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Club Law and Management

by Philip Smith, Secretary of the A.C.C.

ACC Launches Book-keeping and Payroll Service for Clubs

The ACC is pleased to announce the launch of a comprehensive book-keeping and payroll service designed for Conservative Clubs and operated in conjunction with YDP Limited.

This service is intended for those Conservative Clubs that seek relief for hard-pressed officials grappling with the day-to-day aspects of financial control, financial reporting and general book-keeping duties.

This system, approved and recommended by the ACC, is already relied upon by many clubs across the country to support the work of the committee.

The committee and officials remain in control of the decisionmaking process within the club, but have the comfort of a professional team working in the background.

Club officers send figures, such as bar takings and payroll time sheets, to the club’s designated book-keeping team which is on hand to give advice and answer questions.

The book-keeping team deals directly with suppliers, service providers, HMRC and others taking the day-to-day mechanics of book-keeping from the shoulders of officials.

At each committee meeting reports are provided, often by e-mail, which present the committee with the club’s precise financial position.

In this way officials are given the information they need to make the important decisions on running their club, in the certain knowledge that the financial and regulatory matters are being dealt with accurately and on-time.

The ACC service offers the following:
Book-keeping Personalised weekly cash control sheets
Cash control systems and reports Purchase ledger maintenance
Weekly aged creditor reporting by supplier and date
BACS and cheque payments where authorised
Bank account reconciliation Creditor payment plan where required
VAT accounts and quarterly returns
Liaison with creditors and HMRC Monthly income and expenditure analysis
Reports, cash flow forecast and budgeting

Payroll
Payments to HMRC
Weekly payroll calculations
Payslip and P45 printing
Year end returns and on-line filing
Preparation of P60s
Holiday control reports
Statutory regulations and advice

The book-keeping service can be tailored to meet the exact requirements of each club. It costs on average £100 plus VAT per week for book-keeping and £15 plus VAT per week for payroll. For an exact quote please contact 01933 358080 or info@ydp.co.uk.

Together the ACC and YDP are also able to offer extremely competitive quotes for a club’s annual audit, an area of club life that has recently become much more regulated.

This increased regulation regarding club audits may result in additional costs and the ACC and YDP are working together to reduce this burden where possible. The ACC also feels that the use of an external expert would be highly beneficial for those clubs with cash flow and financial difficulties.

This new, expert service is not just intended for clubs seeking help for officials but also for those clubs facing financial difficulties. This service is also supported by a telephone hotline during the day and in the evenings. For more information see www.ydp.co.uk.

Questions and Answers

Q. As a result of Equalities Act, which meant that all our Lady Associate Members became full Members, the Steward’s daughter, who was previously a non-voting Lady Associate Member, has become a full voting Member of the Club and this year has stood for election to the Committee.

The lack of candidates means that the Steward’s daughter will be joining the Committee without a vote taking place and we are concerned that her presence may be difficult when the Committee deals with employment matters.

A. You are quite correct in raising this point since the relationship of father and daughter will mean that following the AGM, the Steward’s daughter will have to declare a vested interest and as a result she will not be able to participate in discussion or voting on any matter relating to any employee of the Club or to any matter relating to any Club activity relating to, or in connection with, her husband’s duties.

In short, her activities within the Committee will be significantly reduced. Please note this advice is not a reflection on this Member’s ability to carry out a Committee role, it is standard advice given to any management situation where a clear conflict of interest occurs.

I think in fairness the Steward’s daughter will want to be made aware of her requirement to declare her vested interest prior to her taking up the Office for which she has been nominated. This same advice would apply to any close family relationship such as husband and wife.

 
 
 
 
 

Q. We are just preparing our accounts in order for them to be ‘received’ by the Members at the Annual General Meeting. We have modified our Rules to disapply the need for a complete audit in order to save costs on the understanding that a cheaper accountants report could be produced and provided to the FSA. Regarding the Members, exactly what financial documents need to be ‘received’ by the Members; preliminarily we have produced a profit and loss account to be provided to Members at the Meeting.

A.The Club’s audit requirements are determined by the Industrial and Provident Societies Act and in view of the Club’s financial parameters, the Club’s turnover is in excess of £90,000 when the bar turnover and other income is combined, the Club is required to carry out an accountant’s report.

So far as the profit and loss account is concerned, there is no reason why the Members should not be provided with a simple form of balance sheet showing receipts and payments as you have described. I entirely understand that most Members will find this type of account easier to follow than the full financial statements. However, importantly, it is the financial statements which must be made available to the Members at the AGM since the Committee is asking for these accounts to be ‘received’ following their ‘approval’ by the Committee.

If you wish to ‘present’ the accounts in the form of the balance sheet referred to above at the actual meeting then this is in order. The important point is that the full financial statements are displayed prior to the meeting and made available to the Members.

 

Q. For our election, are we legally obliged to send ballot papers out to the Members through the post? We have always operated in this way but with the increase in postage costs it is becoming a considerable expense.

 A. It is not a requirement under the terms of the Club’s Rules for ballot papers to be sent out to Club Members but since this has been the practice for some time it would be sensible for an Annual General Meeting to agree for this practice to cease if this is what the Committee wish to propose.
 
 

Q. We have just held our yearly elections and a Member who previously served on the Committee but resigned part way through his tenure was re-elected. Some Members have said he should not have been allowed to stand as he had previously resigned from the Committee. Is this correct?

A. I confirm that the Rules would not prevent a member who had previously resigned from Office from standing for re-election. Therefore, the re-election of the Committee member in question was, strictly speaking, under the Rules, acceptable. However, my own view is that members should not take the resignation from the Committee too lightly. If members are prepared to stand for election and to serve on a Committee then they must also be prepared to accept collective management decisions and collective responsibility. It is not possible for decisions to be made which are entirely agreeable to all members of a Committee but if a person joins a management team, then I consider it to be important to fulfil the terms of an election period even when decisions may not always go an individual’s way

 

Q. A question has been raised regarding our CCTV system. Currently the CCTV is positioned in order to monitor the entrance to the Club and the feed is displayed on a monitor in the bar area so that the Steward can see who enters the Club. The feed can also be seen by the Members in the bar area and privacy issues have been raised; should we be concerned over this set up?

A. I think the short answer is that you shouldn’t be too concerned about the current way the Club operates its CCTV system. I have never heard of a Club being prosecuted for using the system that you describe. For your information though, here is the specific advice from the Information Commissioners Office, ICO, on the question you pose. The entire advice from the ICO on using CCTV Cameras is also attached.

Viewing of live images on monitors should usually be restricted to the operator unless the monitor displays a scene which is also in plain sight from the monitor location.

Example: Customers in a bank can see themselves on a monitor screen. This is acceptable as they cannot see anything on the screen which they could not see by looking around them. The only customers who can see the monitor are those who are also shown on it.

Example: Monitors in a hotel reception area show guests in the corridors and lifts, i.e. out of sight of the reception area. They should be turned so that they are only visible to staff, and members of the public should not be allowed access to the area where staff can view them.

I will leave it to you to decide, following this advice, if the Club requires any change to its standard operating procedure regarding the use and operation of its CCTV equipment.