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Help with good financial management
by Mark Breen (communications and public affairs co-ordinator) and Simrit Sandhu (finance manager)
In order for Big Local money to be drawn down each Big Local area needs to find suitable locally trusted organisation(s) that can hold the funds. To be awarded the money, the locally trusted organisation must:
- be legally constituted
- have annual accounts
- have a bank account
- require two people to authorise any payment.
We also need that organisation to keep financial records of how they spent the funding and report to us in line with the terms and conditions of the grant.
Good financial management ensures that locally trusted organisation(s) are managing their resources and Big Local funding correctly. Local Trust and reps are on hand to offer advice, support and to point you in the right direction. But we thought now might be a good opportunity to let you know where further advice and support from specialists in voluntary and community financial management can be found.
Charitable organisations known as community accountancy services exist all over the UK to help voluntary and community organisations to manage their finances. Most are members of the community accounting network, and you might like to have a look for your local service, here http://www.communityaccounting.org/?q=revised_map_of_cas_locations, (the page shows a handy map of where these services operate from). Many cover a wider area than the map shows.
You may also find the Association of Charity Independent Examiners website http://www.acie.org.uk/ useful. Independent examination is an alternative to a statutory audit for smaller charities under the £500,000 income threshold, and is a legally acceptable form of external scrutiny of year-end financial accounts.
Community Accountancy Self Help (or CASH which should be easy to remember) provide a website that aims to provide people with the basic financial skills needed to run successful charities and voluntary organisations. This can be found here http://www.cash-online.org.uk/index.php, they also provide resources and training for small charities and voluntary groups.
The Charity Commission http://www.charitycommission.gov.uk/Charity_requirements_guidance/, and NCVO http://www.ncvo-vol.org.uk/advice-support/funding-finance/financial-management/finding-working-with-fmas also provide additional guidance and links to advisors where a community accountant might not be immediately available in your area.
We are happy to talk to locally trusted organisation(s) about what we require from them at each stage of the pathway.