The expectations and underrated role of a board treasurer for a nonprofit organization vary widely. The treasurer of a nonprofit is usually appointed by the members of that organization’s board, and the position requires financial expertise as well as dedication, time and patience.
The duties of the treasurer normally are spelled out in the bylaws. The treasurer ensures the rest of the board members are well versed on important financial issues.
Responsibilities often include the following:
- Advise the organization on its fundraising strategy
- Attend all board meetings
- Create a simple budget, keep a general ledger, make bank deposits and write checks at very small nonprofits
- Present the annual budget to the board for approval
- Maintain knowledge of the organization and personal commitment to its goals and objectives
- Oversee contractors hired by the board, such as a bookkeeper, tax preparer, investment professional, or fundraiser, if the nonprofit does not have full-time staff
- Understand financial accounting for nonprofit organizations
- Serve as the chair of the finance committee
- Manage, with the finance committee, the board’s review of and action related to the board’s financial responsibilities
- Work with the chief executive and the chief financial officer to ensure that appropriate financial reports are made available to the board on a timely basis
- Review the annual audit and answer board members’ questions about the audit
- Assist with cash flow projections to ensure the nonprofit maintains solvency
- Establish and maintain the nonprofit’s system of internal controls, including: accounting processes and procedures, to mitigate fraud risks
- Ensure timely filing of all required federal and state tax filings
- Safeguard and protect the nonprofit’s assets.
In conclusion, a nonprofit needs a board treasurer who is willing and able to provide leadership in the financial life of the organization. A great treasurer balances knowledge, communications, planning and strategy!
For more information on the role of board treasurer in a nonprofit, contact the professionals at Gilliam Coble & Moser, L.L.P.