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With this article, I want to show some of the tasks the treasurer of our study association has on a daily basis. The day starts in the early morning with checking mails like all the other board members. My mail looks a little different from the others. It mostly consists of invoices, which I need to pay. This can be for flyers for the promotion of our events or for the beers that we drank the evening before in Café the Philip. If I see an email containing an invoice, I always print the invoices right away and put them in my ‘need to be paid’ folder on my desk.
We, as the Asset treasurers, use Twinfield as bookkeeping program. In this program I book all the invoices we receive. This is done in order to have a clear overview of the financial administration. Like I said before, we get invoices for all kinds of activities. Therefore a ledger account is used in order to link invoices to certain activities or committees. For example, the Economics Dinner and the Activities Committee have their own ledger to which the invoices are linked in Twinfield. With Twinfield we can also make and send invoices to parties that used our services. Twinfield helps me with a clear format for invoices and obligates me to assign the invoice directly to one of the ledgers.
Another source of revenues we generate as association are the participation fees of events. If people subscribe for events they always have to give their IBAN number and authorize Asset | Economics to withdraw money from their bank accounts. With this information, I am able to withdraw money for the participation fee. I do this once or twice per quarter depending on how many activities we have. In excel I created an overview with all the participants of our activities. Therefore, I know that we already had 170 unique participants this year for our activities. For each person separately I keep track of which activity he/or she was present and the more he/or she was present, the more he/or she has to pay, of course.
I have a clear overview of the total revenues, if all the invoices are send and all bank withdrawals are done. For each month, I can compare the revenues with the costs to see the monthly result, so whether we make a profit or a loss.
Board members, other committee members and I can do purchases. In most cases, everyone is informed with the budget and makes considerations by him or herself before proposing it to me. When it is proposed to me, I will start with the considerations myself as well. Before making any transactions I always check my budget. Sometimes an item is too expensive to buy and sometimes the cost are too high and not worth the money. When that is the case, I have to reject the purchase of that item. If I give the ‘green light’ the item is purchased.
I made a budget at the beginning of this year. This budget is full of estimations, which are based on the realization of the previous year, our policy, already signed contracts and other expectations. As treasurer you try to estimate to the best of your ability what will happen the upcoming year with respect to purchases that need to be done and what revenues you will receive. The most difficult part of this process is deciding how much budget each committee gets. Each committee gets a certain amount of budget which they can use for organizing their activities. It is up to them how to use this money, the board only guides and assists them with making choices.
During the year a lot of things change of course. Expectations did not turn out to be the way you expected. To correct for this, miscellaneous is included in the budget to compensate for unexpected cost. If you are able to perfectly guess all your costs and revenues than the full amount of miscellaneous will be included in the profit of the association. But as always you can never guess it all correct for an entire year. Therefore I also have the option to adapt the expectations during the year, this gives me the opportunity to better forecast the result at every point during the financial year. Four times a year, I check our financial situation, and I get corrected by a few of my predecessors. They make sure I do everything according to the accounting rules and check whether my expectations are realistic.
So basically I spend my time collecting money, dividing the money, keeping everybody’s expenditures in line with the budget and keeping track afterwards. By doing this I make sure the association is financially stable and is able to survive the coming years as well. This way I guarantee continuity of our association.