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Checklist about Reports and Accounts

Related pages: Treasurers

Annual Reports and Accounts: a Checklist for Clerks and Treasurers

Since 2004 Quaker Stewardship Committee (QSC) has asked Area Meetings (AMs) to send copies of their Annual Report and Accounts to the Recording Clerk’s Office (RCO) each year. This is so that the committee can ‘help to ensure that every part of Britain Yearly Meeting is producing proper financial accounts and property registers; and to certify the fulfilment of this annually to the Yearly Meeting’ (Qfp 14.28). From 2008 those AMs that are registered charities will also be required to send their Reports and Accounts to the Charity Commission (Scottish AMs send theirs to the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator). 

For some time QSC members have used a simple checklist so that they can readily see whether each submission is complete. This list can be used by non-specialists – financial expertise is not required. We have modified it slightly and are enclosing a copy with this note. We believe that it may help clerks and treasurers who send in such information to know in broad outline what information is generally required. We hope you will feel free to copy this checklist to anyone in the AM who might find it useful. 

Process

The final version of the Area Meeting’s accounts is normally drawn up by the AM treasurer (sometimes using professional assistance). This should cover all financial activity within the AM, including that of local meetings, with the accounts consolidated into a table showing income and expenditure in unrestricted, restricted and endowment funds, with comparative figures for the previous year (this is called a ‘Statement of Financial Activities’) and a Balance Sheet showing the AM’s financial position on the last day of the year. 

The AM trustees are responsible for approving the accounts and for ensuring that they have been subjected to examination by an appropriately qualified auditor or independent examiner, whose signed report should also be included. 

The trustees are also responsible for ensuring that there is a report of the charity’s activities. Guidance about the content of this report can be found in both the Treasurers Handbook and the Handbook for Trustees of Quaker Meetings. The report should be dated and signed by one or more of the trustees, each of whom has been authorised to do this. 

Finally the Report and Accounts should be presented to and accepted by the Area Meeting in session, after which they can be sent to the RCO. If your AM is a registered charity they should also be sent to the Charity Commission: this should be done within ten months of the end of the financial year to which they refer (nine months in Scotland). 

The role of QSC

Clerks of AMs, clerks to AM trustees and all treasurers are welcome to consult QSC members at any time to seek help or to ask for clarification of difficult points. Each AM has a ‘Link Friend’ on QSC who can be contacted through the RCO (get in touch with Helen Griffith: heleng@quaker.org.uk). Your Link Friend can usually find someone who can provide guidance about solving problems. 

QSC is well aware that there can be hold-ups in meetings and that the compiling of Reports and Accounts does not always proceed smoothly. Please ensure that Helen Griffith is informed if there will be a delay in submission from your AM, and please keep your Link Friend informed about the details.

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