Does Your Charity Need an AGM?

AGM imageNot all charities have members or need to have an AGM. The governing document should be checked to see if an AGM is required. A charitable company is only required to hold an AGM where stipulated in its articles of association. If the governing document does not require an AGM, the charity trustees may wish to call one (perhaps calling it a users’ meeting to avoid any confusion with a formal AGM).

Whether the charity is required to have an AGM or simply organise a users’ meeting, the charity trustees are only bound to act on decisions taken by the members where the governing document directs that those matters have to be decided at such a meeting. It is important that charity trustees are clear about the status and purpose of the AGM and that this is clearly communicated to those attending.

Unless the governing document states otherwise, the notice of the AGM will need to be sent to all the members of a charity and to any other people entitled to receive them. Some charities may be required to have an AGM or users’ meeting but not have a membership (for example, a village hall charity). In these cases, the instructions in the governing document about advertising the meeting must be followed. The governing document may state the number of days notice that must be given for calling an AGM. If it does not, reasonable notice should be given.

The commission recommend that copies of the charity’s annual report and accounts are either sent to each member, or made available at the venue prior to the start of the meeting (a company must send copies to all of its members). Anyone can by law request a copy of the accounts from the charity at any time. The charity is entitled to charge a reasonable fee for this.

The governing document may specify the information to be contained in the notice calling an AGM and company law imposes certain requirements in this respect. In all cases the commission recommend, as a minimum, that the notice calling the AGM sets out:

  • the date and time of the meeting
  • the venue
  • the details of the business to be considered (which will probably be mandatory items at this stage as members resolutions may not have been received)
  • an invitation to propose resolutions, and
  • if appropriate, requests for nominations (or the names of proposed nominees) for officers to be elected

More information and guidance can be found here

Job Description For A Charity Treasurer

treasurerClear role descriptions for trustees and specific officers on the trustee board will help your trustees understand their duties.

The Treasurer of a small community group or voluntary organisation may perform all duties concerned with dealing with money. So the treasurer may also, in effect, be the bookkeeper and finance manager. This job description will therefore need to be adapted according to the circumstances of your organisation.

Treasurer

Overall

  • Oversee the financial affairs of the organisation and ensure they are legal, constitutional and within accepted accounting practice.
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place.
  • Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation.
  • Oversee the production of necessary financial reports/returns, accounts and audits.

Specifically

  • Liaise with relevant staff, committee members and/or volunteers to ensure the financial viability of the organisation.
  • Make fellow committee members aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data to them.
  • Regularly report the financial position at committee meetings (balance sheet, cash flow, fundraising performance etc).
  • Oversee the production of an annual budget and propose its adoption at the last meeting of the previous financial year.
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures and controls are in place, ie:
    • Cheque signatories
    • Purchasing limits
    • Purchasing systems
    • Petty cash/ float
    • Salary payments
    • Pensions
    • PAYE and NI payments
    • Others as appropriate
  • Appraising the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies.
  • Lead on appointing and liaising with auditors/an independent examiner.

If the Treasurer is expected to undertake all finance duties consider adding:

  • Undertake bookkeeping duties and/or oversee the finance volunteer ensuring posting and bookkeeping is kept up-to-date.
  • Maintain the petty cash system and regularly process petty cash claims.
  • Regularly carry out reconciliations/ oversee regular reconciliations by the finance volunteer.
  • Arrange payments to creditors as appropriate and arrange appropriate signatures on payments.
  • Make the necessary arrangements to collect payments from debtors and bank payments promptly.

Qualities

  • Knowledge and experience of current and fundraising finance practice relevant to voluntary and community organisations.
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping and financial management (as necessary).
  • Good financial analysis skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly

As trustees, you share responsibility for governing your charity regardless of whether individual trustees have specific roles. For example, your charity may have a treasurer, but all the trustees are responsible for its assets and finances.

National Insurance

NI Card PictureYou pay mandatory National Insurance if you’re 16 or over and are either:

  • an employee earning above £184 a week
  • self-employed and making a profit of £6,515 or more a year

The amount of National Insurance you pay depends on your employment status and how much you earn.

If you’re employed

You pay Class 1 National Insurance contributions. The rates for most people for the 2021 to 2022 tax year are:

Your pay Class 1 National Insurance rate
£184 to £967 a week (£797 to £4,189 a month) 12%
Over £967 a week (£4,189 a month) 2%

National Insurance increase from April 2022

From 6 April 2022 to 5 April 2023 National Insurance contributions will increase by 1.25%. This will be spent on the NHS and social care in the UK.

The increase will apply to:

  • Class 1 (paid by employees)
  • Class 4 (paid by self-employed)
  • secondary Class 1, 1A and 1B (paid by employers)

The increase will not apply if you are over the State Pension age.

You can find more details here

Annual Leave

annual leaveThe DCAS office will be closed for annual leave from Monday 6th September, and will reopen on Monday 13th September

Many thanks to all the groups who have used our service, some for over 25 years, and continue to do so!!

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Managing redundancy for pregnant employees or those on maternity leave

pram-jpegThe beginning of pregnancy to the end of maternity leave is a ‘protected period’ during which a woman is entitled to special consideration if this is necessary to make good any disadvantage she may otherwise experience

The law makes it clear that: 

  • During the protected period, unfavourable treatment of a woman because she is pregnant or on maternity leave is unlawful. This means a woman doesn’t have to compare her treatment with anyone else to show direct pregnancy and maternity discrimination
  • A woman on maternity leave has the right to return to the same job before she left; an interim employee cannot be given her job even if you think the person is a better employee.
  • Selecting a woman for redundancy because of her pregnancy, maternity leave or a related reason is automatically unfair dismissal as well as being unlawful discrimination.
  • Failure to consult a woman on maternity leave about possible redundancy is likely to be unlawful discrimination.
  • A woman made redundant while on maternity leave must be offered any suitable alternative vacancy if you have one. She doesn’t need to apply for it.
  • Special provision for a woman in connection with pregnancy or childbirth is not sex discrimination against a man provided that the action you take does not go beyond what is necessary to rectify her disadvantage.

If you are reorganising and/or need to make employees redundant and this includes someone who is pregnant or on maternity leave, you need to:
· Check the redundancy is genuine and necessary
· Ensure you consult and keep in touch
· Establish non-discriminatory selection criteria
· Consider alternative work.

The full guidance from ACAS can be found here