Managing the money

Key points to get right:

• Remember that you may need to prove you have acted properly.
Aim to have a “paper trail” for every non routine spend you make which goes from the minute in your meeting where the spending was approved through to the ordering and delivery of the goods or services.

Have a minimum of 3 signatories on cheque books.
Don’t allow wives and husbands to both be signatories. Avoid, wherever possible, people signing cheques on which they are the payee.

Have a deposit as well as a current account.
Keep all monies not needed for day to day running expenses in a separate account earning as much interest as you can. Give that account an explanatory name like “Maintenance and Development”.

Try to build up a reserve to cover wear and tear maintenance items.
You will find it very difficult indeed to raise money for such work from external funders.

Approach issues involving VAT with extreme caution.
The regulations are complex. We all need to use experts. See ACRE Village Hall leaflets: No. 6 Registering for VAT, No. 18 VAT on Building Works and No. 26 VAT on Fuel and Power.

Get your Hire Charges “right”.
You should have 2 levels of charging for space and equipment: a full rate for private and business hirers and a discounted rate for charities and groups with a socially beneficial purpose. There is no right figure for what you should charge; check on what is being charged locally by other halls for comparable space and facilities and make sure you are competitive.

Make sure everyone on the committee knows how much you need to make each year to break even, not just the Treasurer and Chair.
Have a short slot at each meeting where the treasurer can give a quick, simple update on finance. You may want to use the calculator we have provided at the bottom of the previous page to work out the costs

Share financial information with your community.
They have a right to know. The more realistic you can help them to be about what it costs to run your hall, the more likely they are to make realistic demands of your committee.

Use the expertise you have in your community.
Remember that you can always ask people with financial expertise who don’t want to be full committee members, to join as temporary co-optees to advise on particular problems.

Other sources of help
• There is a range of useful leaflets available form the Finance Hub on a range of issues including taxation and VAT, getting loan finance and fund raising.