The usual roles can be found in the treasurer section of Qf&P (13.43 & 44) but each AM does things slightly differently:
Acting as Agent
This means that you are acting on behalf of someone. That money technically belongs to another organisation or charity.
For example – London Quaker Property Trust own all the meeting houses in London, but the day-to-day maintenance and hiring management is done by the Area Meeting, delegated down to Premises, who delegate it in turn to volunteers or employees. The money coming in can go into a separate account, or into the same account as the Local Meeting although this isn’t recommended.
Another example is when you have a collection for a charity and then claim gift aid on those donations – as the money was donated to that other charity, that part of the gift aid is claimed, acting as agent and you then pass it on accordingly.
Area Meeting Accountant
Accepts the consolidated accounts, and ensures they fit the SORP or legal required criteria for a charity. Any necessary audit would be done by a different accounting company, but the AM accountant would provide the necessary documentation.
Depending on how the financial systems are set up, each Local Meeting treasurer may create a SoFA (statement of financial activities) for the LM, or only the AM account has one.
Area Meeting Treasurer
The Area Meeting is the charity body; therefore the treasurer handles the AM accounts as charity accounts. They oversee the LM/Premises treasurers, create the budgets for the AM, and often also deal with insurance and other financial matters, reporting to or part of Trustees they give advice on proposed projects etc. that have a financial aspect.
Someone who takes on part of the treasurer role to speak to the meeting, encourage members and attenders to donate and usually deals with the weekly collection. They may also handle all donations, claim gift aid, and run the annual appeal or ‘schedule’.
Someone who pulls all the LM accounts together and consolidates them with the AM accounts. Technically all the money held in LM accounts belongs to AM as it is the charity. Where there is both LQPT & SELAM monies you have two charities with interest in the one bank account.
Often a Quaker treasurer for a different LM (or an ex-treasurer, or someone with financial literacy who will be able to understand the accounts) who looks at the end of year spreadsheet and evidence and checks various data points to ensure that the accounts are accurate.
For example – one examiner recently chose three dates and asked me to find the hiring contracts/invoices associated with that date, and then to show where they were in the spreadsheet as both an invoice and a payment coming in. To ensure that all three were the same and that credit control was happening. They also asked about half a dozen expenses and asked for minutes/approval and evidence of the expense and payment. Again, this ensured that they existed and were for the same amount.
Local Meeting Treasurer/Premises (s)
If this is a joint account you may hold both roles – handling the LM and property account(s), explaining financial matters to LM members/attenders, collecting weekly/monthly contributions, and banking them, creating the LM budget and giving the LM advice on proposed projects etc. that have a financial aspect.
If there are separate bank accounts, it may be that the Premises committee have a treasurer who oversees the Premises account(s). Often only where there are complicated financial structures – such as a building fund, acting as agent, or where the hiring of the building is combined with trading – and therefore is kept separate from the local meeting’s funds.