Keeping records of unit accounts

Take control of unit finances by keeping up-to-date accounting records

The Finance policy sets out what unit trustees need to do to manage unit funds and accounts.

If you’re a unit leader, you can pass responsibility for keeping records on to someone who has the right experience and knowledge. This could be

  • A member of your team
  • An affiliate member
  • Another adult

You need to follow the correct recruitment and vetting procedures for this person. And you can use our treasurer role description.

How to keep accounts

Keeping proper accounting records is a legal requirement for everyone who handles charity money.

This means that you must create a basic income and expenditure record for your unit. You can do this in the way that works best for you. Typically, this will either be in an account book, in a spreadsheet or using a financial accounts package or app.

We’ve created the unit accounts package spreadsheet for each of the three different Charity Regulators. And we recommend that units that are registered as charities use these. Visit  Girlguiding Scotland for a nation-specific accounts pack. Or download the following:

The unit accounts pack spreadsheet works best if you’re using Microsoft Office. If you are having problems with the accounts pack, have a look at the accounts pack instructions. Or contact the HQ Finance team for advice on [email protected]. You can also contact the Finance team if you are using an Apple device and having trouble with the spreadsheet.

Receipts

It’s a good idea to give receipts for any income or payments you get. You can use a duplicate receipt book or another method that works for the unit. These should have a unique reference number which you can then use in your accounts.

When you spend unit money, you must get a receipt or invoice. It’s useful to give these a payment reference number. This makes it easier to work out which receipt is which.

Money raised through fundraising

It's important that you know how much money you have raised through fundraising. So, you should keep records of these funds separate from your basic income and expenditure records.

This just means that you need to have a different page in your accounts book. If you’re using the units account pack, there’s a separate tab for recording fundraising.

Taxation

Each individual unit or area of Girlguiding is a separate, independent charitable body. Your local group may reclaim tax on Gift Aid or tax deducted from investment income.

Interest on building society and bank deposit accounts is now paid as a gross amount, but  in some cases the bank may deduct tax. If this happens, it’s usually because the bank doesn’t know your taxable status.

You’ll need to tell your bank about your charitable status for them to stop deducting tax. To do this, you need to show the bank a certificate of charitable status, which can be requested by email from [email protected].

Reviewing your accounts

At the end of each year, units need to produce an annual accounts statement, a statement of assets and liabilities and have their accounts independently reviewed. Find out more about doing your end of year accounts.