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       BOWLS OXFORDSHIRE

                       Affiliated To Bowls England

Financial Governance

Draft Policy Paper No: 20

Financial Governance

Bowls Oxfordshire commits to ensuring financial assets are protected by keeping detailed accounts showing all income and expenditure for the Management team and each of the four sections within a single Business account, with a bank of our choosing. Bank reconciliations will occur on the last day of each month, to enable any problems to be identified early. The final annual Income and Expenditure statements and Balance sheet will be submitted to an independent auditor (*) for verification before being presented at the Annual General Meeting. Monthly statements will be requested from the bank showing all transactions conducted through the past month.

(*) An independent auditor is a competent person with no financial management roles for Bowls Oxfordshire and must not be a member of the Executive Committee.

 

The County Treasurer will manage all affiliation fees from clubs and also all the national and county competition entry fees, sending the relevant amount in tandem with the County Administrator, to Bowls England by the due date.

 

Individual sections may need money in advance of activities, which the County Treasurer will provide and all receipts or any surplus will be returned after the activities have been completed. Each section may appoint a Finance officer or contain the role within another position for dealing with financial responsibilities, e.g., the match or competition secretary. It is known that income and expenditure occur each time a match is played, or a competition is organised and generally speaking income should be sufficient to cover costs of that activity. In every case, a match or competition statement should be forwarded to the Treasurer within 2 days, giving details of the match or other activity for the central financial records. To accommodate finance being managed at a devolved level, cheque books may be provided to the section(s) representative to pay expenses, if this can't be done with cash from the concerned match / competition.  Paying in Receipt Books will also be provided so that section reps can pay surplus monies collected directly into the bank. Receipts should be sent whenever possible or alternatively if receipts are not available; details of costs are required and governed by our spending policies e.g., Travel cost reimbursements, match fees etc.

The County Treasurer will provide a template for the information required within a match statement or other activity. The County Treasurer will explore opportunities for allowing players to make card payments for match fees, when attending matches, as people tend to carry less cash currently. The Country Treasurer will also explore opportunities for players travelling to away matches to be reimbursed travel expenses directly to their bank accounts opposed to receiving cheques or to be paid in cash.

 

There will be a minimum of three mandated individuals registered for the account. The account will allow for a single signature to be acceptable up to a specified limit. However, above that limit, two signatures will be required to authorise the payment. This can be accommodated for online banking payments generally. The limit for the County Treasurer will be £1,000 before needing a second signature and for Section representatives will be £300. This will be reviewed annually.  Each section will provide details of the person responsible for handling financial matters annually, but a delay will frequently occur on changing responsibilities due to the lengthy process of changing banking mandates. The County Treasurer will explore opportunities for allowing players to make card payments for match fees, when attending matches, as people tend to carry less cash currently.

 

On the first available date after 31 March 2025, the total sum of the monies held in the past Bowls Oxfordshire account and the BOL and OBA accounts shall be transferred to the new Bowls Oxfordshire account and will be managed by the County Treasurer from 1st April 2025.

 

Bowls Oxfordshire aims to be transparent with the way it manages its’ affairs, and this includes financial management. Therefore, financial reports provided to meetings whether at the AGM or at other times of the year will be available to members to peruse via the county website. Bank balances, details of assets and banking details will not be displayed on the county website for security reasons.

 

The attached appendix A sets out the decisions, to be reviewed annually, for reimbursing individuals for necessary expenses, bursaries, or honorariums to ensure officers remain accountable, but recognising the needs for the work required for the post.

 

As a principle, activities (matches & competitions) need to cover likely expenses from income they generate from players. If there are different expenses associated with travelling to hosts outside of the county, the regular match fees need to recognise there will be a surplus and deficit associated with these differences, but the overall expenses should not exceed the income over the full season. 

 

Payments mentioned in Appendix A will need to come from affiliation fees received by the county, which are limited. Bowls clothing has to be bought in advance to supply players and there are other payment requirements like insurance, affiliations to regional associations etc, so the total payments to be considered in appendix A should not exceed 80% of the affiliation fees received.

 

The Communications Officer will research and develop alternative income streams that can support the affiliation fees from members and be used to ensure Bowls Oxfordshire is managed effectively. One of the methods to attract new income may be from allowing advertisers to pay for space on our website, which attracts many “hits” each year. In addition, Sponsorships for particular events or competitions will be sought with mutual benefits applying to both parties.

 

As a strategy, our income development opportunities will move away from local companies, some of which are already supporting clubs in their area, so we will develop relationships with multi-site companies and national companies with several outlets in the county, bringing wider scale advertising benefits to the advertisers/sponsors.

 

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Appendix A

 

President and Vice President- In the past there have been expectations that the President may choose to offer gifts for recognition of Presidents of opposing counties, officials or volunteers of host clubs and members of the highest winning rink. The practice in the OBA has in the past been for the President to pay for these and as a result the value of gifts has varied over a period of time and can be down to the generosity of the individual. This tradition had led to only those of a certain financial status or capability of funding the activities being considered for the Presidency.  As a result, individuals that don’t have the necessary financial freedoms turn down potential opportunities to undertake this role.

A unified Bowls Oxfordshire would wish to encourage persons, who will be good ambassadors for our sport within the county, to consider taking this role, regardless of their personal financial situation.  This will be achieved by offering the President and Vice President freedom from paying match fees when playing county matches and the purchasing of small gifts for match days will be managed by the County Treasurer from county assets. This does not preclude a generous President from offering more if they wish, but this will not be a future expectation.

Attendance at the National finals is expected from the President and/or Vice President, wherever possible when county players are programmed to play, but entry to the event and car parking will be free of charge and they will be given £20 per day to cover any expenses.

 

Honorariums

Whilst most of the roles within the new structure will remain voluntary roles, there will be a few specific officers who have much higher workloads and need to attend multiple meetings as part of that role, which can be financially difficult and time consuming. It should be remembered that unification should lead to more involvement from different people in sharing the workload and responsibilities, so that individuals don’t get overloaded. With this aspiration in mind, it is proposed that the following officers, whose workload will be high and regular, receive an honorarium to help offset the many costs incurred for the role:

County Secretary - an annual honorarium of (£1.200)

County Treasurer – an annual honorarium of (£500)

County Communications Officer – an annual honorarium of (£500)

Section Fixture / Match Secretaries – will be paid a £20 honorarium for each match they attend and fulfil the normal duties expected, whether playing or not. (see the job description in Policy document DP21).  This will be calculated by the Country Treasurer at the end of the year according to the match / competition statements submitted after each game.

All Honorariums to be paid at the end of the Bowling season, provided individuals have been active in carrying out their role. Pro-rata amounts may be awarded if there are periods of inactivity due to holiday and illness when others are required to cover the role.

 

Reimbursement of other expenditure incurred by officials.

Travel costs can be claimed for necessary mileage outside of the county at the rate of £0.15 per mile for official journeys requiring the post holder to attend. When more than one official needs to attend, they should car share as far as reasonably practical. Mileage claims will be based on travel from the individual’s home to the venue and back. The County Treasurer will explore opportunities for individuals to claim travel expenses through the county website.

Only in exceptional circumstances can mileage be claimed for travel within the county.

The exception will be for Competition Secretaries who have to commit the whole day to organise the later stages of competitions and attend the hosting club.

Volunteers will continue to be required for all other posts and such volunteers are highly valued within the sport of bowls, allowing it to remain accessible to all current and future members as an inexpensive recreation, which seeks to be popular, enjoyable, and sociable.