Treasurer's Corner

May 2024

When you read this article most of you will be preparing for your Annual Meetings. Treasurers can breathe a sigh of relief that their accounts have been signed off and are being presented to the members. The year end reconciliation done for another year.

As an IFE, when carrying out the examinations, Acting as Agent can prove a stumbling block in reconciling A6 to B1.6 of the financial statement. My tip would be to match your receipts to the Federation invoices as you go through the year. If you are not going to receive money for an item on the statement e.g. insurance, stationery then you are not Acting as Agent, it is a cost to the WI. Always make sure that money paid for tickets is received from your members. It makes life so much easier for the year end reconciliation.

For the new accounting year, if not previously carried out, reconcile your bank statements monthly, it makes the year end less stressful.

Hopefully most of your members have paid their subscriptions and your WI is in a healthy position for the coming year. Forwarding the Federation and National portion to us promptly is always really appreciated.

I often make the mistake of thinking I will remember something! How wrong can I be in my case! If someone gives me money I have to make a note of who gave it to me, it pays to always have a notepad handy and I thoroughly recommend having a daybook especially at a WI meeting where it can be hectic.

If you are a new Treasurer, please attend our training sessions and occasional ad hoc zoom meetings. Do not struggle, we need you!

As ever, I am always willing to help.

Kind regards

Rita King

April 2024

It is difficult to write about something different each   month but as Treasurers are completing their year end and reconciling, it is an opportunity to recap on the end of year figures. One of the areas that can be confusing is Section B, B1 Cash Funds.

B1.1 is the final bank balance as per the Account Book. This is the figure if everything had appeared on the bank statement. If using spreadsheets, this will have been automatically calculated.

Section B1.2 allows you to agree the bank statement to the figure in B1.1, taking into account any item that has not appeared yet on the bank statement. Enter the final figure from the bank statement. Take off monies that has been paid in but that has not appeared on the bank statement yet (not cleared). Take off any cheques that were written out but have not appeared on the bank statement. The last thing to check is that any cheques that were uncleared in the previous year but have still not appeared, they must also be taken off.

This total should then agree with the account book figure in B1.1 and you heave a sigh of relief!

The above was just for the current account.

In B1.3 enter any money you have on deposit/savings account, remembering to have added any interest in the column in section A.

If you run Petty Cash, the total you have at the year end should be entered in B1.4

B1.5 is for any money received for forwarding to Federation/NFWI and tickets received for Federation events but not yet paid. Acting as agent does not get included in Section A and is not WI money.  This amount must be taken off of the cash funds.

This will give the Total cash funds belonging to the WI and should agree to Section A, A6.

Don’t panic if things don’t balance first time. It is usually something simple and a break with a nice cup of tea is what is called for before rechecking the figures.

For your new spreadsheet/manual cash book, the figure carried forward is the figure in B1.1

As always, we are available to help. If you use our Independent Financial Examiners (IFE) they are also willing to help. Finally, thank you to all Treasurers for all you do, it is much appreciated.

Kind Regards,

Rita King

March 2024

There have been several enquires regarding the Pooling of Fares charge which has been included in our January statements to Treasurers.  Many of you would have been aware of this annual charge but new Treasurers may not be aware.

It is in fact in the WI constitution but below is from the WI website and can be found at Microsoft Word - 2019 Annual Meeting Pooling of Fares guidance (final) (thewi.org.uk) :

ADMINISTRATION OF THE FUND * The Annual Meeting Pooling of Fares fund is a non-profit making fund that covers the costs of travel to the Annual Meeting * Each federation pays an equal and set amount of money into the Pooling of Fares fund each year * Each WI pays an equal and set amount of money into the Pooling of Fares fund each year * The amount paid into the fund by federations and WIs is set each year by the NFWI Board of Trustees and is based on the balance in the fund and the cost of travel to the previous Annual Meeting.

This is just an extract and full details can be found in myWI

. ……………..

I will be carrying out Year End Treasurer Training, along with Carole Powell on Wednesday 3 April at 18:30. This will be on zoom in order to include as many members as possible. If you would like to be included, please email me at treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk and state whether you keep manual or spreadsheet accounts.

We will cover:  using brought forward figures from last year, reconciling , what information you need for your accounts to be examined etc. It will also be a chance to ask questions.

This will hopefully help in getting ready for presenting the accounts at your AGM in May.

Kind regards

Rita King

February 2024

Every month I try to address topical subjects and address common queries. This month I have had several concerns about being registered on the Charity Commission website.

Whether a WI is registered or not, all WIs are charities and are all governed by Charity Commission rules and regulations. Getting answers from the website can be very frustrating and time consuming but hopefully once sorted, straightforward.  Once income has reached £5,000, WIs must register. Income does not include any income that is “Acting as agent” and this income also does not get included on your year-end Financial Statement, so please do not include that in your assessment of your income. Once registered, it is up to the WI to make an annual submission of details that are available on your year end financial statement together with details of the Trustees of your WI. These will be your committee members.

Saying that, I have just had a very frustrating conversation with a Pension company that is making my blood boil and I could do with having a good rant!! So believe me, I do sympathise with how frustrating it can be dealing with some large organisations.

Now that the financial year end is approaching, it may be worth making it trouble free by making sure of a few things. Are your bank statements all reconciled, all necessary paperwork filed and in order, any petty cash receipt and payments duly reconciled? It will make things easier in the long run. Do ask your committee or members to submit expenses in plenty of time prior to the year end.

Again, please make sure the office is notified of any change of details. We use Sage Software for our accounting system and that is not linked to the MCS system, so please bear that in mind for any change in Treasurer.

Kind regards

Rita King

January 2024

Welcome to 2024. I cannot believe that another year has seemed to whizz past! Time really does seem to go faster and before we know it, it will be the Financial Year End for our WIs.

It will soon be time to refresh our memories on what is required but do not panic, I plan to have a Year End training session before the Year End and an email will be sent out to Treasurers when I have confirmed the date. I will most probably do the training on Zoom. It is not always convenient to travel to Ethel Hunt Lodge and also at a time to suit the majority of members.

The subscription rates have been issued for the  1 April 2024 renewal and are as follows:

WI portion: £23.60

Federation portion: £11.30

NFWI portion:   £13.10

Total subscription for the year = £48.00

This represents an increase on the 2023 rates of £1 for the WI and 50p each to the Federation and NFWI.

The WI portion remains flexible and will be at the discretion of each WI.

Many Treasurers prefer the renewal to be paid on the 1st April being the start date of the WI’s new financial year.

Wishing you all a happy and prosperous New Year for 2024.

Kind regards

Rita King

December 2023

At the time of writing this article, the Federation year end has been completed and the audit carried out by our accountants. I am now busy preparing next years budget, the same as the WI Treasurers will do at the start of their next financial WI year starting in April. I am using the MCS database to estimate next year’s income and the shortfall required to raise additional funding.

It is imperative that the MCS database is kept up to date by the WIs within the Federation for us to make any assumptions. The MCS database is also used by National Federation WI to do their national budget. They also use the database to send out their WI Life magazine to members.

October was MCS month and many of you would have updated the database, if not we would be grateful if that could be carried out at the earliest opportunity. The WI Treasurer will have details of current members should the MCS representative be independent of the Treasurer.  Both Keeley or Miz in the Federation office, are able to assist anyone that has difficulty accessing the database.

Budgets are the best estimates of income and expenditure and thankfully the last year was free of the anomalies of the recent past pandemic, which made budgeting extremely difficult. Hopefully for your WIs this will also be the case when the time comes. It is not my favourite task but it is essential to plan for the coming year.

Have a very happy Christmas!

Rita King

November 2023

I recently held an evening Zoom meeting for a general chat to hear about what is going on, problems and views of other Treasurer’s.

We covered quite a few subjects including the reported problems of Metro Bank, Gift Aid, Card Readers, the continued use of cheques and on-line banking.

Whilst I am an enthusiastic user of online banking, it is not for everyone and that is fine. If you are nervous of using on -line banking, there are some banks that offer help and tuition. Banking has changed drastically over the last couple of years which causes many charities/clubs a lot of problems, not the least paying in of cash. Do ask at your local Post Office if they accept cash deposits for your bank and importantly that they accept part filled bags of coins. In my village they accept part filled coin bags but it seems it is at the discretion of the Post Master!

There are plans for the banks to open “hubs” where one branch covers different banks. How this will work is still not clear but hopefully it will help the smaller users. One of the ladies on the Zoom meeting is a new Treasurer and currently on maternity leave. New Treasurers should not be afraid to ask questions and check to make sure they are doing things correctly. We are extremely grateful that they take on the job and keep their WIs ticking over! Well done.

Rita King

October 2023

After working for the Federation, as the West Kent Federation Bookkeeper for many years, Alan Whiteley will be retiring at the end of October. We shall be sorry to see him leave but do wish him well and hope that he and his wife enjoy the retirement years. Alan has seen a few Federation Treasurers in his time working for the Federation and has been invaluable in showing us how the Federation accounts are set up and working. I am especially grateful for all his help and patience since I took over the role of Federation Treasurer in March 2022.

Starting at the beginning of October Andrew Shopland, who will take over from Alan, will be working alongside Alan for a month. Andrew has worked for charities before and brings a wealth of experience with him.

I am sure all you WI Treasurers will have had contact with Alan at some time and will have appreciated his assistance. I am sure that Andrew will be just as helpful.

The Bookkeeper contact details of email address and phone number will remain unchanged.

Rita King

September 2023

September will see meetings resumed, so I hope the Treasurers have had a nice rest during August! My article about having a social Zoom meeting for Treasurer’s has been well received and I have saved the contact email addresses for the ladies who expressed a wish to attend. Most of the ladies favoured an evening or weekend. I am therefore intending to have a Zoom social Treasurers evening on Monday 9 October from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Please let me have your email addresses if you wish to attend and I will send you the log in details nearer the time. All you will need is tea and biscuits!

If successful, I will organise further meetings towards the end of the financial year. This week I received an email from National that outlined the fact that late subscriptions they received from some Federations has meant that their budgets could not be met. More disturbing was the fact that they had had to liquidate some assets in order to meet their obligations for running their organisation

Their request is for Federations to send in their subscriptions each year by the end of May and continually thereafter for pro rata or late joiners. This means that we must be diligent in receiving subscriptions from our WIs in plenty of time. Your co-operation would be greatly appreciated. It will certainly help with our own obligations.

Rita King

August 2023

Recently I attended a Zoom meeting with fellow Federation Treasurers that was organised by the National Federation. It was an informal meeting, but it did highlight the problems, trials and tribulations we share. We discussed solutions and swapped ideas. A representative from National was also in the meeting so they were also made aware of the problems we face as well as what worked well.

This made me think that it would be a good idea if West Kent Federation did the same and have the occasional Zoom meeting for our WI Treasurers. The sessions would be informal, and we will be able to discuss the problems that Treasurers face and if the Federation can help in any way.

To include Treasurers that work during the day or parents and grandparents on school duty it will be an evening or weekend Zoom meeting.

Please let me have your thoughts on whether you would welcome this. When would be the most convenient time? You can also submit ideas of topics you would like discussed.

I look forward to hearing from you. E-mail treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk

A small number of WIs have still to return their subscriptions that were due by the end of May. Your immediate attention would be appreciated.

Thank you.

Rita

July 2023

When you read this article, we would already have been half way through the year! Time certainly goes quickly. We have been receiving subscriptions from our many WIs, thank you for all of you that have sent them in promptly, it is much appreciated. We can now send off the portion that is due to National. Like all WIs, funds are paramount and the Federation is no exception. If you have not sent off your subscriptions yet, please do so as soon as possible.

We have now renewed the insurance policy for our WIs and you will shortly be receiving your portion due on your monthly statement. I have been told by our Insurance Agent, that money at meetings and also at the Treasurer’s house is covered under the insurance. Whilst we urge you all to bank as soon as possible, with many branches closing and the problems that causes, it is comforting to know that our insurance covers us. We are also covered, for example, for liability if hosting stalls at the village fete. We must however be holding the event under the WI name and as a WI fundraiser.

As always, I am here to help, should you require it.

Rita King

June 2023

When you read this edition, your Annual Accounts would have been inspected and signed off. Some of you with a sigh of relief! It can be stressful when the figures just will not agree. I have found in the past that putting the books down, walking away, having a cup of tea and a short break usually helps and when you go back to it suddenly things fall into place. In other words, you cannot see the wood for the trees!

One thing I would like to ask, make sure the figures in A6 and the total of B1 Cash funds agree and that B1.5 is filled in if funds are due to Federation.

Now is the time when many new Treasurers are taking on the role, a daunting task if they have not had a handover period from the previous Treasurer. The new Treasurer may also want to use the WI Spreadsheet and could do with some training. In this edition of the West Kent News there is training for all officers advertised and for the Treasurer’s there is one at Ethel Hunt Lodge but also an evening Zoom session for using the WI Spreadsheet. Everyone is welcome to attend either or even both whether you are new to the role, want to convert to using a spreadsheet or just want a refresher. We will be delighted to see you.

We are aware that some of the officers are working ladies, so evening Zoom sessions fit into their busy schedules. Mind you, when I retired, I thought I would have plenty of time! That was before I became a Trustee and then the Federation Treasurer. I must say, helping Treasurers with their accounts is very rewarding, so please do not hesitate to contact me if you require any help.

In MyWI there is also a lot of information on running your WI and a section for Finance. That is where the new Spreadsheet is available to download.

Well done to all committee members who take on Officer roles, you are certainly appreciated in being able to keep your WIs running.

Rita King

May 2023

May is now upon us and many of you will have already had your accounts inspected ready for your Annual Meetings. They will then be ready to present to your members at that meeting.

Subscriptions have hopefully been collected for the coming year. Only paid up members are eligible to vote at your Annual Meetings but they can be paid right up until the day of the meeting.

This has been a busy time for Treasurers and IFEs alike, so hopefully everyone can now relax and look forward to the year ahead. We all appreciate what our committees do behind the scenes and would encourage WI members to join their committee and help. All jobs are made easier with more people willing to help and make the WI a success.

If anyone is contemplating becoming a Treasurer, please do not hesitate—we are here to help and encourage. The job can be very rewarding. We will shortly be announcing our Treasurer Training.

After your Annual Meeting is also a good time to review your MCS database, making sure the officers are noted and the membership correct.

Rita King

April 2023

In time for the new financial year, NFWI has issued an updated spreadsheet to use at the start of the 2023-2024 year. The new spreadsheet can be downloaded from MyWI. Log onto the WI website and onto MyWI. On the heading “Running your WI” choose “WI finances” where you will find the computer version of the Account Book and Financial Statement spreadsheet (Mar 23 Excel Version) ready to download and use.

There are some cosmetic changes, e.g. colour coding the “Acting as Agent” column headers but more importantly, there is a sheet containing notes on what to do before the end of the financial year and the start of the new year, plus many helpful notes on what should and should not be entered. There are too many items to be put into this column, so I would sincerely suggest you read it prior to completing the year end and starting the new year.

If you are using the paper version of the Financial Statement, this has not changed but the guidance notes have been updated.

One of the areas of confusion is when transfers from one bank account to another take place. There have been several instances when a transfer from a deposit account into the current account has been included in income. Whilst it needs to be entered in the receipts book in order to reconcile the bank statements, it is not included in the Financial Statement as income for the year.

If you are in any doubt, please do not hesitate to ask your IFE for help or if you do not have a WI IFE then you can contact me at treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk.

It is advisable for Treasurers using the spreadsheet, to back up their spreadsheet on a regular basis and if possible give the President a copy. This will ensure that if a computer fails, or if the Treasurer is absent for any reason, then someone can take over readily and easily.

Please do not stress about anything, we are here to help.

Kind regards

Rita King

March 2023

Like Amanda, I took over as Federation Treasurer a year ago and it has also been a very steep learning curve. I have certainly enjoyed the role so far but there have been challenges.

Without the help of all the office staff and their wealth of knowledge on how things are run, I would certainly have floundered. Thanks to Alan, Miz and Keeley for all the help and kindness they have shown Amanda and I.

This week I attended, with other IFE’s a refresher training day specifically aimed at the year end examinations and the pitfalls we face along the way. It never hurts to refresh our memories, especially on things we only do once a year!

During the day it was mentioned about how you should account for returned cheques, whether from a previous year or current year. The preferred way (from an accounting point of view) is to show the payment transaction exactly how it was entered originally, but as a minus payment. The examiner of accounts, or any other person taking over the role in the future will be able to see exactly what has happened and the cheque can be classed as cleared. A very tidy audit trail. If a cheque is returned it should be retained in the cheque book and crossed through. The same applies if a cheque is spoilt, cross a line through it and staple to the cheque book. Cheques are still used but continue to decline with internet banking becoming more widely used.

Do not be afraid to ask for help if you are unsure of how to complete the year end or if you cannot balance your books. We are here to help, either myself or your appointed IFE.

Your Secretary will have received the Federation accounts for the year October 2021 to September 2022 and are available to members prior to the AGM.

Rita King

February 2023

Bursaries The bursaries awarded in 2019, 2020 and 2021 had their use by dates extended, due to Covid, until 31 March 2023. If you have an outstanding bursary then please use it by the end date. As long as a course is booked, even for later in the year, then it will be honoured but details and confirmation should be received at our Federation by 31 March.

For recipients of the 2022 bursaries, please note that the bursary should be used by 31 March 2024.

Ticketing

Please ensure that tickets for Federation events are ordered through your WI designated representative. We will be using a dedicated email address for future orders tickets@wkfwi.org.uk. Written orders to the Federation Office will still be acceptable. We will not be accepting telephone orders. We made exceptions when WIs were not meeting in person but need to get back to a more secure and robust system that avoids any confusion and makes the system easier for everyone. Details will be in the West Kent News as normal.

Subscriptions

Subscriptions from 1 April 2023 are to increase by £2 to £46 per annum. This is made up as follows:

WI portion £22.60

Federation £10.80

NFWI £12.60

There is discretion of the WI portion of the subscriptions only.

During the month of February, WIs who use the IFE examination for their year end return, will be receiving details of their designated IFE. Please contact me if you need any assistance in the lead up to the year-end of 31 March.

Rita King

January 2023

As another year starts, the hopes of a full year of WI activities awaits and hopefully the return to a more rewarding financial year. Most people are now ready to attend meetings in person and despite the woes of the economic climate we hope that members will join us in the many planned activities in the coming year.

Over the last couple of months I have held a couple of one to one training sessions regarding accounts and record keeping on both manual and spreadsheets. Should you have a new Treasurer who is unsure what to do or even a prospective Treasurer, do not hesitate to contact me. Shortly we will be approaching the end of your WI financial year, the time when the accounts are finalised, examined and prepared to present to the members at your Annual Meetings in May.

75% of WIs choose to belong to the Federation’s scheme of WI approved and trained IFEs. The Independent Financial Examiners are WI members and familiar with the procedures and regulations of the WI. Once a part of the Scheme, there will not be a need to renew the chosen scheme as it will automatically be renewed.

Gillian Neville, your previous Federation Treasurer has taken over the administration of the scheme from Elizabeth Patterson and Gillian will be contacting each WI around February with details of your examiner and what will be required to carry out the examination.

There is a small charge of £25 payable direct to the examiner.

If you are not currently in the scheme, or if you want to enquire about becoming an IFE, then please contact Gillian whose details are on the last page of West Kent News.

Rita King

December 2022

You may already be aware that the November mailings from NFWI formally launched updated fundraising guidelines. The guidelines give more flexibility and removes unnecessary rules for WIs. This gives WIs (and federations) more flexibility to raise money for the charities that are important to them. They quote “We know this is an area of WI activity which is important to our members and where they would like to see a relaxation of the organisation’s long-standing fundraising approach. This was particularly apparent this year with the Ukrainian crisis, which demonstrated that there are many WIs and federations who are keen to have more freedom to support international fundraising.”

I am sure this is very welcome, there are still a couple of things that we cannot raise funds for and the document with all the information is available to download at https://mywi.thewi.org.uk/running -your-wi/wi-finances/fundraising-guidelines

There are also details of changes to the Charity Commission and these can be found in the link to the “Charity Commission” on the same page, WI finances. Details include the changes being introduced plus changes to the Charity Commission platform.

On another note, thieves have always been quick to spot opportunities in stealing money. The have become very clever in fooling even the most cautious and intelligent people. As we approach the first deadline for filing self-assessment tax returns the latest scam involves a text message from allegedly HMRC. I often watch programmes on crime and scamming people and their advice is that HMRC will never text you and ask you to click on a link, in fact the advice is never to click on any link but to go via official websites. It has also been advised that “number spoofing” is also prevalent in that you are fooled into thinking you are talking to a bona fide organisation with the number shown on your phone. It is sad that we must be so cautious but crime is not a new thing, just different and more convincing.

Have a good Christmas and a Happy New Year

Rita King

November 2022

I recently reviewed the accounts sent in by WIs and was alarmed at how many required further investigation. This was also highlighted at a recent IFE (Independent Financial Examiner) meeting.

Whilst the problems were highlighted by our own examiners, many of the errors were by examiners other than our own IFE’s.

Problems were as follows:

Arithmetical errors, difference in the figure in A6 and B 1.5, dealing with “Acting as Agent” and some more serious issues.

The following is a gentle reminder:
* Payment of receipts into bank accounts in a timely manner—anything more than a few days and the Federation insurance would be invalidated.
* WI funds must not be used to pay subscriptions.
* All receipts must be paid into a bank and must not be used as cash for payments.
* Make sure that all subscriptions for that financial year are paid to Federation at each quarter and by the year end.
* Petty cash must show in the accounts at the year end.
* There must be supporting evidence for all transactions.

Banks continue to be a common problem and we are investigating these and trying to find the best solutions.

We always try to be of assistance and would urge anyone that is unsure of what to do to contact your Federation IFE, or if you do not have one, contact me on treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk where I will try to assist you.

If your are interested in becoming an IFE, then please contact the office and we will forward your details to our IFE co-ordinator.

Rita King

October 2022

It is indeed great news that most WIs have fully returned to their normal meetings and that some WIs are in fact thriving after the last couple of years. During the pandemic and in the early days of restrictions easing, many WIs had restricted meetings and during that time members who wanted tickets for workshops were asked to apply direct if their meetings were not being held.

It is requested that tickets for workshops are now ordered via your WI appointed representative. This will avoid any confusion with the event organisers and the WI treasurers who are responsible for paying West Kent Federation for tickets ordered.

If you have two WIs in your area please make sure you stipulate which WI you are e.g. Afternoon/Evening. Your co-operation would be most welcome.

October is MCS Month

The MCS (Membership Communication System) is the most important tool at all levels of the WI. Therefore, it is vitally important that the information stored there is kept up to date. To highlight this, June and October have been designated as ‘MCS month’ throughout the organisation.

All WIs are encouraged to appoint an MCS Rep to take responsibility for their records, and WIs who already have an MCS Rep are asked to ensure that all their records remain accurate:

Is where and when my WI meets correct?
Are all paid-up members listed?
Are all members’ details correct?
Do all members, including officers have a valid and up-to-date email address listed?
Are all lapsed members removed?
Are all officers’ roles and committee positions assigned to the correct members?

The MCS enables communication throughout the organisation. When a new member joins, her details should be collected by her WI using the ‘WI Member Registration Form’ (available from your federation or to download from My WI) and added to the MCS. As soon as this is done, she will be sent her new member’s welcome pack and begin receiving WI Life.

For any assistance, please contact your Federation Secretary.

Rita King

September 2022

The beginning of July was the month that West Kent Federation notified and sent off the National Federation first quarter portion of subscriptions received from WIs. As you can imagine, that was a large bill to pay.

Whilst as I have previously mentioned, many WIs promptly sent in their annual subscriptions, we are conscious and were indeed reminded by National Federation, that there is still money to be sent to them. This is according to the MCS database of members compared to the money forwarded to them.

We would be grateful for any outstanding subscriptions from the first quarter of the year to be forwarded at your earliest opportunity. It is a problem for Alan, our bookkeeper to process subscriptions received when all he is told is the cheque amount. It would be extremely helpful if it could be stated what the cheque is made up of e.g. 2022—42 full members @ £22.40 plus 3 Q2 @ £16.81. A lot of his time is taken up trying to work out what the subscription cheque is for. We are currently approaching the end of the second quarter of the financial year. It is scary how quick time flies!

Most importantly, please also make sure that your MCS database is up to date as this should match your subscriptions paid. We as a Federation, as well as National Federation, use this database to accurately reflect our membership.

We are here to help if you need any assistance with the database! It is not always the Treasurer that updates the database, so please confer with each other on the current membership.

Rita King

August 2022

Treasurer training took place in July in what turned out to be the hottest days on record! I hope the ladies who attended, took away some useful information. Some of the ladies had taken on the role of Treasurer for their WI to save it from closing as no one else would take on the job. Be assured that we are here to support those ladies and anyone else thinking of taking on any officer role.

All new year subscription and year end accounts and reports should by now have been received at the Federation office. Thank you to all the Treasurers that have completed them.

Many WI’s do not have meeting in August, so I hope you are looking forward to the WI meetings for the rest of the year and that membership and finances are getting back to a more pre-pandemic level.

We intend to run a zoom Treasurer training session later in the year on zoom. Let me know if you would be interested and whether you would prefer afternoon or evening. I will notify you later in the year with possible dates. This will also help refresh our memories on completing the year end accounts.

Rita King

July 2022

ACWW is changing the name of their fundraising funds. From the end of June there will no longer be Pennies for Friendship, or the WE Fund. The new fund is called Women in Action. All monies held by West Kent Federation at the start of June from donations were sent to ACWW under their respective funds. All new donations will be sent for their new fund, “Rural Women in Action”.

It is not too late to book your place on the Treasurer training day on 20 July, as this date has the most spaces. Just email me if your preferred date is the 18 July and I will try to fit you in. Thank you to the ladies who have asked for certain topics to be covered.

We have now renewed our insurance policy and this year again, West Kent Federation will be subsidising the amount paid for WI cover. WIs will be charged a portion of the premium on their quarterly invoice.

Public and Product liability: This provides cover up to £5,000,000. As well as public liability cover provided by this policy your meeting hall should have its own and depending on the circumstances it might be their policy that would come into play for any accident occurring on their premises, providing all health and safety advice has been followed. Theft of member’s personal items at a meeting is a ‘grey area’ and would depend on the insurance held by the hall. Meetings taking place outside and away from the hall are covered. The insurance covers outings so long as it is within the geographical limits of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man. Your WI is covered for any claims arising as a result of homemade goods and goods provided or sold at your meetings and other events you may run in the future. Please be aware that this only applies if the sale of such goods is completely under the control of the WI and your WI retains 100% of the profits. If a member is selling produce independently of the WI and then donating a percentage of their sales to you then they should check with their existing home and contents insurance provider to ensure they are suitably covered. If you need a copy of the public liability certificate please contact the office who can email or post a copy to you.

For help in running your WI accounts, please contact me directly at treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk. If you have queries regarding the invoices/statements received from West Kent Federation, then please contact Alan Whiteley at accounts@wkfwi.org.uk.

Thank you to all the WIs who have submitted their subscription fees to us. If you still have subscriptions to send we would really appreciate your attention.

Thank you.

Rita King

June 2022

As promised I will be running a couple of training days for Treasurers in July. They will be at Ethel Hunt Lodge on;

Monday 18 and Wednesday 20 July starting at 10 am and finishing at approx. 1 pm. This will be open to all Treasurers, whether new or established, including manual accounts or on spreadsheets.

It would be helpful if I knew in advance any areas you wanted covered, any problems you have had or if you just want a refresher especially on year end accounts. Please email me your interest in attending, what is your preferred date and any of the subjects you want included. My email address is treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk As a gentle reminder, it is under Charity Commission rules that a WI is only able to collect and donate to local independent charities. National charities with local branches are not included or permitted. The only exceptions being the Royal British Legion, and of course, ACWW.

Any charity collections outside of these rules can only be carried out outside of any meetings and it must be voluntary without any pressure on WI members. A question I was asked is “can members pay for next year’s subscription in advance in instalments?” Unfortunately the answer is no for several reasons:

· The WI cannot act as a savings institution

· It is not the remit of the WI

· Refunds of subscriptions are not allowed if they changed their mind

· It would be an administration burden on a Treasurer

On a lighter note, thank you to all Treasurers that have finalised their year end accounts and thank you for the work you do for your WI. It is a busy time of year for you all and can be quite stressful. It is appreciated.

Rita King

May 2022

This month has certainly been interesting but quite busy. I believe I am getting to grips with how everything works and hopefully getting it right! Please bear with me. It certainly helps when you have the outgoing Treasurer leaving you notes and giving you guidance.

Working with banks is never easy but I was tremendously surprised with the Bank of Scotland. Not only were they efficient, you could actually speak to a person. They were extremely helpful. There are more to sort out though, so fingers crossed!

It does make me realise how some of you new Treasurer’s are feeling. I will certainly be putting on training days for those that need help or find things difficult. I have yet to decide on the dates but will let you all know as soon as possible.

One thing that has come to my attention that certainly causes problems for our bookkeeper Alan, and that is having the treasurer contacts out of date not only on the MCS but with Alan as well. As you may be aware, he sends out invoices quarterly to the addresses he has on file. Recently he has found out that some invoices have been going to the wrong people and is causing problems. It would be extremely helpful if you could make sure the MCS is up to date but also importantly let Alan Whiteley know the contact details for invoices and queries. His email address is accounts@wkfwi.org.uk.

If your WI is having trouble recruiting a Treasurer please assure them that as long as they are organised they will be able to do the job. If they are not comfortable using spreadsheets they can use the manual accounts book system instead, that would not be a problem. They could also come on a training day before committing to the role.

Rita King

April 2022

As with Amanda, our new Chairman, I have taken over the role of Federation Treasurer from Gillian Neville , who stepped down at the AGM.

I would like to thank Gillian for her help and copious notes that she has left me. Whilst we sort out the bank mandates, I will still need her assistance. Any of you that have had dealing with banks recently will sympathise!

It is a busy time for the WI Treasurers who will be busy collecting subscriptions for the coming year as well as finalising their accounts for the year end at the 31 March. I have been an IFE (Independent Financial Examiner, for those not familiar with our service) for several years and have already encountered some of the questions and difficulties faced by some of the Treasurers. Be assured that I will be available for help, should you require it. Please be patient with me though as I familiarise myself with the ways of the Federation accounts system. For those of you that use the Federation IFE’s, you will have already received your contact details, so once you have received your bank statements to the end of March and have all your paperwork completed, please contact your IFE as soon as possible.

On another note, please let me know of any topic you would like me to cover in future West Kent News mailings and I will try to accommodate where possible.

Wishing you all a stress free new financial year.

Rita King

March 2022

This will be the last Treasurer’s Corner that I write as I shall be stepping down as the Federation Treasurer at the Royal Tunbridge Wells AGM on 21 March.

When I took the post up in March 2018, I always intended that I would only be in post for four years, it is now time to pass on the baton to someone new. I have very much enjoyed being the Treasurer, especially meeting yourselves and trying to assist you with any issues you may encounter.

Having said I enjoyed being Treasurer it has of course not been without its difficulties especially the last couple of years in which as Treasurers we may have had to make some difficult decisions. However, hopefully that is all behind us and we can look forward to better times.

I am not disappearing completely as I shall be taking over from Elizabeth Patterson as the Federation’s IFE Administrator. Many thanks to Elizabeth for all her hard work and help over the years. Thanks to Miz and Keeley in the office. Also special thanks to Alan, the Federation Bookkeeper, who has provided unfailing support over the years, especially in the mysteries of the Sage Accounting System.

May I take this opportunity to wish my successor every best wishes and success for her time in the role.

Before I finally depart though a couple of small items. Alan has asked that any Treasurer emailing him it would be helpful if you could state which WI you are from.

Secondly a general reminder that if you don’t already you can receive the Federation statements by email. Just let Alan know if you wish to receive them in this way.

Best wishes to you all for the future.

Gillian Neville

February 2022

A bits and pieces Treasurer’s Corner this month.

Firstly, some of you may be aware that Ethel Hunt Lodge has had a new telephone system installed. As I may have mentioned previously the lockdowns and working from home really showed up the limitations of our computer and phone systems.

One of the changes is that the staff, Chair and myself now have direct line numbers thereby negating the necessity of phoning the general office number. My direct line number is 01892 354454 if you wish to contact me directly.

I am usually in the office on Tuesday or Wednesday but hopefully by the time you read this the intricacies of the new voice mail and call forwarding systems will have been worked out.

Secondly, as you know the subscription is due in April. Given that West Kent Annual Meetings are held in May it is especially important for you to receive as many subscriptions from members as possible in April. Any member who has not paid their subscription by the annual meeting cannot participate in it.

The Federation and National portion should be returned by 30 April. This year we will be changing the process for you to inform us of your subscriptions/ membership numbers. In the past we have sent one form out at the beginning of the subscription year for use during the whole of that year. This does cause issues as people forget that the form can continue to be used.

We will in future still send out a return in March for the full subscription. Additionally in the following quarters we will send out a separate return for you to send in pro rata memberships/ full subscriptions received after April. The quarterly forms from July onwards will be sent out in the last month of the quarter for return the following month as follows.

March – Subscription return form for start of membership year. To be returned by 30 April.

Quarter 2 July – September. Sent out in September for return in October.

Quarter 3 October- December. Sent out in December for return in January.

Quarter 4 January – March. Sent out in March to be returned April. This will be a separate form to the new subscription year return. I would however, not expect many if any pro rata subscriptions for this quarter.

Gillian Neville

January 2022

May I start by wishing you all a Happy New Year and hope you had a lovely Christmas with family and friends.

Last month I said I would write a piece on the Federation Scheme for Independent Financial Examiners (IFEs) .

We will shortly be at the end of March – the end of the financial year. As I am sure you all know this is the point at where the books are closed and you have to prepare the accounts for presentation to your members at the May Annual Meeting.

Part of this is having your accounts examined and the financial statement signed off by an IFE. WIs are free to choose who they select to carry out this duty so long as they are accredited in some way to be able to do so.

Out of the 150 WIs in the Federation just over 100 choose to belong to the Federation’s scheme, administered by Elizabeth Patterson.

The IFE’s are West Kent members. The Federation provides training for those members who wish to become IFE’s and after undertaking this are qualified to examine WI accounts.

As members, many of whom have also been Treasurers they have a unique understanding of the WI accounts spreadsheet and financial statement, especially when it relates to Acting as Agent.

Once a WI is part of the scheme they will remain within it so there is no need to ‘renew’ every year. Elizabeth will allocate the IFEs to WIs within the scheme and around February will send out to WIs details of the examiner allocated to them. Please remember that your IFE will also be examining other accounts so do contact your examiner in good time to enable her to schedule her workload, in order to get the accounts back in time for your Annual Meeting.

There is a charge of £25 payable direct to the examiner.

The Federation can always do with more examiners if you feel this is something you would be interested in or you would like your accounts examined by a Federation IFE please contact Elizabeth – contact details on the last page of West Kent News.

Finally if you are a Federation IFE and reading this you will be pleased to know that lots of complimentary things were said about the Federation IFEs at a recent Zoom Treasurer’s meetings. Treasurers really appreciated the advice and guidance provided by you.

Gillian Neville

December 2021

We are now approaching the end of what has been another difficult year for WIs. However, we all have Christmas and hopefully a better 2022 to look forward to.

January means there will only be a few months to the end of the financial year. In next months Treasurer’s Corner I will be writing about the Federation’s IFE scheme.

Please also keep an eye out for sessions I am planning to run on completion of the Financial Statement. I had hoped to run some last year but a certain Pandemic put a stop to that.

As you can see this is a short Treasurer’s Corner but I do want to wish all of you, your members, family and friends a Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Gillian Neville

November 2021

It was so good to meet new Treasurers at the training days held on 16 and 17 September. Your WIs are lucky to have you in the post. That also applies to the more long-standing Treasurers as well.

I wanted to clarify a couple of issues that arose during the days.

Firstly a question was asked can WIs appoint IFEs who are related to ordinary members of that WI? NFWI states that if fairly appointed at the Annual Meeting they can. However, an IFE CANNOT be related to a committee member.

Secondly, it transpires that some WIs automatically take money from all their members for the raffle, and if they make a charge for it, refreshments. This is not permissible as it amounts to a compulsory charge. WIs can of course remind members that there is a charge for these activities. However, it is then up to the member whether she pays that charge.

Obviously, if the member chooses not to pay then they can’t participate in the raffle or have refreshments. As Carole Powell one of the Federation Advisers stated on the day ‘A member if she wishes should be able to turn up to the meeting without her purse and not be expected to pay anything’

In addition to the Treasurers Training a meeting was also held of Federation IFEs. They asked me to mention the following:

At the end of the year could Treasurers remember to enter the Petty Cash into the accounts.

All money taken at meetings must be banked gross.

Once again welcome to the New Treasurers and I hope you find the position rewarding.

Gillian Neville

October 2021

I am this month, going to talk about the financial statement. Last year I planned to hold some training sessions on completion of the statement, but these unfortunately got cancelled because of Covid.

I will be setting up some more sessions closer to the end of the 2021-22 financial year.

The area that seems to cause the most confusion is B1 the section dealing with total cash funds held by the WI and carrying that figure forward.

To achieve the carry forward figure the following calculations in section B1 are carried out.

At B1.1 enter the final bank balance as per the account book. This will include items that are still uncleared. Then reconcile the bank statement in box B1.2 entering the figures for the appropriate category. Obviously the bank statement may show a higher figure than the account book, but once you have considered uncleared cheques or money paid in that has not cleared yet, the end figure should match the figure in B1.1

For some WIs the figure in box B1.1 will be their carry forward figure and will be entered in Total Cash Funds and should match the figure in A6.

However, for others further calculations need to be made. Therefore, if you have funds in savings/deposit accounts or petty cash these need to be shown in B1.3 and B1.4 respectively.

If a WI still has funds to pay over to Federation as part of the Acting as Agent then this money is shown in B1.5 and deducted from your cash funds – as it’s not money that belongs to the WI even if it is still in your bank account at year end.

To summarise, to calculate your total cash funds do the following:

Add B1.1, B1.3 and B1.4 and if relevant deduct B1.5

This will then give you your carry forward figure for your total cash funds and should again match the figure in A6.

However, when starting a new financial year, the figure that is carried forward to the new accounts' spreadsheet/accounts book is the figure in B1.1 as this relates to the WI’s current bank account. It may or may not be the same as the Total Cash funds.

Gillian Neville

September 2021

I recently had to phone the bank as they had credited two cheques with differing amounts to what we thought they should be. On looking again at the cheques they agreed with us because the written amount tallied with what we had said.

The issue occurred because as the bank put it “bad figures in the box”, which were misread by the image scanner.

The customer service adviser made the following points to help when writing out cheques:

  • Try to be very precise with the figure work – It is the figures that are initially taken as the amount. These days the majority of cheques are image scanned and will not be checked manually to make sure that the written and figure amounts agree.
  • Cheques are generally only manually looked at when a customer phones and queries a discrepancy.
  • If a mistake is made remember to initial any change on the cheque;
  • However, the adviser did say if a mistake is made on the payee line it is best to start again with a new cheque.

I have been guilty myself of not always being clear with figure work on cheques but do now make the effort to be more careful!

A last thought for those of you who are not doing so but it might be worth considering moving over to on line banking. It does make payments much easier and more efficient.

Finally, just a couple of words on Zoom talks going forward. Up till now, there has been no charge for these. After 1st October members will be charged £5 to participate in Zoom talks although there will be odd exceptions where they will still be free and it will also not cover networking events such as the one I am planning for Treasurer's in the Autumn.

The £5 cost is in line with charges by Denman and other Federations for their online events. The Zoom talks will be accessed through a platform called TryBooking, used by some other Federations.

On page 10 is an article which hopefully will tell you all you need to know about the TryBooking platform and how to book tickets

Gillian Neville

August 2021

Welcome to all new Treasurers and thanks to those of you continuing in the post.

Letters have been sent to WI mailboxes about two training sessions for new Treasurers. The Federation until last year, when Covid restrictions came in held training days for new Treasurers, covering we hope the information you need to allow you to carry out the role.

The Federation is now planning to hold two events for new Treasurers on 16 and 17 September, to be held at Ethel Hunt Lodge starting at 10 am.

The sessions usually finish around 3 pm. You will need to bring your lunch with you but refreshments such as tea, coffee and biscuits will be provided.

The sessions will be limited to 12 for each day. As there has been no training for two years preference will have to be given to those Treasurers new to the post in 2020 and 2021.

If you wish to attend please email me by Friday 27 August at Treasurer@wkfwi.org.uk. stating your name, WI, and which date you would like to attend.

I am planning to hold further Zoom meetings for Treasurers, open to new and existing Treasurers, in October. This follows the successful ones held in April where participants expressed an interest in further networking events.

I look forward to hearing from you and meeting you in September.

I would also like to thank those WIs who have sent in their membership subscriptions. At the time of writing, we had received returns from 93 WIs approx. 60% of our Federation.

Gillian Neville

July 2021

Usually, at this time of year, I would be writing out to provide details of the WI insurance and the contribution expected from your WI towards the renewal premium. As previously mentioned the Federation is going to cover the whole cost of the premium this year and therefore, no payment will be required from WI’s. However, as a reminder the cover provided is:

Public and Product liability

This provides cover up to £5,000,000.

As well as public liability cover provided by this policy your meeting hall should have its own and depending on the circumstances it might be their policy that would come into play for any accident occurring on their premises, providing all health and safety advice has been followed. Theft of member’s personal items at a meeting is a ‘grey area’ and would depend on the insurance held by the hall.

Meetings taking place outside and away from the hall are covered. The insurance covers outings so long as it is within the geographical limits of the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

Your WI is covered for any claims arising as a result of homemade goods and goods provided or sold at your meetings and other events you may run in the future. Please be aware that this only applies if the sale of such goods is completely under the control of and your WI retains 100% of the profits.

If a member is selling produce independently of the WI and then donating a percentage of their sales to you then they should check with their existing home and contents insurance provider to ensure they are suitably covered.

If you need a copy of the public liability certificate please contact the office who can email or post a copy to you.

Money and Malicious Attack

Each WI is covered for the sum of £1,500 against forceful violent entry or exit.

The Treasurer should pay all monies into the bank as soon as possible after receipt. Any money being held by any member other than the Treasurer, for whatever reason, is not covered by the insurance.

Next year the Federation will revert back to the normal method of calculating the premium – pro-rata calculation based on the WI’s number of members.

Gillian Neville

June 2021

I have been asked whether WIs can still give their own bursaries (I assume because most were for Denman) and if so whether they should use the Federation Criteria as the “rules’ for use of the Bursary.

The answer to the first question is yes, WIs are still able to award bursaries although of course members will need to look elsewhere to find a course.

Using the Federation criteria is entirely up to you. You can use all of them, some or choose your own. The Federation criteria are:

  • The bursary can cover local, residential, or online courses.
  • The winner has two years to take up the bursary.
  • If the course chosen costs over the bursary amount (For Federation this is £200 per bursary) this must be met by the member, although the Federation does pay travel expenses at the Federation rate of 40p per mile up to a maximum of £25.

However, there is no leeway in that any course chosen must meet WI Objects, which are as follows, and as you can see are pretty wide-ranging, therefore finding a course shouldn’t present any great difficulties.

To advance the education of women and girls for the public benefit in all areas including (without limitation):

  • Local, national, and international issues of political and social importance.
  • Music, drama, and other cultural subjects.
  • All branches of agriculture, crafts, home economics, science, health, and social welfare.

To promote sustainable development for the public benefit by:

  • Educating people in the preservation, conservation, and protection of the environment and the prudent use of natural resources.
  • Promoting sustainable means of achieving economic growth and regeneration.
  • To advance health for the public benefit, and to advance citizenship for the public benefit by the promotion of civic responsibility and volunteering.

Away from bursaries, another query that has arisen is when a WI decides to pay for Federation events out of its funds does this constitute Acting as Agent. No, it doesn’t, acting as an agent only applies when the WI is taking payment on behalf of the member and passing it on to Federation/National.

Payments made direct by the WI because they have decided to pay for members tickets for example to the Annual Council Meeting are not acting as agent. I would enter such payments on the spreadsheet under activities and events.

Gillian Neville

May 2021

In last month's Treasurer’s Corner, I said I would outline the procedure for online banking authorisation if your bank insists on only one signature for online payments.

As you know WI requirements are for two signatures and obviously, this is not a problem for cheques or the majority of online transactions. In this scenario, one person sets up the online payment and a second signatory authorises it.

However, some banks allow payments on one signature and despite representations won’t add a second signature.

There is an NFWI approved procedure, which is outlined below. It can be a bit convoluted but here goes.

Set up a payment authorisation form that is completed with the payments that you are going to make. This is then authorised by two of the cheque signatories, preferably not the person that will be making the payments.

When the payment is made a receipt is printed showing the details of the payment, one receipt for each payment rather than a screen shot of a group of transactions. These receipts are attached to the authorisation form.

The form and receipts are then given back to a signatory who checks the receipts against the list and initials against each payment on the list.

The payment authorisation form can be set up as a straightforward template in whatever format suits you but showing the following information:

Payment to

Reason for payment Amount

Date of authorisation

Finally, some more good news on the WI insurance front.

You will remember last June at renewal because it was envisaged September would be when meetings might start up again, the insurers gave a refund/reduction on the 2019 and 2020 premiums respectively from March – September 2020. As such, rather than the normal pro-rata rate based on membership, the Federation charged each WI £10.

In January I started the discussion with our insurers as to whether it was possible to get some more refund on the 2020 WI insurance, given that WIs had not really met since September and were unlikely to do so till after June.

I am pleased to say that NFU have now paid us back £2,119.61p This, means that through the various refunds we have had the vast majority of the premium paid back to us. Therefore, the Federation will be refunding WIs the £10.

This will be made in the normal way as a credit on the Federation statement.

Gillian Neville

April 2021

During the past month, I have held four Zoom meetings with Treasurers from all parts of the Federation. I hope the Treasurer’s attending found them informative. Lots of issues came up and I thought it would be interesting to summarise the main points from the discussion.

The main topic of discussion was the subscription flexibility proposal. Many WIs are taking advantage of it, by reducing the WI proportion usually between £5-10 being the average reduction.

However, some WIs whilst taking advantage were also unhappy as they felt that

(a) they had been providing activities for their members and hence they had not the funds to provide it and

(b) that there had been no flexibility offered on the NFWI/ Federation portion. This coupled with the subscription rising by £1 some felt was unfair.

There were also concerns about the number of their members who would re-join which, wasn’t necessarily tied into the subscription and a possible lack of value but a feeling about the general situation going forward and wariness amongst some about meeting in large numbers again.

More specific points from the sessions

Some banks didn’t allow dual authorisation how does that fit in with the WI requirement- There is a procedure. Gillian to write a Treasurer’s corner (May) on this subject.

Training – obviously not taken place due to restrictions but once these were lifted Training for Treasurers would start up again.

MCS – make sure it's up to date with who the Treasurer is.

Some WIs had already collected the subscription before the flexibility guidance came out. If those WIs wanted to take advantage of the flexibility could they refund the amount they were offering to reduce the WI portion by. Yes in this instance and only in this instance it is fine to do so. Generally, refunds of the membership subscription are not allowed.

Annual Meetings – there is some flexibility for the 2021 meetings to be pushed back till later in the year if WIs can’t physically meet and do an Annual Meeting by Zoom or Email. However, it is expected that WIs will return to the normal May timetable in 2022.

Some Treasurers had not seen recent financial documents sent to the WI mailboxes. Treasurers should be allowed to access the WI mailboxes as many of the documents sent out from the office are specifically for Treasurers.

Finally, not connected to the Zoom meetings but I wanted to let you know that this year the Board of Trustees have agreed that the Federation will pay all of the premium for the WI liability insurance, which renews in June. Therefore, when I write out to you in July outlining the policy cover there will no request for payment.

Gillian Neville

March 2021

I wanted to cover a few items this month.

Firstly you will have hopefully seen the news/ guidance from NFWI that WIs will be allowed some flexibility over the WI portion of the subscription. I will just summarise the main points but the NFWI guidance is very clear on what can and cannot be done and hopefully will answer the questions that you and your members may have. The flexibility allows you as a WI to do the following:

  • Require members to pay the full subscription including the WI portion
  • Waive the WI portion of the subscription
  • Waive part of the WI portion of the subscription

It does not apply to the Federation or NFWI portion of the subscription and these should be collected as normal. WIs need to make this decision annually, and must be based on the levels of reserve and the forecast expenditure for the coming year. As I say the guidance provides detailed answers on many more questions so please do read it. I have written to NFWI asking if they are going to provide any guidance on collection of subscriptions if WIs can’t meet up from April. I know many West Kent WIs are concerned about this. I would ask that if WIs do provide the subscription flexibility that members don’t pay the Federation/ National portion direct to us. This will create a lot of work for you and us in trying to keep track of who has paid what. The Board of Trustees are not expecting you to be able to collect subscriptions till you are actually meeting. However, if you are happy to collect subscriptions by whatever means i.e. on line banking, cheques posted to you then that of course is fine.

I have also been asked by the Board to mention a couple of other issues, which I would be grateful if you can pass on to your Committee:

If you have not already held your Annual Meeting for the last year you only have till 31 March to do so. If you need any advice on how to manage this I am sure your adviser will be happy to assist. Similarly if you have not already done so please can you send in your Annual Return/Financial Statement.

Gillian Neville

February 2021

I know it is only February, but I thought I would look ahead to March and the end of the financial year.

I know for many of you it must seem like you have only just finished work on the end of year accounts for 2019/2020. It has been a difficult time for many Treasurers in completing the accounts what with Covid and its associated impacts e.g. Treasurers/IFEs having to shield. I thought it would be useful to offer some suggestions, especially if you are a new Treasurer, to hopefully smooth the process and try to ensure there are no last-minute panics.

If you have not already done so reconcile the bank account, leaving only the last few items to be agreed at the year end.

Make sure you have to hand the necessary paperwork, relating to all payments you have made together with supporting documentation.

Make sure all the receipts you have issued includes information indicating what the money was received for.

Ask your committee to submit any outstanding expense claims in good time. I realise these might not be on a level with previous years but if money has been spent on membership bags for instance then it should be claimed back.

If your WI runs a petty cash account, ensure you have all the signed receipts with supporting paperwork so the payments can be allocated to the correct headings in the account book.

Contact your IFE in good time to make arrangements for handing over the accounts for examination. If you have an IFE from the Federation scheme they will have other accounts to examine and liaising with them (once you know who it will be) will enable them to plan their workload.

Finally, this year because of the subscription extension and lack of Federation events there shouldn't be too much in the way of acting as agent payments to deal with. This is not to say there won't be any especially if any membership subscriptions were paid over after April.

I hope this will help you in preparing your accounts and if there are any enquiries about the process please do get in touch.

Gillian Neville

January 2021

Here we are in 2021. I hope you had as good a Christmas as you could and hoping this year is a lot better than 2020.

Firstly, I want to mention that I hope to hold some Zoom meetings towards the end of this month/beginning of February for Treasurers. They will not be taking the place of the normal Treasurer's Training days (which were unfortunately cancelled last year) but will be an opportunity to raise any issues you might have. In particular in completing the financial statements, since we are not far from the end of March.

Talking of financial statements I realise that many of you have faced difficulties in completing and obtaining sign off, but I did want to point out that from the ones received in the office there seem to be a number of common errors and I thought I might mention some of them here.

  • - Some statements are not signed by the IFE*
  • - Some statements are not signed by the President/Treasurer*
  • - Section 1B - Bank reconciliation not completed
  • - Total cash funds in section B should be the same as in A6
  • - Section C3 should be filled in, it provides a very useful breakdown of activities in relation to expenditure/income, thereby allowing the worth of carrying out an activity to be determined

Back to Zoom meetings; please keep a lookout in the WI mailboxes for dates.

*The copies received in the office were not signed. However, could I ask you to check your copy to ensure that everything is signed.

Gillian Neville

December 2020

Here we are almost at the end of the year. Those of you who use Facebook may have seen many of the posts that have a similar message along the lines of -

'I shall definitely be staying up on New Year's Eve to make sure that 2020 does leave'.

I am sure we can all relate to that after the events that we have been through. Here's hoping to a better 2021 and meeting up with our WI friends again. At least we have Christmas to look forward to. I hope you have a lovely time with the family and friends with whom you can celebrate the festive season.

Lastly, but certainly not least, can I say a thank you to all of you for the continuing work that you do as Treasurers, especially in sorting out your WI's financial statements which, with lockdown and social distancing has not been easy.

Not withstanding the Government restrictions I hopefully look forward to meeting some of you next year.

Gillian Neville