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As well as working as part of the branch officer team, the treasurer is responsible for managing the finances of the branch. Specific responsibilities include:

  • Ensuring the branch plan is underpinned by an appropriate budget, prepared in consultation with other officers. See separate guidance on Setting a Budget
  • Assessing planned expenditure, for example, on supporting candidates, affiliations, expenses, conferences, etc.
  • Overseeing all branch bank accounts and investments, and reporting on them to regular branch meetings
  • Preparing audited accounts for the AGM and the Party Council treasurer;
  • Developing fundraising plans to increase the branch’s income.

 Branch income

Most branches will receive their income in the form of a grant from the party council.  Each party will determine what level this grant is set at – the NEC currently recommends that branches receive £4 per member plus £100.

Some branches will also be eligible to apply for additional funding to support one-off projects or campaigns, for example the Campaign Fund (Midcounties Co-operative branches), and the Activity Fund (Co-operative Group branches).

Branches can also fundraise through raffles, dinners, ticket sales, sponsorship, donations and joint events with other organisations.  You don’t need to register with your local authority to hold a raffle, but before doing so check here to ensure that you are complying with the statutory requirements (‘private society lotteries)

Branch expenditure

Some of the main sources expenditures party councils can expect each year are:

  • Room hire for branch meetings;
  • Printing and postage for sending branch meeting notifications and newsletters;
  • Promotional materials for campaigns, public meetings and street stalls;
  • Delegate fees for conferences and training events (you may also need to pay for travel and accommodation costs);
  • Funding to support Co-operative Party council candidates in your area, the level of which will be set by the party council in consultation with Head Office.

Branches must seek the agreement of the Party Council before entering into any form of contract.  Party Councils may not enter into any contract with a value in excess of £1,000 without the express permission of the NEC.

Keeping accounts

  • The Party’s financial year runs from 1 January to 31 December, not AGM to AGM.
  • Keep your records up to date to make it easier to make regular reports to the rest of the branch.
  • Branches aren’t required to have a separate bank account from the party council, however the treasurer must be a signatory on all bank accounts held by the branch and receive the bank statements. The signatories should be at least 3 current officers with 2 signatures being required on cheques.
  • The Annual Statement of Accounts should be prepared and approved by a meeting of the branch in the first quarter of the year and forwarded to the party council treasurer by 30 April.

Branches should appoint 2 members to act as auditors at its AGM who should audit the accounts before they are approved by the party council.  See role separate description for the Auditor

Actions

  1. Prepare an annual budget that matches the branch’s predicted income for the year and activity plan
  2. Report regularly to branch meetings on the accounts
  3. Keep records to support income and expenditure e.g. minutes, invoices, receipts, cheque stubs, bank statements
  4. Prepare an annual statement of accounts for audit.

 

Branch Treasurer