As the largest teachers’ union in the UK, it is vital that the NASUWT manages its finances in an open and transparent manner in accordance with the Trade Union and Labour Relations (Consolidation) Act 1992, the legislation by which trade unions must operate. The legislation requires that the Union’s finances are audited annually by an independent auditor and submitted to the Certification Officer.
Resources for administering local association finance
The management of the finances within the Local Association is the responsibility of the elected Officer group. The elected officers are responsible for devising an activity led budget which has been approved by the members of the Local Association via the democratic process. As a part of the Officer group the local treasurer has a vital role to play in the strategic development and monitoring of the budget and making reports to members on the financial health of the local association.
Local Associations must have democratically agreed parameters within which any reimbursement of expenditure will be made, including who can claim for what and the rates and limits on which the claims must be based.
Whilst there are administrative processes that must be adhered to in managing Local Association finance, the Honorary Treasurer and Finance Team at headquarters work hard to ensure that Local Association officers are supported with appropriate tools to make this as straight forward as possible.
This section contains resources for Local Association Treasurers and Officers to administer the finances of the Local Association make returns to the National Union.
- Imprest Claim Form
- Imprest Claim Form (for printing)
- Statement of income/expenditure for period ending 31/12/2012
- Single Sheet Summary of income/expenditure for period ending 31/12/2012
- Officers' Expenses Imprest Claim Form
Please read guidance below in using these forms. All queries relating to finance should be directed to the Finance Team via:
Telephone: 0121 4576150
Practicalities of paying expenses and making claims
Imprest Claims during the Year
1. One of the key roles of the treasurer is to ensure that members are reimbursed promptly and properly for any expenditure they incur whilst carrying out Union activities. It is also essential for them to ensure that there are sufficient funds in the Local Association bank account to meet these payments. In order to do this, the Treasurer will need to submit an Imprest claim form to restore the working capital at regular intervals. All items of income and expenditure should be declared on the Imprest claim form, including bank interest and charges and also any Direct Debits or Standing Orders.
2. The task will be made easier by taking a methodical approach and completing Imprest claim forms on a frequent basis. The frequency will depend on the volume of transactions incurred by the Local Association, but as a rule of thumb, for many Local Associations, claims should be submitted to the Finance Team on a monthly basis after the bank statements have been received. If claims are made at this time, then all the items taken directly out of the bank account can be included in that claim.
3. It should be noted that any cancelled cheques will obviously need to be deducted from the next claim since these will no longer be reducing the bank balance as previously indicated.
4. Receipts or supporting documents should be sent with the Imprest claim which should be paid by the Finance Team within two working days of receipt to the bank account of the Local Association.
5. Confirmation of payment will take the form of an-up-to date Imprest statement recording the transaction. The details of the bank account into which the money was sent is shown on the bottom of this statement.
6. Naturally receipts will not be available for all items of expenditure. However, where official receipts are not available the Treasurer should provide some sort of supporting document indicating to whom the payment was made and the reason for the expenditure. The Treasurer should sign the document as having approved the payment and if appropriate (e.g. where payment is made to a Treasurer himself) have it countersigned by a fellow official.
7. Care must be taken to ensure the correct amount of postage is put on the envelope when making a claim, since this will delay the claim from reaching Rednal – sometimes by as much as a week.
Please Keep the Bottom Copy of the Claim Form for Your Records
8 In order to assist in the preparation of the Imprest claim, there have been a number of forms created for use and guidance prepared on the categorisation of items included on the claim forms. These are:
- notes on how to classify the expenditure under the headings used on the Imprest claim form; (see below)
- a suggested form for officers to claim back their expenses. This is a double-sided form; one side detailing the journeys undertaken and hence providing evidence of the mileage travelled; the other side of the form is a summary across the categories of expenditure which may be incurred enabling the treasurer to compile the Imprest Claim form more easily. (see above)
- a spreadsheet which can be used to help build up the figures from the cheques and bank payments and receipts to be entered onto the actual claim form; (see above)
The cheques should be listed in sequential order on the summary spreadsheet when raised and NOT entered as they are processed through the bank account.
Direct debits and bank charges should be entered below the cheques.
The value of the cheque/direct payment should be entered in the ‘payment amount’ column and then analysed out according to what the expenditure was incurred for. The total of the expenditure columns should equal the total in the ‘payment amount’ column.
How to classify expenditure
Officers’ travelling and expenses (code 0109)
Reimbursed mileage claims, taxi & train fares, parking, subsistence
Telephone (code 0117)
Reimbursed home phone bills, mobile phone bills, internet connections, broadband
Postage (code 0118)
Purchase of stamps, sending of parcels
Printing (code 0126)
Photocopying, printing of newsletters and magazines, letterheads
Stationery (code 0127)
Paper, general office supplies, ink cartridges, publications
Cost of meetings (code 0136)
Room hire, refreshments, travel to meetings by members, seminars and conferences organised by the federation/local association
Annual Conference (code 0145)
Travel, hotels, meals whilst at National Conference
Social functions (code 0163)
Functions of a purely social nature carried out to further the Association’s business
Recruitment expenses (code 0172)
Recruitment meetings, purchases of recruitment items for distribution, recruitment prizes and competitions
Affiliation fees (code 0181)
Regional TUC, trade councils
Officers’ allowances (code 0101)
Honoraria – only if claimed using the correct forms after tax has been deducted.
Subscriptions to NASUWT paid on behalf of officers, providing tax relief is not also claimed personally by the recipient.
Donations (code 0185)
Includes retirement gifts, flowers and cards
Any other expenditure (code 0190)
Includes bank interest/charges*, software, computer leads
* This should never happen!
Capital expenditure (code 0197)
Actual physical hardware. e.g. Fax, filing cabinet, computer, copier
Includes bank interest received, any other refund for expenses noted in the expenditure section of the form, capital equipment advances.
NB Although unlikely, if there is any income it should relate to the areas of the Imprest categories above. So therefore, the code used for income should match that used for expenditure. E.g. A cancelled telephone line returning income would be coded 0117.
Elected representatives of Local Associations to Annual Conference receive a copy of the Union’s Financial Statements in advance of Annual Conference. The Honorary Treasurer then presents the Financial Statements to a Private Session of Annual Conference and responds to any questions that have been submitted on the Financial Statements.
NASUWT members can request a free copy of the most recent financial statement from the Union’s headquarters by e mailing email@example.com or telephoning 0121 453 6150.
The NASUWT audited financial returns can be found on the Certification Officer’s website
Grants to small local associations for national conference
Local associations with an Imprest membership of up to 400 at 1st January are entitled to apply for a grant to support sending elected representatives to National Conference. The maximum grant is £650 according to the table below and awards to individual local associations will be agreed by the Honorary Treasurer in the light of each association’s available reserves.
|No. of Imprest members||Level of grant|
|100 or fewer||£650|
|101 – 200||£500|
|201 – 300||£350|
|301 - 400||£200|
Grant forms are sent out by the Finance Team each year in February to the local association treasurers of those local associations that qualify for this grant.
The claim need to be returned by the designated date which is usually in the middle of March.
Please note that if it is identified that any proportion of this small local association grant has not been spent on attendance at National Conference it will be returnable.
Therefore it is essential that National Conference costs are paid out of the correct local association accounts or recharged to them accordingly.
Unity Trust Bank plc
1. Unity Trust Bank plc is a bank that was set up by trade unions for providing their specific banking needs. It is a bank that services mainly trade unions and the not-for-profit-sector and as such understands that we are not a typical business client. It is the bank that NASUWT uses for its banking services.
2. The Union has negotiated favourable arrangements for the operation of Local Association accounts with Unity Trust Bank. The agreement negotiated with Unity Trust Bank is that an account for a Local Association, Federation or Regional Committee is offered with credit interest and no commission charges for standard services. Clearly, to those Local Associations or Federations who have a small working capital at the bank, this news will be very welcome. It means that, as long as Imprest claims are submitted regularly and the bank account is kept in credit, there is no reason why charges should be incurred.
3. Should your Local Association at any time wish to avail themselves of this facility, the Finance Team will be pleased to assist in the opening of the account. To open an account is very straightforward. Identity checks are carried out without the need to supply documentation such as passports and utility bills.
4. Unity Trust Bank can be contacted on 0845 140 1000, which leads to an office based in Birmingham. The number is answered by an individual and does not lead to an automated service. Alternatively, most details can be found on their website www.unity.co.uk
5. Accounts must be set up with the requirement of two signatories for each transaction, preferably with a pool of more than two people to ease payments during holiday times etc. All signatories must be members of NASUWT and be part of the Local Association in whose name the account is being opened.
6. Internet banking is encouraged. This makes it easy for payments to be made online, removing the need for signatories to be in the same location. Payments can be keyed in by one signatory and then authorised by another, giving the protection of dual authority. For regular claimants, the details can be stored for future use. Bank details are not stored locally, but are stored on the Bank’s computers.
7 Since the NASUWT also banks with Unity Trust, it makes it far easier for problems to be dealt with and sorted out quickly. The Finance Team can review balances and ensure that overdrawn balances are notified to the local treasurer immediately.
8 In addition to the above benefits, Unity Trust understand that the money ultimately belongs to the Union and will transfer the funds back if all signatories are no longer in service to the Union. This does not happen with any other bank, and members’ funds are sitting in some bank accounts to which the Union no longer has access.