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Financial operating policy – core policy (including guidance)

Amount: £36.00

Financial responsibilities for church and charity trustees include keeping proper accounting records; safeguarding the assets of the organisation; and taking reasonable steps for the prevention and the detection of fraud or other irregularities. Introducing a framework of financial controls is one way in which trustees can fulfil that responsibility. This template policy, and its associated guidance (a significant section of the complete financial control policy template), covers many of the aspects that trustees should consider when drawing up a financial control framework, and provides a suitable template for most churches and charities to easily adapt to meet their own circumstances.

Topics included:

  • What is the purpose behind introducing financial policies and procedures in churches and Christian charities?
  • How often should a church or charity’s financial policy be reviewed?
  • What are some of the key financial controls surrounding the handling of cash?
  • What are the key financial controls regarding the approval of expenditure?
  • What are key financial controls regarding payment authorisation, online banking and cheque signing?
  • What financial controls should be in place for churches and charities that make use of debit or credit cards?
  • What financial controls should be in place for the reimbursement of staff and volunteer expenses?
  • How should churches and charities account for financial transactions?
  • Why is a regular bank reconciliation process seen as an important financial control?
  • What financial records should churches and charities keep?
  • How should trustees in churches and charities formulate an appropriate reserves policy?
  • What are the key financial controls for churches and charities to consider when it comes to Gift Aid and the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme?
  • How should financial information be shared in churches and charities?
  • What controls should be introduced in churches and charities to make sure that the annual report and accounts are properly completed in a timely fashion?
  • What controls should be considered to properly account for restricted or designated funds?
  • What should church and charity trustees consider when it comes to insurance?
  • How should capital expenditure and fixed assets be accounted for?

Updated June 2022

Please note that this is one of the four policies within the Financial operating policy – complete set (stewardship.org.uk).