Committee Reports

Committee Reports

May 2021

It is important that committees get good financial reports, and even more important that the committee members read and understand them. [more…]

How exactly a committee report should look like depends a lot on the organisation and what they are trying to do. But there are some minimums:

  1. Financial Activity report: this shows the income and expenditure over a given period.
  2. Financial Position report: this shows where the organisation stands at a certain date. The minimum this should contain accurately is:
    1. Combined bank balances
    2. Unexpended grants (as a liability), if applicable
    3. GST receivable or payable, if significant.
  3. Comparative figures: There needs to be a column with the figures from the same period a year before for activity, and the figures on the same date a year ago for position. If there is a budget, the comparative can be the budget figures for this period for the activity statement.

Organisations using accounting software, such as Xero or MYOB, don’t always have the skills to keep the figures in the Balance Sheet up to date. That’s fine – in that case, instead of printing the Balance Sheet out anyway, it is better to have a manual report instead, just containing the three items above. They give an important at-a-glance oversight over the key indicators.

For decision-making, committees rarely need super-accurate accrual-based figures. Nor do they generally need to know how exactly each cent was spent. But they need to know roughly where they stand, and how they’ve been doing lately, to be able to judge whether things are going in the direction they want them to.