Blog: Is the treasurer the most important role on the board?

..Photo by CIFOR CC BY-NC-ND 2.0
27 March, 2019


Good financial governance is the bedrock of any organisation and is vital to it having any sort of sustainable future. But should we go as far as to say that the treasurer is the most important role on a VCSE organisation’s board?

Trustees have many obligations that make their roles important. However, all treasurers know that there are a number of particular things that the treasurer is responsible for which give the job an added layer of accountability. And you have to do sums!

In larger organisations the treasurer has staff support, but in smaller ones they can end up with all sorts of associated jobs including paying in cheques (yes, they do still exist!) and preparing basic financial statements. But whether large or small, all organisations rely on knowing that their money is being properly looked after and that they know how much is in the bank.

Delivering services to the community, living your values and being driven by a charitable mission and purpose are the raison d'être for VCSE organisations – and good financial practice is one of the many building blocks for VCSE organisations. Without having a real understanding of your finances, you can’t deliver services safely, consistently and effectively.

As income generation itself gets more complex and tougher, the treasurer's role may change; yet, even if your organisation changes its focus to a broader range of income sources (for example, the new 2020 project), someone has to make sure the board has the basic information they need for effective decision-making.

So is the role of treasurer the most important on the board? What do you think? Does your board have a balanced approach, or is there too much focus on the role of one trustee? Have your say in the comments below or send your feedback via Twitter and Facebook.

If you're thinking about becoming a treasurer or another kind of board member, click here for current trustee vacancies in and around Bristol.

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