Treasurer's Corner

July 2018

Budgets! A subject that has been included in Treasurers Corner before, but I feel it bears repeating.

Hopefully, you will have produced a budget for this current financial year, showing your expected income and expenditure till the year end. It's all very well producing a budget but it's of no use if you don't monitor it against what is actually happening and if necessary consider what actions to take if it looks like there are going to be significant differences.

You can use the previous year's figures as a starting point for your budget and increase them to take into account any rises in expenditure e.g. an increase in hall rent, cost of speakers.

Budgets will also be important for any WI that agrees to the use of their account for the financial aspects of a Group activity. Under the new Group system, the income and expenditure related to such activities must go through an individual WI bank account. As such the WI should agree with the organiser of the event what the costs of the event e.g. coach travel, entry fees etc will be, how many tickets need to be sold and at what price to cover the expenditure.

This is exactly what we do at Federation as well as producing an overall Federation budget, each subcommittee produces its own for the events it organises. The budgets are agreed by the Board of Trustees and afterwards the actual expenditure is compared to the budget.

All of this seems obvious but there have been situations in the past where WIs have found themselves out of pocket due to not producing a budget.

Gillian Neville

June 2018

There have been a few enquiries recently about paying speakers from other charities. I therefore thought it was a good opportunity to clarify the rules regarding payments and donations to other charities.

In the past, it has always been stressed that as a charity, each WI could not pay another charity which did not share the same aims and objectives as the WI.

However in 2016, the guidance changed so that if your speaker brings and invoice from the charity on whose behalf they are speaking, it is permissible for your WI to make the cheque payable to that charity. This is then regarded as payment for services of a speaker from that charity, rather than as a donation, which is not permissible under the Charity Commission and NFWI rules.

If a speaker from a charity does not bring an invoice then any payment should be made direct to the speaker.

Any collection for a charity should take place after your meeting has closed and money raised in that collection should be given directly to the speaker.

This guidance only applies to speakers at your meetings speaking on behalf of a charity. Any fundraising and donations your WI may wish to make must follow the guidelines set out in 'A WI Guide to Raising Funds for Projects, Causes or Appeals' produced by NFWI and which can be found on here -

A hard copy is available on request.

Gillian Neville

May 2018

It is May again and time for your WIs Annual Meeting to take place. Your Treasurer will present the accounts for the past year and perhaps she will report that you have made a surplus on your income over expenditure. What does your WI plan to do with this surplus, particularly if it is significant?

It is sensible to keep about six months' running costs of your WI in reserve, but the WI constitution allows several things you may do with any other surplus:

  • You may pay for each member of your WI to receive a copy of West Kent News each month
  • You may cover the cost of refreshments at your meetings over the next year
  • You may make a donation to a community project which will benefit all your members (e.g. the hall where you hold your meetings)
  • You may make a donation to Denman College, ACWW or West Kent Federation
  • You may provide a bursary for one of your members to attend Denman College. The cost of a basic two night course is between £300 and £350
  • You may pay for an event which must be of interest to and be able to be attended by all your members.

Whatever you plan to do must be discussed and agreed upon by all your members before any action is taken.

Gillian Neville

April 2018

Hello, my name is Gillian Neville and I am honoured to have been voted in as your new Federation Treasurer.

I have been a member of Cobham & Luddesdown WI since 2011 and their Treasurer for the last five years. I joined the Board of Trustees in 2016 and have been an Assistant Treasurer to Gill Bowden as well as a member of the Performing Arts, Leisure & Sports sub-committee.

I hope to meet many of you over the coming months, especially at the Treasurer's training days being planned for July. If you have any queries or issues please don't hesitate to phone me here at Ethel Hunt Lodge or email on

Finally, may I take this opportunity to wish Gill all the best for the future and to thank her guidance over the last two years.

Gillian Neville

March 2018

Many of you have been asking whether it's possible to pay money due to the Federation using on line banking. Now that we have successfully negotiated the change over to a new accounting software package, we have been looking at ways we can best manage this.

When you receive your April monthly statement, you will see that we have included our bank account details should you wish to pay us via online banking. If you are only paying the amount on the monthly statement, as part of your instruction to your bank please show which month's statement you are paying. If you are paying a different amount to that shown on the monthly statement, please email our book-keeper on to let him know exactly what you are paying. In this way we will be able to keep track of what you are paying and maintain an accurate balance in our records.

Please also remember that Charity Commission and WI rules state that there must be dual control when making any online payments. This means that one of your signatories must set up the payment and another of your signatories must release the payment. You will therefore need to arrange for at least two of your signatories (preferably three) to be approved by your bank for internet banking.

This is the last Treasurer's Corner that I write as I am standing down from the Board of Trustees at the Annual Council Meeting on 21 March. I have been a Trustee for ten years and Federation Treasurer for six and I would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone for their interest and the support I have received over the past few years and to pass on good wishes to the next Federation Treasurer.

Gill Bowden

February 2018

As you pay your annual subscription, have you ever wondered how many members there are in the WI? I thought I would share the figures which were produced by NFWI and circulated at the Autumn Council Meeting, attended by Federation Chairman and Treasurers from all over England and Wales in early November. These membership numbers were accurate at 30 October 2017.

Kent-West Kent Federation has 7,632 members and we are the sixth biggest Federation, the only ones larger being Essex, Cheshire, Hampshire, Surrey and Lancashire. In total there were 221,984 members in England and Wales.

The NFWI Annual Raffle was also drawn at the Autumn Council Meeting and once again a member from Kent-West Kent won one of the prizes which I hope she is enjoying. NFWI retains 40% of the proceeds of this raffle and distributes the remaining portion to the Federations, the amount being received being a proportion of the raffle tickets sold by that Federation. Members of Kent-West Kent Federation as usual, supported the raffle enthusiastically, and as a result we have received the sum of £1330.24.

This money is put into the Bursary Fund to assist with the payment of not only the NFWI Raffle Bursaries but the other bursaries offered as well. Other sources of income put into the Bursary Fund are the interest received on our fixed-term deposits and donations made at the Annual Council Meeting to the Lucky Denman Draw.

So, please continue to purchase NFWI Raffle tickets when they are on sale in the summer - you may be the lucky winner and you will also be supporting the bursaries offered to our members.

Gill Bowden

January 2018

A happy New Year to you all.

We recently held an IFE get-together when some of the newly appointed IFEs updated us on their recent training and we discussed a number of the points which are raised regularly when examining a WI's accounts. I thought I would share some of these with you.

  • The column entitled Committee Expenses should only include expenses incurred by members of the committee, i.e. postage, stationery, travel etc. Reimbursement for any items purchased by the committee members for events and meetings should be shown under the relevant heading, e.g. expenses of meetings, fund-raising, expenses, WI activities etc.
  • It is good practice to maintain a daybook where all the information about payments and receipts are recorded at the time. This practice will also enable the books to be kept in case anything should happen which causes your treasurer to be unable to continue with her post. The daybook should be passed to the IFE with the other accounts information thus providing an additional source against which the accounts can be checked.
  • If you are using the WI accounts spreadsheet, please remember to save a copy with a different name before starting to use it. In this way you will always have a clean copy available. It is also a good idea to keep backup copies on two memory sticks, one of which should be passed to another committee member for safe-keeping, also allowing the accounts to be maintained if the treasurer is incapacitated for any reason.

I hope you find these comments helpful.

Gill Bowden

December 2017

First of all, I would like to send you all my very best wishes for a Happy Christmas and hope you enjoy all your celebrations, both with your families and with your WI.

As I write this, a training course for WI Independent Financial Examiners has just been held and I would like to welcome the six new IFEs who have been approved to examine WI accounts.

One of the items discussed at the training course was the new acting as agent arrangement for subscriptions and Federation tickets and it was confirmed that the revised financial statement, which will show these new arrangements, should be used by Kent-West Kent Federation for the current financial year. Copies of this new financial statement will be sent to all WIs in an end of month posting in good time for completion of your accounts, and it is included in the latest version (August 2017) of the WI accounts spreadsheet, which can be downloaded from the MyWI website or I can email you a copy on request.

If you are using the old accounts book, it will be necessary to adjust the totals for the year in order to transfer these to the correct section of the new financial statement. Otherwise, you may wish to transfer your year-to-date figures to the new accounts book and continue with the new version until the year end.

If you would like a WI trained IFE to examine your accounts at the year end, please contact Elizabeth Patterson who is the IFE Administrator.

Gill Bowden

November 2017

As you are aware, it is mandatory to be registered with the Charity Commission if your WI's annual income is over £5000 and I know many of you will be considering whether to de-register from the Charity Commission as a result of changes to the accounting procedures recently announced by NFWI. If you do decide to de-register, your WI will become an unregistered charity; you should not use any charity registration number but you will still be able to claim gift aid.

If you do decide to remain registered with the Charity Commission, I would like to remind you that, in addition to the completion of the annual return showing your WI's income and expenditure, other information must be recorded. All details must be submitted on-line and a password is necessary to access this function.

  • All trustees (i.e. committee members) of your WI must be listed with their full name, address and date of birth. It is important to keep these details up to date and not to leave on trustees who have resigned for any reason listed.
  • The address of one of your trustees must be shown as the 'registered address' of you WI - not Ethel Hunt Lodge.
  • A registered email address is also required. As well as enabling the acknowledgement of receipt of your annual return, this is very necessary as it is to this email address that a new password is sent if the old one has been lost or forgotten.

The information recorded on the Charity Commission website regarding your WI is available to any member of the public and it is important to remember that other organisations, such as banks or grant-making bodies, use Charity Commission records to authenticate applicants details.

Gill Bowden

October 2017

I have frequently been asked whether WIs may subsidise outings or other events for their members. The short answer is 'no' as this course of action is against WI rules which prohibit use of WI funds in this way. All outings must be paid for in full in advance by members taking part. There is an exception however.

If your WI has a surplus in excess of its estimated requirements, WI funds may be used to pay for an event of outing, which must be of interest to all members, and must take place at a time when all your members are in a position to attend. The decision to arrange this event or outing must be agreed by all your members and must be recorded in the minute book.

If you wish to donate from your surplus, you must abide by Charity Commission and WI guidance. You may, for example

  • Give a bursary to attend an educational course for one (or more) of your members
  • Donate to a local project which will benefit all members of your community
  • Give a donation to the hall where you hold your meetings
  • Give a donation to Denman College
  • Give a donation to ACWW
  • Give a donation to Ethel Hunt Lodge

If you would like further information on this, NFWI have produced a Guide to Fund Raising for WIs which is available to download from the WI Moodle or, if you contact me, I can send you a copy.

Gill Bowden

September 2017

As I write this we have just held the two Treasurer's Training sessions and I hope that all the new treasurers who attended now feel more confident in tackling their very important task. I am aware that a few of you were disappointed in not being able to attend and we are considering arranging another session to take place either later this year or early next year.

One of the topics discussed was of course the changes recently announced by NFWI regarding the new accounting requirements for dealing with membership subscriptions and tickets for Federation events. NFWI have stated that the new programmed spreadsheet should be available for download sometime in August 2017 - if this was the case, I will already have a copy and can email it to you on request. Sadly, I have no information regarding the date the new accounts book will be available.

If your WI claims Gift Aid, I would also like to remind you that the changes in the way membership subscriptions are treated will impact on the sum that can be claimed from HMRC as only the amount of the subscription kept by your WI can be included in your claim. This may have a significant impact on your finances next year and should be borne in mind when you are preparing your budget for 2018/19.

Still on the topic of Gift Aid, I should remind you that if your WI claims Gift Aid you may not charge any entrance fee to visitors to your WI and if any of your members who have signed up for Gift Aid attends a course at Denman College, you may not claim Gift Aid on their subscription for that year. This is because HMRC deems that members are in receipt of a benefit because their Denman course fees are lower that those charged to non-members.

Please do contact me if you would like any further clarification.

Gill Bowden

August 2017

With the centenary of the Federation occurring next year, I am sure many of you are already planning celebrations to mark this event. You may decide that some fund-raising is needed and it might be a good idea to start this as soon as possible.

Any funds raised this year should of course e shown in your WIs accounts under Fund Raising and the sum raised will be reflected in your WIs financial statement prepared in March 2018. However, I expect that most of your celebrations will take place in the summer 2018, during the following financial year.

It would therefore be a good idea to keep an additional separate record of funds raised (which may have resulted from efforts taking place in more than one financial year) so you have an accurate idea of how much has been raised in total. This will help decision making on whether your members will need to be charged to attend the celebratory event. In addition, you will be able to produce a financial statement after the event showing in total how much had been raised and how much had been spent.

I would also like to remind you that each member of the WI is entitled to attend 11 meetings every year totally free of charge. Therefore you should be aware, if you are planning to sell tickets of make any change for your event, that any centenary celebratory event cannot be held on the same day as your monthly meeting.

I hope this information will prove helpful to you.

Gill Bowden