By Rahul Sarkar
Role and Responsibilities of a Treasurer in a Housing Society
By Rahul Sarkar
In a housing society’s affairs, the role of a treasurer cannot be undermined. The Treasurer is the backbone of the entire financial framework of the society and accountable for any monetary mismanagement or fraud. In this article, we define the functions of a treasurer for a clear understanding of his scope of work.
Who is a treasurer? What kind of a treasurer should a housing society pick?
A treasurer is the elected office bearer of a housing society who is responsible for financial and legal compliances, assets and liabilities and whose primary job is accurate management and oversight of a society’s financial transactions/undertakings. A society should elect such a person for the role of a treasurer who is financially literate, has a working knowledge of financial and accounting systems and has skills such as attention to detail, meticulous record-keeping habits and sound ethical values.
What does a treasurer do in a housing society?
Often the roles of a Secretary and Treasurer are confused by some people. Such misinterpretation may also occur if one reads the model bye-laws of a State’s housing society in which most financial management duties are assigned to the secretary. (Note that the bye-laws always assign these roles to ‘Secretary’ or ‘any other person designated for the task by the MC – which means the Treasurer). Also, the role of a secretary is administrative and communication-oriented in nature, while the treasurer is the one who is actually responsible for carrying out finance-related tasks.
The Treasurer is required to:
- Deposit all the monies received by the society to the bank/depository and issue receipts to the payers.
- To keep a record of member’s contributions towards maintenance, reparation, common funds etc, to bring to the Secretary’s notice any late payments or consistently defaulted payments, and to implement a functional due collection procedure that the Secretary/committee members can follow.
- Pay all the vendors, service providers, etc through cheques, bills of exchange, etc. by being the signatory of the cheques or (transferer of online payments).
- Reconcile member’s ledgers, passbooks, statements, bills received from depositors with respect to the general accounts ledgers and have them reconciled annually too.
- To compute maintenance charges, parking charges, premium payable by the transferor, and to compute the contribution amount of the members in any other charges, verify dues by members and interest payable by defaulters.
- Create a financial transaction policy when paying the vendors and creditors petty cash policy for internal expenses, cash withdrawal policy, etc to be followed by the MC
- To prepare an annual budget of the society
- Prepare the budget for an ongoing or future activity, such as festival celebrations, repair and renovation, etc.
- To prepare a revised financial forecast based on the actual expenses on a project or for the overall year
- To open and manage the society’s bank account
- Keep a detailed and true account of all of society’s financial transactions
- To manage and make timely entries in all account books, manage cash flow, securities, vouchers, receipts, invoices counterfoils, bank statements.
- To ensure that petty cash doesn’t go over Rs 5000 and any amount over Rs 1500 is paid by cheque
- To maintain audit memos and prepare audit rectification reports in response
- To produce society’s accounts before the external Accounts Auditor
- To prepare monthly, annual account statements and the society’s profit loss balance sheet
- To make available any financial records that members want to inspect and to also produce the same for the Registrar, Managing Committee or other government authorities
- To ensure that there is an updated inventory and financial maintenance/reparation records of all fixed and moveable assets of the society
- To compute insurance on assets and pay regular premiums
- To advise the Managing Committee on where and how to invest profits or surplus and alternatively create investment guidelines/policies keeping in mind the suitability of the investment with respect to the society’s needs, considering risk factors, society’s financial capacity, and calculating ROI effectively
- Recommend and create fundraising strategies for the society
- To set forth rules and regulations on how the funds should be utilised
- Ensure compliance of fund utilisation as predetermined by policy/plan, observe and report any wrongdoing to the Managing Committee
- To ensure that the society is compliant with the guidelines of the financial institutions such as co-operative, nationalised banks as well as RBI
- To stringently review and adhere to any legal, contractual or builder-related compliances that impact society’s funds and financial management
- To be well-versed with the society bye-laws so as to be compliant with internal or external rules that directly affect financial undertakings by members, vendors or the society
A treasurer is also allowed to appoint a sub-committee of accountants or finance experts from within the society and supervise their work, however, he remains answerable to the managing committee eventually.