Financial Policy

Downloadable version: Financial Policy - Version 2.0: Approved: 18 October 2017


Sussex County Association of Change Ringers (SCACR) is a Registered Charity, number 268588.

Trustees

SCACR has 3 Trustees, elected in rotation at the AGM (see Rules). The Trustees have a general duty to act in the best interests of SCACR as a whole and are responsible for:

  • delivering public benefits
  • safeguarding the assets of the charity, ensuring that it is solvent
  • ensuring that assets are properly used to achieve its aims and that its funds are spent effectively
  • preventing fraud and avoiding mistakes and other irregularities by ensuring that appropriate financial controls are in place
  • ensuring that timely and accurate financial records are kept in accordance with the governing document and relevant legislation (e.g. Charities Acts)
  • signing the annual accounts that give a true and fair view of the financial activities of the Association during the year
  • ensuring that the Trustees Annual Report (which describes the achievements of the charity in the reporting period), accounts and annual return are filed on time with the Charity Commission.

Finance Committee

The Trustees are assisted in their financial management of the charity by the Finance Committee, which comprises the following elected Officers in addition to the Trustees:

  • Master
  • General Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • Bell Restoration Fund (BRF) Secretary
  • District Secretary of each of the 4 Districts

The Finance Committee meets as often as required, but a minimum of once per year. The quorum shall be six of the above, to include at least two Trustees. The Finance Committee has the power to co-opt additional members but co-opted members do not have the power of vote. If a nominated Officer is unable to attend, a representative may attend the Committee in their place as an Observer, but will not have the power of vote. The nominated Officer may give a proxy vote to the Chair of the meeting if absent.

The role of the Finance Committee is:

  • To advise and assist the Trustees in the performance of their responsibilities, as above
  • To approve the Accounts for the financial year
  • To select the bank and deposit accounts used by the Association following research of options by the Treasurer
  • To select appropriate insurance policies

Treasurer

The Finance Committee delegates the day-to-day running of the Association’s financial affairs to the Treasurer. The Treasurer is elected annually at the AGM, and retires annually, but remains eligible for re-election. The role of the Treasurer is:

  • Ensuring the AGM appoints an Independent Examiner annually.
  • Production of interim and final Accounts for each year.
  • Obtaining a report from the appointed Independent Examiner.
  • Timely completion of the annual Charity Commission return
  • Reconciliation of the accounting books with the Association bank account(s)
  • Retention of appropriate financial records and supporting documentation such as invoices
  • Arranging payments, and gaining the appropriate authorisation
  • Researching and recommending appropriate investment accounts to the Trustees
  • Reclaiming Gift Aid on behalf of the Association

Funds

The Association holds general funds (also known as unrestricted funds) and restricted funds. These are accounted for separately.

Unrestricted Funds

These represent the funds of the Association that are not subject to any restrictions regarding their use and are available for application on the general purposes of the Association.

The principle source of unrestricted income is annual subscriptions from members. Other sources are the sale of publications, clothing and badges, peal fees, training course fees and ticket sales for events. Donations are made to the restricted funds only.

The main items of expenditure relate to newsletters, production of the Annual Report, insurance, administration expenses, library costs, the website and newsletters and training courses.

Restricted Funds:

These are funds designated for a particular purpose by the Association. The restricted funds currently comprise:

  • Sussex Churches Bell Restoration Fund (the restoration of church bells in Sussex)
  • Sussex Young Ringers Fund (The Reg Johnson and Harold Wood Memorial Fund) (to encourage young people to participate in change ringing in Sussex)

The principle source of income is donations and legacies.

The main items of expenditure are grants.

All grants from the Sussex Churches Bell Restoration Fund must be considered and approved by the BRF Committee, with the exception of simulator grant requests, which must first be considered by the Training & Recruitment Committee, and if recommended by this Committee, must then be approved by the Trustees.

All grants from the Sussex Young Ringers Fund (The Reg Johnson and Harold Wood Memorial Fund) must be considered and recommended by the Training & Recruitment Committee, and must then be approved by a minimum of two of the Trustees.

The Accounts

The financial year runs from 1st January to 31st December.

Accounts will be drawn up after each financial year within three months of the end of the year). The accounts will be inspected by an Independent Examiner.

The draft Accounts and Independent Examiner’s report will be examined by the Finance Committee before being signed by the Trustees. The approved Accounts will be presented to the next General Committee, and the next Annual General Meeting (AGM).

Each year, the AGM will appoint an appropriately qualified Independent Examiner to review the Accounts prior to their presentation at the following year’s AGM.
All accounting records will be held for a minimum of six years.

Interim Financial Reporting

During the Financial Year, financial reports will be prepared for each meeting of the General Committee, and the Finance Committee. A report on the current financial position of the relevant Restricted Fund will be drawn up by the Treasurer prior to any meeting of the BRF Committee or the Training & Recruitment Committee.

Fixed Asset Register

The Association will set up and maintain a Fixed Asset Register stating (for each asset) its:

  • Date of acquisition
  • The original cost
  • Any serial numbers of the item
  • The normal location of the asset
  • The latest valuation
  • The date of the latest valuation.

It will maintain a proper record of any stocks of goods for sale, e.g. books, badges, clothing.

Fixed Assets will be inspected annually by a Trustee to ensure they exist, remain in good condition and are being put to appropriate use.

The disposal or scrapping of a Fixed Asset must be authorised by the Trustees, and recorded in the Fixed Asset register and accounting records.

The adequacy of insurance cover must be reviewed annually.

Banking & Investment Policy

Day-to-day Association funds will be held in a current bank account. The choice of bank account provider will be approved by the Trustees. On-line transactions will require authorisation by 2 of the approved signatories.

Funds not immediately required for day-to-day running costs or imminent grants will be transferred from the current account to a low risk interest-bearing deposit account or similar investment. The choice of investment account provider(s) will be approved by the Trustees. The Treasurer will be responsible for monitoring account balances and transferring monies between the current and deposit accounts.

A small petty cash float of no more than £50 may be held by one nominated individual in each District to facilitate monthly District events (e.g. for tower donations). All income and expenditure against the cash float must be fully itemised and reported to the Treasurer quarterly, or on request. All cash in excess of the £50 float must be paid in to the SCACR current account.

Loans

It is the policy of the Trustees and General Committee that the Association will not take out a loan for any purpose, nor make any loans.
Communication

A copy of this policy and procedures will be given to all General Committee members on their appointment, and will be made available to all members to view via the SCACR website.

Review & Revision

The financial policy and procedures will be reviewed annually by the Finance Committee and revised as necessary

SCACR Financial Management and Control Procedures

Banking

SCACR banks with the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF Bank Ltd). The Current Account is a CAFCash Account held in the name of Sussex County Association of Change Ringers.

The Association also has a 45-day notice Deposit Account with Cambridge & Counties Bank held in the name of Sussex County Association of Change Ringers.
SCACR requires each bank to provide statements every month and these will be reconciled with the draft accounts at the end of every month by the Treasurer.

No bank account will ever be opened in the name of an individual or individuals.

The Association will not use any other bank account, bank or financial institution or use overdraft facilities or invest speculatively unless authorised, approved and minuted by the Finance Committee.

The bank mandate (the list of people who approve expenditure on the organisation’s behalf) for both the Current and the Deposit Accounts nominates five authorised signatories. These are the elected individuals in the following posts:

  • Each of the three Trustees
  • Treasurer
  • General Secretary

Any change to the bank mandate signatories must be approved and minuted by the General Committee.

The full use of electronic banking facilities is permitted on both accounts.

Income

All cheques and cash received must be banked promptly, no more than 30 days after receipt. The Treasurer and one nominated individual in each District will hold paying in books for the Current Account.

Funds received should normally be banked gross without deduction of costs or expenses.

Two unrelated people should always be involved in counting cash receipts.

The Association will accept electronic payments and donations by bank transfer.

Payments

All invoices must be passed to the Treasurer for approval, and will be paid within 30 days of receipt by the Treasurer either by cheque or electronic transfer.

All cheques must be signed by two of the five authorised signatories. All Internet bank transfers must be authorised by two of the five authorised signatories. Both signatories are responsible for examining the cheque or transfer for accuracy and completeness, and should see the supporting paperwork before authorising the payment.

The Treasurer will be responsible for holding the cheque-book (including unused and partly used cheque-books). Blank cheques will never be signed.

All payments should be supported by an original invoice or receipt. The invoice/receipt will be annotated with the cheque number, date drawn, amount and the names of the signatories.

If required for an event, the event organiser may apply to the Treasurer for a float to cover any expenditure necessary in advance. After an event, a full account of the income and expenditure (supported by invoices or receipts) must be provided to the Treasurer, and any float fully accounted for.

‘Hole in the wall’ cash cards, debit cards and credit cards will not be used, and any issued by the bank unsolicited will be immediately cut in half.

The Association will not make payments by direct debit or standing order.

Payments in cash should normally not be made.

Expenses

SCACR will, if asked, reimburse expenditure paid for personally by elected Officers, providing:

  • The expenditure claimed is in line with the SCACR Expenses Policy
  • Expenditure is evidenced wherever possible by original receipts.
  • Reimbursement will be by cheque or BACS electronic transfer

Fundraising & Sponsored Events

For the avoidance of doubt, the monthly ringing practices and similar social ringing events are not considered to be fundraising events.

Separate records should be maintained for each event in sufficient detail to ensure that gross income and any costs incurred are clearly identified. Where there is ticket income:

  • Tickets should be pre-numbered
  • A record is kept of all persons issued with tickets to sell, and the ticket numbers allocated to each person
  • A record is kept of which tickets have been sold
  • All money from tickets and any unsold tickets are collected
  • A reconciliation is made of receipts against tickets sold

Gift Aid

The Treasurer will maintain the record of Gift Aid forms received, and is responsible for the timely reclaim of Gift Aid on fundraising.

The Treasurer will ensure that current HMRC Gift Aid advice/declaration is given to all donors.

Legacies

The Treasurer should maintain a record of all legacies notified to the Association, including any terms or restrictions in the use of the legacy. Correspondence files should be maintained, and the Treasurer should check regularly on the progress of the collection of outstanding legacies.

Other undertakings

SCACR does not accept liability for any financial commitment unless properly authorised by the Trustees.

All grant applications undertaken on behalf of SCACR will be done in the name of the organisation with prior approval of the Finance Committee.

Confidentiality

All transactions involving the payment of expenses, personal deposits and other donations should be dealt with on a ‘need to know’ basis. This does not stop any member having access, by arrangement, to the general accounts and balance sheets.

Conflict of Interest

All conflicts of interest must be declared as soon as they are known. Where a transaction or other business is proceeding after an interest has been declared, the outcome must be approved by the relevant Committee or Team, who are to seek the advice of the Trustees if necessary.

Version 2.0: Approved: 18 October 2017

Expenses Policy

Downloadable version: Expenses Policy Version 1.0: Approved: 18 October 2017 [UNDER REVISION JAN 2022]


All expenses under any of the following sections must be claimed no later than 31 January following the end of the Financial Year (31st December) in which the expenditure occurred. Claims after this date will not be paid. The current Expenses Form must be used.

Travel Expenses

SCACR will, if asked, pay reasonable travel expenses to Trustees, elected Officers (Master, General Secretary, Treasurer, BRF Secretary, Safeguarding Officer) and other representatives attending the Association business meetings listed below.

  • General Committee Meetings, the AGM or any EGM
  • Annual District Meetings (Trustees and Elected Officers only, attending ADMs in Districts other than their own)
  • Team or Committee/Sub-Committee Meetings as below:
    • Finance Committee
    • Training & Recruitment Team
    • Communication & Events Team
    • Bell Maintenance & Restoration Team
    • Administration, Records & Library Team

Elected Officers may also claim reimbursement for other travel on Association business required to carry out the duties of the role to which they have been elected (this list is not necessarily exhaustive):

  • Travel to the funeral of a Member (Master only)
  • To present a 50-year membership Certificate to a Member (Master only)
  • Safeguarding training (Safeguarding Officer)
  • Travel whilst representing the Association will be at the discretion of the Trustees and should be agreed in advance.

Travel to social events and practices or on outings cannot be claimed.

Travel will be reimbursed provided that:

  • An Expense Form is completed (available from the Treasurer or the SCACR website)
  • Expenditure is evidenced wherever possible by original receipts (train/bus fares etc)
  • Car mileage claims are based on the current rate agreed by the Finance Committee (currently 25p/mile)
  • Reimbursement will be by cheque or electronic bank transfer
  • Payments in cash will not normally be made
  • Parking costs will not normally be paid.

CCCBR Annual Meeting

Travel to the annual meeting of the Council will be reimbursed for the 5 elected CCCBR representatives only.

Mileage rates on a return journey:

  • Any round trip up to 100 miles at 25p/mile
  • On a longer round trip, the first 100 miles will be reimbursed at 25p/mile, and all mileage over 100 miles will be reimbursed at 15p/mile.

Train, coach or air fares may be claimed and must be evidenced by a receipt. Train and air travel must be 2nd class/economy class.

If the venue of the meeting is more than 3 hours travel time from home (by the shortest route), and the start time of the meeting/event is before 10am, budget overnight accommodation and breakfast may be claimed at cost, to a maximum of £100, for the night before the start of the meeting. This must be supported by a receipt.

Accommodation on the evening after meeting has ended may only be claimed if the venue of the meeting is more than 4 hours travel time from home by the shortest route.

Parking overnight and at the meeting venue may be claimed.

Drinks, lunch and dinner are the responsibility of the representative and may not be claimed from the Association.

Training Courses

All Association or District training courses should set a course fee for attendees at a level which aims to cover the cost of organising and running the training course, but without making any significant profit. This should include the cost of:

  • reproduction of training course materials, postage etc
  • catering (such as tea, coffee, cakes, biscuits, and lunch if provided)
  • tower donations
  • travel at 25p/mile for the course tutor
  • other costs will be considered at the Trustees discretion only

Any profits from training courses are donated to the BRF or SYRF.

If any individual Officer or Member of the Association is asked to organise a training course for a specific tower or group of people, or to attend practices regularly to assist with progress, the tutor/helper should enter into a private agreement with the tower and ringers involved if reimbursement is desired.

District Expenses

District secretarial expenses (such as bulk copying, paper, printer ink, envelopes and postage) may be claimed from the Treasurer on production of relevant receipts.

Production and postal distribution costs for newsletters and event publicity may also be claimed by submitting the relevant receipts to the Treasurer, or by asking the supplier to submit the invoice directly to the Treasurer for direct payment. Use of email and the SCACR website is actively encouraged to minimise these expenses.

Soundbow

The cost of reprographic production and postal distribution of Soundbow may be claimed from the Treasurer on production of relevant receipts.

Association Social Events

The price of the event ticket should be set to recover the cost of the event expenses.

If supplier payment is required in advance of tickets being sold (e.g. hall hire, band/music, food orders, equipment hire, copying and printing), these costs may be claimed from the Treasurer in advance of the event on production of a receipt, or an invoice sent to the Treasurer for direct payment to the supplier.

All ticket monies should be given to the Treasurer for banking, or should be paid directly into the Association bank account. Expenses should be paid from ticket receipts only with the prior agreement of the Treasurer.

Bell Restoration Fund

The BRF Secretary or a District BRF Representative may claim reimbursement for the travel required to carry out a bell or tower inspection.

Sussex Young Ringers Fund (The Reg Johnson and Harold Wood Memorial Fund)

The adult organiser(s) of a Sussex Young Ringers event or practice may claim the following expenses from this fund:

  • Mileage to/from practices, at the rate of 25p/mile.
  • Refreshment/catering costs
  • Tower donations

It is not expected that young ringers attending Sussex Young Ringer events should have to pay towards the expenses above.

If Sussex Young Ringers are entered in Regional or National Competitions then the following additional expenses may be claimed:

  • Competition entry fees
  • Travel to the competition and accommodation/breakfast for the competition Team Manager and one other adult helper (per team) at the same rates as for CCCBR representatives above.
  • Travel to the competition and accommodation/breakfast for the young person and one parent/guardian per young person at the same rates as for CCCBR representatives above.

Version 1.0: Approved: 18 October 2017

Promoting and Supporting Bellringing in Sussex

The Sussex County Association of Change Ringers was founded on 24 January 1885. Today we have about 1200 members from more than 130 church towers right across Sussex. Our aims, which have changed little since those early days, are to promote and support change ringing on bells in Sussex.

Interested in Learning to Ring?

Bellringing is a social hobby that exercises both mind and body - it's a great way to make new friends! Bellringers in Sussex would welcome you as a new recruit! Take a look at our What is Bellringing? and Learning to Ring pages to find out more. Donate Now to support our work.

A Brief History of the SCACR

There is a long history of bells being hung in the churches of Sussex, a number are still in existence that, although not dated, can with confidence be dated back to the thirteenth century. Gradually single bells were added to, and bell fittings were altered to give more control over the sounding of them. Bell foundries were established in Sussex to cast new bells for local churches due in part to the problems of transporting heavy goods any distance.

With more control of the bells, the order in which they sounded could be altered and so change ringing was born. Dating back to the sixteenth century there are numerous records of payment for ringers across Sussex, from Bosham and Pagham in the west to Bodiam and Hailsham in the east. New rings of bells were cast to provide the musical instruments for change ringing to be practised upon.

Some of the methods being rung would be familiar to ringers today. The first peal of 5040 changes by Sussex ringers was completed at Horsham in 1766. This was Grandsire Triples and it is possible that over thirty years earlier this method was being practised in Chichester. In those days bellringing was seen very much as a secular sport to be carried out by the upper class tradesman of the town. This was the case right into the nineteenth century, however things were already changing. The Oxford Movement was developing and this resulted in more control being taken by the clergy over the bells hung in churches. This led to the formation of ringing societies up and down the country, however Sussex lagged a few years behind the pioneers. The situation was soon to be rectified.

At Brighton the formation of a Sussex ringing society had been discussed but had got no further than just talk. The catalyst was the installation of a new ring of bells at St Peter’s church in Brighton, and one of those taught to ring was George Attree. He was a well-connected business man in the town and through his endeavours our present Association was formed. He called a meeting at Brighton in December 1884 and the Sussex County Association of Change Ringers was officially formed in January 1885. The Association had 251 members from 25 towers across Sussex, and George Attree was the first secretary. The Bishop of Chichester was president; there was initially no master.

Many bellringers from Sussex have served in the armed forces. Those who never returned from the First World War are commemorated in the Roll of Honour.

Today, the Association has about 1,300 members ringing at 139 towers. The aims of the modern association are similar to those when it was first formed. The SCACR has survived and evolved to meet changing times and needs. It is in a strong position to continue supporting and promoting bellringing in Sussex into the future.

David Kirkaldy (Master of the SCACR 2010-2013) has written a book about the first 125 years of the association: "The Sussex County Association of Change Ringers - 1885-2010"

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