20 April 2015
"So what does the Finance Manager at Young Gloucestershire do all day, apart from drinking copious amounts of tea?"
I guess that provided your salary reaches your bank account on the 27th of the month, you have never really wondered what the guy sitting in the corner does apart from payroll. Well, I thought you might find it interesting to know about some of the other things I get up to, so here goes…………
Like any organisation, whether it is commercial or non-profit making, it is imperative that the Trustees and CEO of YG understand its financial health at all times. My main responsibility is to ensure that they do, and give them an early warning of any problems I foresee on the horizon. I regularly speak to Tracy, our CEO, about any financial matters that are of concern to me, and which I feel she should be aware of.
I am a member of the YG Finance Committee which includes Tracy and Jonathan Harvie, one of our Trustees. Each month, I present the Management Accounts to the Committee and we discuss the financial performance for that month and year to date. Any significant deviations from budget are investigated, and if any corrective action is deemed necessary, this will be implemented within the organisation.
I also attend the bi-monthly Trustees Meeting, when I present a summarised version of the Management Accounts to the Trustees, and answer any financial questions raised at the meeting or later by email.
Day to day, I am very much involved in keeping YG functioning, and the key to this is cash flow management. Similar to your household, there are always bills to be paid: insurances, electricity and gas, telephones, rent and rates, and vehicle costs to name a few. If I do not pay these on time, these services could be suspended, and YG would cease to operate. It is therefore vital that I get the cash into the bank as quickly as possible.
Most of you are involved in activities that earn the cash for YG that ultimately pays your wages. But this does not just happen - our customers will not send a cheque, or make a payment into our bank account, without an invoice from us, so every month I send out invoices to Youth Clubs, Colleges, and all the other organisations and individuals with whom we work. I then monitor these invoices to ensure they are paid on time. Late payers will get a call or email from me to hurry them along.
Other regular duties I perform include administrating petty cash, the lifeline of so many of our activities, and of course processing the payroll.
Among the external agencies I liaise with are the YG banks, HM Revenue and Customs (the “Tax Office”) and our accountants.
Annually, I prepare the YG Financial Statements which we submit to both Companies House and The Charities Commission. These are prepared to a very strict legal format, and have to be signed off by both YG auditors and Trustees. Failure to submit the statements on time will result in a fine for YG.
Together with everything else that I am involved in at this, my busiest time of the year, I am currently doing some preparation to ensure that the new auto enrolment pension scheme is successfully implemented in August.
Probably the most important task I have is to prepare the YG Budget for the next financial year which runs from April to March. The Budget advises the Trustees of how YG is likely to perform financially for the coming 12 months. Once the Budget has been approved by the Trustees, the actual performance during the year is measured against it.
Working as FM at YG is quite different to all the years I have spent in similar roles in manufacturing, and I have had to adapt to the special requirements of charity accounting. However, I can honestly say that I really enjoy both the technical challenges of the job, and the company of the great bunch of dedicated colleagues I work with every day. I hope you have found this summary of my role interesting and I thank you all for the support you give me in keeping the financial wheels of YG turning. Now, after all that, it must be time for a fresh cuppa.