Keeping accurate accounts

How an association organises its accounts, payments and record keeping will vary depending on the size and complexity of its financial situation. A small association may have a voluntary treasurer who 'keeps the books' while an organisation requiring more skilled accounting services might employ its own finance staff or engage an accountant or book-keeper.

Good financial practices

It is good financial practice to develop policies and procedures regarding:

  • preparing budgets;
  • recording income received such as grants, membership fees, donations, fundraising, sales of goods and interest;
  • developing a system to record and pay necessary bills;
  • recording and authorising petty cash transactions;
  • where necessary, recording taxation information, such as goods and services tax, superannuation, fringe benefits, income tax records and withholding payments;
  • where necessary, recording salary and leave payments, and reimbursements to employees. Time and wages records must be kept in accordance with the relevant award or industrial law;
  • undertaking bank reconciliations (i.e. checking association records against bank records);
  • maintaining an up-to-date register of association assets; and
  • maintaining an effective and secure filing system for insurance policies, leases, contracts and funding agreements.