So you've chosen (or been left with!) for the role of treasurer of your club? Don't panic - this guide will walk you through what a treasurer does, who you'll work with, what software you need, how you can be more efficient, and how you can improve your knowledge and skills further. Let's get into it!
What is the role of club treasurer?
A treasurer is the person responsible for handling money within a club. They are the face of the club's finances.
They are not the person who usually makes the financial decisions, that's the job of the committee. However, they are the person who makes the relevant financial information available and understood, so that the committee (treasurer included) can vote on the decision accordingly.
Day-to-day, the treasurer ensures that money is collected or paid out in a timely manner.
Payzip is a dedicated member payment management system designed specifically to help treasurers save admin time and collect every single payment owed to the club.
More generally, a treasurer will:
- ensure that the club has a positive cash flow (i.e. it collects more than it spends)
- occasionally recommend increases in subs/dues to the committee
- maintain a budget for the club, to help forecast the club's financial future and be alerted to any overspending (or under-collecting)
- ensure that club funds are used appropriately
- Generate ideas for fundraising for the club to execute and raise further income.
Is it a committee decision?
Download the essential information your club's management team needs to know about Payzip.
Do I need a background in finance or accounting to be a club treasurer?
No. You will already know much of what you have to do if you have an accounting qualification, but as long as you are willing to learn, you can become an excellent treasurer.
If you're familiar with using a spreadsheet, such as Google sheets or Microsoft Excel, you can succeed in this role.
What are the primary duties and responsibilities of a club treasurer?
#1. Creating a budget
A budget is the club's plan of expected income and expenditure across different categories. It is revisited regularly and updated in light of actual transactions that have occurred, and it's a good way for treasurers to forecast the financial future of the club.
For example, if the club is overspending what was in the budget in months 1 and 2, the treasurer will know that corrective action must be taken, so either the club must spend less in successive months, or requires more income to operate.
#2. Monitoring cash flow
A treasurer is responsible for the club having a positive cash flow, meaning that it has more income than expenditure overall. A club will not usually have an overdraft or make use of other credit facilities.
#3. Receiving income
A treasurer collects money ("income") from:
- members' subs or dues
- members' kit or equipment payments
- match fees
- performances (e.g. a choir or orchestra that is paid to perform at a wedding)
- grants or other funding
The treasurer will sometimes raise invoices to collect money, particularly where a third party requires one to make payment to the club. The treasurer is the person responsible for banking any cash or cheques received.
Receipts should be issued for all payments received (digitally, if possible).
The treasurer will chase-up late payments from members either directly or through their team coach/manager, depending on how the club is structured.
#4. Banking cash or cheques received
A treasurer will ensure that any money received is banked as soon as possible, so that the funds are available for the club to use.
Click here to find out more about Payzip.
#5. Making payments (expenditure)
The treasurer ensures that payments are made in a timely manner so that the club can operate successfully. e.g. a football club playing a home game will need to pay pitch fees, the referee's expenses just ahead of the match, and a deposit for the team bus needs to be paid in time to secure the travel for an upcoming trip.
A treasurer pays out ("expenditure") for:
- your rehearsal or training venue
- any bills from suppliers (e.g. cleaners, caterers, equipment, kit)
- any third party individuals (e.g. referees, solo artists, orchestras)
Your club's bank account may require two signatories for payments. Always seek authority to make payments before paying out any of the club's money.
#6. Managing petty cash
Use a petty cash box (or online Bacs payments) to repay any out-of-pocket expenses that club members have made on the club's behalf. Always make sure you have been provided with a receipt before paying out any petty cash.
#7. Overseeing the accounts
Make sure payments into and out of the club are clearly recorded in the club's accounts, with total figures and a breakdown of payment types made available, usually at a monthly committee meeting, and always at your club's Annual General Meeting (AGM).
Whilst a club's accounts are sensitive and should be kept private to those within the club, a good treasurer will keep the accounts up-to-date and always ready for inspection by anyone within the club at any time.
The treasurer will reconcile the club's accounts on a regular basis - often weekly, and at least monthly (usually when the bank statement is produced). Reconciling involves categorising any income into, and expenditure from, the club's bank account.
#8. Preparing financial statements
The treasurer will report at each committee meeting, detailing significant activity that has occurred since the last meeting. They will also prepare two financial statements to be delivered at the club's AGM, which we'll look at in a moment.
Who do club treasurers typically work with?
A treasurer is a key part of your club's committee. Typically they will work closely with the Chair/Manager, and the Secretary of the club. Other committee roles will work with the Treasurer as appropriate. For example, the person responsible for the club website will work with the treasurer to pay the website hosting costs.
The treasurer may collect money directly from members for dues/subs, or you may have a Membership Secretary or team manager who is directly responsible for this.
In any case, the money is handed over to the treasurer so that it can be recorded and banked.
Payzip allows you to easily request and record payments from club members, and you can invite other team managers to share the load.
When the club holds events, the organisers will work with the treasurer to ensure that any suppliers are paid and that any money collected is given to the treasurer.
Who is a club treasurer responsible for, and who do they report to?
The treasurer's primary responsibility is to the committee, and then to the club at-large. They will usually report to the Chair and table any matters arising with the Secretary ahead of the next committee meeting.
Whilst not legally required, it is good practice for the club's accounts to be audited once per year, usually ahead of the AGM. The auditors can be drawn from the club's own membership (2 to 3 auditors is ideal), asking questions of the treasurer, and reporting their findings to the committee or providing a statement of satisfaction.
An audit verifies that the club's accounts are being accurately recorded and are correlated with external information such as bank statements to verify the figures presented in the club's accounts. The treasurer's involvement in the audit is to provide the accounts for scrutiny and answer any questions from the auditors.
What equipment do I need to be a good club treasurer?
As a minimum, you will need:
- the previous year's accounts from the previous treasurer
- a laptop or tablet to access emails and spreadsheets
- a calculator (your phone probably has a calculator app)
- a cash book to record income and expenditure transactions
- a receipt book or online template (if sending by email)
- a petty cash box, if your club is going to accept cash (lots of clubs now prefer to go cashless - see our post on The key benefits of collecting club payments online to see why)
- a folder for the club's bank statements (this can be an online folder like Google Drive or Dropbox if your club's bank account provides online statements, and most will these days)
What other tasks can club treasurers do to be more efficient?
Keep things simple and communicate clearly. You'll save everyone time (including yourself!) by using simple figures and language when reporting - clarity conquers confusion!
- Clearly define processes and structures for working with others on the committee and in the club. Make sure you understand when a meeting action is being assigned to you, what is expected, and by when.
- Always have succession in mind. When putting a new process or facility in-place, consider how easy this will be to hand this over to someone else. For example, how will you share your accounts with your club's auditors, or how will the next treasurer access the accounts? This will make it easier for you when you ultimately come to hand over the role, and easier for your successor.
- Consider the time it takes to perform the various admin tasks that come with the role. Can any of these be optimised? For example, you could review the member payment methods that the club accepts, simplify the reconciliation process, and issue automatic receipts.
How can club treasurers improve their skills?
Accounting for Everyone has a 12-week online course for £49.99 (~$67), which teaches the basics of double-entry accounting.
- Budgeting - Sport England's Club Matters website has a section on creating a budget, with templates.
- Bookkeeping - Bookkeeping For Dummies book by Jane E Kelly - this will teach you how to keep the club's day-to-day accounts up-to-date and produce the annual accounts report.
- Accounting - The Cheap Accountants have a free "Ask a Tax Question" service, where you can get an answer from a qualified accountant within 24 hours.
#3. Software tools for club treasurers
You can also use a club treasurer payments system like Payzip to stay on top of payments from club members, automatically issue receipts, and lighten the administrative burden of the role.
To find out more about Payzip, book a demo today
What accounts are required for the club?
The good club treasurer should publish annual accounts, consisting of:
- A statement of income and expenditure - showing the money received and money paid out, along with totals from the previous year for comparison
- A balance sheet - showing the value of assets owned by the club, and the liabilities the club has. Again, the previous year's totals should be shown for comparison.
The club's accounts should be verified and signed-off by the club's committee. A summary of the annual accounts should be made available to all club members.
If the club is run as a limited company or a registered charity, there are legal requirements to produce accounts each year.
For more information see:
- Limited company: Gov.UK website - Running a limited company
- Charity: Gov.UK website - Prepare a charity's annual accounts
- Club Solutions: Annual accounts and audit
If the club's accounts are complex the club may benefit from hiring an accountant, particularly if there are tax or income questions. Generally, though, a club's accounts are simple enough that they can either be managed entirely in-house or with the occasional help of an external bookkeeper.
What about VAT?
VAT can be complex. Whilst your club may not need to register in its first year (depending on a number of factors), the club can voluntarily register for VAT at any time.
As treasurer, you will need to understand when VAT is and isn't applicable to your club transactions. Fortunately, there are a couple of excellent guides:
- R H Jeffs & Rowe's VAT and Sporting Clubs gives a good overview of what is and isn't counted
- Sport England's Club Matters Financial reporting obligations
- Gov.UK's VAT registration page
Donations to your club are not usually liable for tax, but any profits from trading and bank savings interest can attract corporation tax if your club is structured as a limited company.
Your club may well be structured as a Community Amateur Sports Club (CASC), in which case there's some information on Gov.UK on Corporation Tax and VAT rules for CASCs.
What legal issues do club treasurers deal with?
The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) came into force in May 2018. As organisations which collect and process personal data, sports and hobby clubs are bound by it.
GDPR covers not only your members' personal data, but that of your club's volunteers and employees too. GDPR in the UK is not affected by Brexit - it is enshrined in UK law.
As one of the club's primary record keepers, you have a responsibility under GDPR for the safety of the data you hold. The ICO website says data held must be for at least one of the following six legal bases for processing that data:
- Consent - the individual has given clear consent for you to process their data for a specific purpose
- Contract - the processing is necessary for a contract you have with the individual
- Legal obligation - the processing is necessary for you to comply with the law (excluding contractual obligations, covered above)
- Vital interests - the processing is necessary to protect someone's life
- Public task - the process is necessary for you to perform a task in the public interest or for your official functions, and the task or function has a clear basis in law
- Legitimate interests - the process is necessary for your legitimate interests or those of a third party, unless there is a good reason to protect the individual's personal data which overrides those legitimate interests
In a nutshell, you should only collect the minimum of personal information you need, for a legitimate purpose, and only retain it for the duration it is absolutely required.
For more information, see:
- Information Commissioner's Office - Guide to the UK General Data Protection Regulation
- GDPR for Dummies by Suzanne Dibble
8 essential characteristics of a good club treasurer
A good club treasurer will have these 8 characteristics:
You are being entrusted with the club's finances. Being honest and trustworthy is the single most important attribute of your role.
As treasurer you are the gatekeeper of the club finances, so you must be incorruptible. Everything you do will be for the benefit of the club, with the committee's authority, and properly recorded. Your role is one big audit trail.
This role is going to involve a lot of work, some of it quite tedious at times, but the benefits to the club can be very rewarding.
Your enthusiasm for the club and the role will show in the work you produce for the club, and can be infectious to those in other roles too.
As someone dealing with a lot of facts and figures, it's important for you to know where the relevant information is and when it will be required.
You can use online file storage solutions like Google Drive, Dropbox and iCloud so that the information you need is never more than a few clicks away - even if you only have your smartphone with you.
You'll need to be detail-oriented to succeed in this role, as you work through the minutiae of tracking income and expenditure. Accuracy matters, since every transaction contributes to the overall totals for the club. You will need to be meticulous in collecting receipts from club members for money they've spent.
One of the more obvious traits, you will need to be good with numbers to be a treasurer. This doesn't mean a maths wizard per se, but certainly at the level of being comfortable with tracking your household bills, for example.
#7. Good time-keeper
As a member of the committee, timeliness isn't just punctuality, but also understanding deadlines for certain financial activities and meeting them. In a football club, for example, each week of the season match fees need to be paid, for year-end the annual accounts (and maybe tax payments) need to be made.
It is important to set aside some time each week to stay on top of the core financial tasks that need to be completed, so that the club can be kept informed on its financial position.
You are ultimately responsible for ensuring all club members pay their contributions, so building rapport with them is key to being successful. It is important that you are able to work harmoniously with members of the committee too.
There's no doubt that being a good club treasurer can be a lot of work, but it can also be incredibly rewarding. Good treasurers are always in demand, giving you scope to work with any number of organisations in future.
The skills you learn and employ are easily transferable into the world of work, too, so mastering them can benefit you professionally as well as personally.
Are you a new club treasurer or secretary?
We've put together 5 free tips to help you manage your club payments like a hero