank was a big hassle and the size of payroll meant someone needed to manage this. I also found volunteers trying to nickel and dime the whole time but I had to constantly monitor to ensure that there were no Vat misdemeanours.
5) how many meetings are you to attend? All roles change but as a volunteer your time is free so best to be clear before you are leaned on too much.
6) is your sponsorship proportionately large that other members would start questioning your role, input as a result of conflict.
7) how devolved are the activities of the club? The more people that you have to deal with the more time consuming

Being a treasurer can be very rewarding but you must go into with your eyes open or the obligations may start to overwhelm you bringing you stress in what should be a social aspect of your life. All volunteers do things in there own time and so you need to be willing to accept nobody keeps their deadlines (and you cannot hold them to account).

My advice is go for it you are happy with the above responses but agree to a fixed term so that the club puts in place a plan for your replacement. (You can always agree to continue).

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By tracey2412
08th Feb 2015 13:24

I think I have a plan of action ...

Thank you all so much for your advice, particularly the ones who offered 'how to' based on experience (receipt book, a must!)

I think my plan of action is:

1. determine the status of the club - then find out what the requirements are & what people are needed (qualified auditor, does a treasurer need to be qualified, should I just be the book-keeper? etc.)

2. get hold of the books now & see what state they are in & talk to the chairman etc. to find out who does what now & whether he is happy with that?

3. decide if I am the right person from their point of view (as per no 1) and then whether I want to do it (based on outcome of no 2).

4. if answer to no 3 is yes on both counts, propose a plan: subs to be paid this way, internet banking, etc.

Fortunate in that there are no income costs from premises (they rent facilities only & have no income from  bar, food etc.) & not VAT registered (thank you Malcolm McFarlin that info is useful for future reference though) - I think they just need volunteers to do the off-field stuff & it wasn't a request based on my 'day job' just grabbing at the first person who showed interest! 

Thank you again, kind regards

 

 

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By graeme kempson
09th Feb 2015 13:21

exit strategy

Having been treasurer of sporting bodies a few times, as well as other committee memberships over many years, you do get a lot out of it. So, by volunteering,  at least  you are not a person who just takes out of the system all the time :-)

However I only accepted my latter "appointments" (Call it your number 5) after I had defined and agreed my exit strategy - number of years and likely successor. The reason - see various comments above

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By tracey2412
09th Feb 2015 17:47

further comments

re: 5. exit strategy - of course ;)

re: 7555775 - as had already stated none of these issues applies in this case but to tell lies - that's unacceptable & I am sorry that could happen to you,

many thanks to all again

 

 

 

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By 7555775
10th Feb 2015 16:31

Exit strategy
If you do find yourself doing it, don't do it for more than 3 years. I hope it turns out to be as simple as you think. Good luck!

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By 7555775
09th Feb 2015 16:01

I did one of these once
I found the following problems:
No PAYE scheme, no accounting records, no stock records, no fixed assets register, fingers in till, till not used or reconciled, til not in sufficient detail to verify that all sales put through till, no invoices for misc expenses, huge loan from brewery with interest base on sales this made the club not viable on its own, management committee not supportive, management committee didn't care if stock went missing, free drinks all round, the list was endless..... Don't touch it with a barge pole.

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By 7555775
09th Feb 2015 16:10

The worst thing they did to me was
To lose the year end accounts and then lied about it and said I had not done any, I had already resigned by the AGM and not one committee member could be bothered to check with me before it was stated at the AGM.

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By bernard michael
09th Feb 2015 16:16

I rest my case your honour !!

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By Gone Sailing
11th Feb 2015 10:12

If it's your club .......

If it's your club, and your are passionate about your sport, and want to see it grow locally, then being Treasurer allows you to make a significant contribution, which returns some satisfaction.

It is NOT a 'one person job'.  Spread the love.  Bite size chunks.  Online software allows you to do this.  Find someone who can tie up the loose ends - like the bank rec.  Get the bar manager to key in the takings. etc.

Following the above para - you now have an exit strategy and continuity.

Did anyone mention gaining new clients?

 

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