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The Role of Treasurer
Legislated role

The board or management committee has a responsibility to monitor and ensure the integrity and accuracy of their organisation's financial records and statements.

State and territory legislation for Incorporated Associations requires that an incorporated association must have a Treasurer on its board or management committee.

While all members of the board or management committee are responsible for ensuring your association's finances are managed properly, the treasurer is generally the person charged with the task of ensuring that financial transactions are recorded and reported on correctly. Clearly it is a good idea to have someone who is competent in financial matters to take on this important role. This is an example of where board composition and good recruitment strategies are essential to having the right mix of skills and knowledge on your board/management committee.

Because of the nature of the role, the treasurer is generally the person who presents financial reports at board or management committee meetings. It is important that these reports are easily understood by all the committee members because the whole committee is responsible for keeping a check on the finances of the organisation. The treasurer should ensure all board members understand what financial reports and budgets mean. Your board or management committee should consider appropriate training if members cannot read a financial statement.

Either the treasurer or the chair/president of your organisation must certify that financial reporting for the organisation complies with the obligations under the Act and Regulations; and both can be held liable if it does not.

The following role description comes from Inc. A guide for Incorporated Associations published by the Western Australian Department of Commerce.

The treasurer is primarily responsible for managing the finances of the association.

This involves:

  • maintaining all financial records;
  • monitoring the income and expenditure of the association;
  • keeping committee members informed of the financial position of the association;
  • preparing and presenting financial statements to the Annual General Meeting;
  • allocating funds;
  • developing budgets for new projects;
  • making payments and bank deposits;
  • preparing and managing the budget; and
  • representing the association on funding applications

All board and management committee members have a duty to be informed and concerned with regard to your organisation's finances, not just the Treasurer
Approving financial statements

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Other resources
  • Your Company and the Law by Australian Securities and Investment Commission — outlines financial reporting and other legal obligations of company directors including nonprofit companies.