December is just around the corner and as a Commissioner you are responsible for ensuring that each unit in your District/Division has its accounts independently reviewed (by someone outside the unit and not a family member) once a year. The financial year for Girlguiding Cornwall is 1st January to 31st December.
At the end of the financial year, each Unit needs to:
- Produce an annual accounts statement
- Produce a statement of assets and liabilities
- Have the accounts reviewed independently
Encourage leaders to use the Girlguiding accounts pack as the annual statement is built into it!
To make your life easier, make sure you:
- Agree a timeline with the leaders for when you will require their accounts
- Set a deadline and follow up any late returns
- Remember that account records must be kept for 6 years (plus the current financial year)
What should an end of year review include?
Firstly, if your unit, District or Division's annual income is below £25,000, an independent review of the accounts is required by Girlguiding.
If the income is above £25,000 it is a legal obligation to obtain a more in-depth examination of the accounts and in some cases you may need to file your accounts with the Charity Commission.
The review itself should cover, as a minimum, a log of receipts and payments. Units, Districts or Divisions should also provide, if required:
- Cash account pages
- Bank statements
- Paying-in slips
- Cheque book stubs
- Attendance registers
- Subscription records
Plus any other financial documents that are required by the reviewer.
Remember - a review of accounts is a summary of the accounts, making sure they balance and that the unit has enough money. It isn't a full audit.