The volunteer board of directors is the governing arm of a non-profit organisation, legally required for tax-exempt organisations and corporations. The board has four officers: chair, vice chair, treasurer and secretary. Each officer has a job description that details its distinct duties and responsibilities as prescribed by the organisation's bylaws. The treasurer's duties involve oversight of fiscal matters.
Care, Loyalty and Obedience
According to BoardSource, an organisation that focuses on training for non-profit boards, it lists care, loyalty and obedience as the standards many states use to define the board's legal responsibility. Care refers to competence and reasonable care, while loyalty and obedience refer to honouring the organisation's mission, respecting confidentiality and being mindful of the public's trust. For the treasurer, this translates into ensuring that the organisation is a good steward of charitable donations and the tax-exempt status, providing oversight of the organisation's fiscal integrity and assisting the board in meeting its mandate to govern.
The treasurer is required to attend all scheduled meetings and actively seek to maintain current knowledge of the organisation, its programs, bylaws and articles of incorporation. The treasurer is required to have knowledge of non-profit accounting practices, non-profit tax laws and fiscal record-keeping. The treasurer also is knowledgeable about committee management and Robert's Rules of Order for conducting board meetings.
Accounts and Expenditures
Bylaws usually provide for the treasurer to be one of two officers authorised to sign checks or granted access to bank and credit accounts. Treasurers have full knowledge of all organisation holdings and assets. Treasurers review monthly account records and monitor income and expenditures. The treasurer also reviews financial reports from organisation staff.
The treasurer prepares reports to the board detailing income, expenditures and asset values. The treasurer presents a financial report at each board meeting and also prepares and presents the annual financial and audit report to the board. Board officers and members rely on financial reports to guide decisions in all areas of governance. The treasurer prepares special financial reports addressing proposed plans for large expenditures.
The treasurer is chair of the finance committee. The finance committee is charged with developing the organisation's fiscal policies and procedures and developing the fiscal component of the organisation's strategic plan. The committee also develops the organisation's fundraising plan and annual budget in collaboration with other board members and the organisation's chief financial officer. The committee oversees annual audits and reviews the audit report.