52. Treasurer. The duties of this officer vary in different societies. In probably the majority of cases he acts as a banker, merely holding the funds deposited with him, and paying them out on the order of the society signed by the secretary. His annual report, which is always required, in this case consists of merely a statement of the amount on hand at the commencement of the year, the amount received during the year (stating from what source received), the total amount paid out by order of the society, and the balance on hand. When this report is presented it is referred to an "auditing committee," consisting of one or two persons, who examine the treasurer's books and vouchers, and certify on his report that they "have examined his accounts and vouchers and find them correct, and the balance on hand is," etc., stating the amount on hand. The auditing committee's report being accepted is equivalent to a resolution of the society to the same effect, namely, that the treasurer's report is correct.
In the case here supposed, the real financial statement is made either by the board of trustees, or by the secretary or some other officer, according to the Constitution of the society. The principles involved, are, that every officer who receives money is to account for it in a report to the society, and that whatever officer is responsible for the disbursements, shall report them to the society. If the secretary, as in many societies, is really responsible for the expenses, the treasurer merely paying upon his order, then the secretary should make a full report of these expenses, so classified as to enable the society to readily see the amounts expended for various purposes.
It should always be remembered that the financial report is made for the information of members. The details of dates and separate payments for the same object, are a hinderance to its being understood, and are useless, as it is the duty of the auditing committee to examine into the details and see if the report is correct.
Every disbursing officer should be careful to get a receipt whenever he makes a payment; these receipts should be preserved in regular order, as they are the vouchers for the payments, which must be examined by the auditing committee. Disbursing officers cannot be too careful in keeping their accounts, and they should insist upon having their accounts audited every time they make a report, as by this means any error is quickly detected and may be corrected. When the society has accepted the auditing committee's report that the financial report is correct, the disbursing officer is relieved from the responsibility of the past, and if his vouchers were lost afterwards, it would cause no trouble. The best form for these financial reports depends upon the kind of society, and is best determined by examining those made in similar societies.
The following form can be varied to suit most cases: (when the statement of receipts and expenses is very long, it is often desirable to specify the amounts received from one or two particular sources, which can be done immediately after stating the total receipts; the same course can be taken in regard to the expenditures):
The undersigned, Treasurer of the M. L. Society, begs leave to submit the following annual report:
The balance on hand at the commencement of the year was --- dollars and --- cents. There was received from all sources during the year, --- dollars and --- cents; during the same time the expenses amounted to --- dollars and --- cents, leaving a balance on hand of --- dollars and --- cents. The annexed statement of receipts and expenditures will show in detail the sources from which the receipts were obtained, and the objects to which the expenditures have been applied. All of which is respectfully submitted.
S-- M--, Treasurer M. L. S.
The "Statement of receipts and expenditures" can be made, by simply giving a list of receipts, followed by a list of expenses, and finishing up with the balance on hand. The auditing committee's certificate to the correctness of the account should be written on the statement. Often the statement is made out in the form of an account, as follows:
Dr. The M. L. S. in acct. with S. M., Treas. Cr. ----------------------------------------------------------------------- 1874. 1874.
Dec. 31. To rent of hall .. $500 00 Jan. 1. By balance on hand '' Gas ........... 80 00 from last year's '' Stationery .... 26 50 account .......... $ 21 13 '' Janitor ....... 360 00 Dec. 31. By initiation fees 95 00 '' Balance on hand 24 63 '' members' dues .. 875 00 ------- ------- $991 13 $991 13
We do hereby certify that we have examined the accounts and vouchers of the treasurer, and find them correct; and that the balance in his hands is twenty-four dollars and sixty-three cents. R. V., J. L., Audit Comm.