MCMC must meet the financial reporting requirements of the Associations Incorporation Act. MCMC's receipts in any year exceed $200,000 which means that under the Act it is a "prescribed association", and has specific reporting requirements including that it must prepare audited accounts for each of MCMC's financial years, and keep its accounting records for 7 years. The audited financial statement is submitted to MCMC's AGM and a summary published in its Annual Report.
MCMC's members and other funding bodies also have expectations of MCMC in terms of accounting for specific monies granted to MCMC or paid to MCMC for services rendered. MCMC employs a part time Finance Officer who uses the MYOB Accounting Plus package for maintaining its accounts. The general ledger accounts are used for overall tracking of the organisation's accounts for auditing, and the job tracking capability is used to track specific income and how it is spent. MCMC retains an accountant who attends Finance Subcommittee meetings, and provides advice on an as-needs basis.
MCMC's budgets are created and maintained on an Excel spreadsheet. Each sheet in the spreadsheet is an identical structure reflecting the general ledger in MYOB and representing a job. The sheets are added vertically first by department of MCMC, and then the departmental figures are added to generate an MCMC-wide budget. The MCMC-wide figures feed another sheet summarizing the current figures in the spreadsheet, and listing previous actual figures and approved budget figures for comparison. Better integration with actual figures maintained by MYOB would be desireable, however MYOB's job budgeting feature is not flexible enough for our needs.
For the Parkland Management Team, all income and expenses are treated in MYOB as one job, however the team maintains a detailed plan of projects and the actual time and major materials spent on them in a project planning package called CA Superproject. Superproject is used to generate cost estimates for funding submissions and to generate cost reports for invoices for works completed. An hourly rate calculated on actual and expected expenses and based on experience is chosen for charging out. Every pay period (i.e. fortnightly) the hours of work completed on each project is entered into Superproject and reconciled with the hours recorded on the MYOB payroll package to ensure there is no mismatch. Superproject provides the Parkland Management Team with an improved ability to keep track of the many projects simultaneously underway. Parkland Management project planning is moving to Microsoft Project as Superproject is no longer maintained by CA.
Quarterly accounts are prepared by staff for the Finance Subcommittee which analyses them, and may make recommendations on them to the Committee of Management, who amend the budget and make other decisions as necessary. A contingency approach is taken to budgeting and in general the operational budget expands during the year as grants and contracts are confirmed. Reports submitted to the Finance Subcommittee include:
- List of cheques written during the quarter generated by MYOB;
- Balance Sheet as of the end of the quarter generated by MYOB
- Profit and loss summary from the budget spreadsheet including actual profit and loss figures from MYOB and comparison with approved budget;
- Receivables report as of the end of the quarter and as of the date of the meeting (invoices are often written as of the end of the quarter generating a large receivable figure which goes down quite quickly as the next quarter progresses) generated by MYOB;
- Payables report as of the end of the quarter generated by MYOB;
- Cash flow summary from the previous few months, and projection for the next 3 months generated using an Excel spreadsheet.
Job Profit and Loss reports from MYOB are used to acquit grants, unless the grant falls in the Parkland Management area in which case a report from SuperProject is used.
MCMC has a detailed finance procedure (view the draft).
Other useful references for financial accountability include the Voluntary Treasurer's Handbook produced by the GST Startup Office.