CSEU Financial Practices
1. Broad Set of Best Practices
- Utilize an accounting system that is understandable and transparent and permits adequate reporting to the Membership Council (i.e. regular reports detailing all income and expenditure items).
- Ensure that access to the CSEU’s accounts (i.e. bank, electronic transfer services) is limited to five authorized Coordinating Committee Members (“signing authorities”) only. Finalize any changes to signing authority promptly (i.e. upon transition to a new Coordinating Committee). External auditors must be certified under, and comply with, provisions of the Canada Not-for-Profit Corporations Act under which the CSEU is incorporated.
- Ensure all financial assets of the CSEU are registered in the name of the CSEU, not an individual.
- Maintain an up-to-date detailed guide on the regular financial procedures, practices including software used (i.e. to be passed to subsequent Coordinating Committee).
- Maintain sub-accounts for earmarked donations such as donated CSEU conference travel funds.
- Authorized signatories of the CSEU Coordinating committee may receive and remit funds via electronic transfer services. These services must be registered to CSEU and by authorized by at least two signatories on the electronic fund transfer platform.
- All Coordinating Committee Members have an equal vote on financial and contractual matters. The designated signatories shall act on the democratic will of the entire Coordinating Committee.They shall check the accuracy of the reimbursements and other payments but are not permitted to independently make financial or contractual decisions. A vote of 50% +1 is required to expend and receive funds as well as execute contracts. Expenditures and contract decisions must be consistent with the financial practices stipulated in Article V.3.
- The process of selecting any financial reviewer, trustee, and/or auditor is made by a two-thirds vote of the membership council following an open call for applications.
2. Annual Reporting Cycle (fiscal year of September 1 – August 31)
- Sixty (60) days prior to the Annual Congress, the Coordinating Committee will present a budget for the upcoming year to the Membership Council.
- An external audit of the previous year’s financial report is due within thirty (30) days of the Annual Congress.
- A mid-year financial report shall be prepared by the Coordinating Committee and presented to the membership council in their spring meeting.
- With respect to the Annual Conference (or any other such meeting): in conjunction with the Host Organization, the Coordinating Committee shall prepare a detailed budget and report regularly (and, upon request of the Host Organization, within 1 week) to the whole Coordinating Committee and Host Organizing Committee on expenditures and revenue relative to the detailed budget.
3. On-going/day-to-day responsibilities of the Coordinating Committee are:
- Ensure files are backed up regularly (daily, weekly or monthly depending on the volume of transactions at that time).
- File hard copy printouts of all bank account transactions (with closing balances) with each completed monthly bank reconciliation.
- Present written financial statements to the Membership Council at every regular meeting, and include these reports as part of the meeting minutes.
- Maintain complete records of proceedings of all meetings. Meeting minutes should be approved by the appropriate body (i.e. Membership Council or Coordinating Committee). Approved minutes will be made available on the website.
- Utilize expense vouchers for expenses which include: date of expense, amount, reason, receipt or invoice, and signature from three Coordinating Committee members indicating that the expenditure has been approved by the Members (with reference to either the section of the Constitution if approved within, or with reference to the specific motion).
- Pay all expenses via authorization by three designated signing authorities within the Coordinating Committee. Electronic cheque signing is permissible. Signing authorities shall verify the completeness of the accompanying voucher. In the case of the payee being a signing authority, the other two signing authorities shall authorize the payment. Record all payments/cheques in the ledger in the month they are issued. The designated signatories shall act on the democratic will of the entire Coordinating Committee and shall not withhold approved funds.
- Coordinating Committee Members must ensure that salary levels, timing of payments, and other work conditions for any hired employees are to any employees is consistent with employment law.
- Any expenditure that is not stipulated in the budget must be approved by a majority vote on the Membership Council.
- Trustees (not on Coordinating Committee) shall be elected at the Annual Congress to conduct an audit twice annually (once within 30 days of the Annual Congress, and again within 30 days of the Coordinating Committee’s mid-year financial report to the spring Membership Council) and present the report and any recommendations to the Membership Council and at the Annual Congress. The CSEU shall comply with all financial review requirements of The Canada Not for Profit Act and ensure that funding is set aside to cover the expense of auditing in the annual budget.
- For each audit, the Coordinating Committee shall provide the trustees with:
- A completed ledger
- A complete set of bank statements and returned cheques
- A complete set of cheque stubs
- A copy of all bank reconciliations
- Documentation for all expenses incurred during the period (including authorization vouchers and/or invoices)
- Deposit books
- A completes set of meeting minutes which detail all expenditures approved, including the annual budget
- Receipt book or similar documentation used to record all money received by CSEU
- A copy of any financial reports provided to the Membership Council and/or Member Unions during the period under review
- Documentation or records kept of all transactions (e.g. if the CSEU sold promotional materials).
- For each audit, the trustees shall:
- Verify that the financial contribution received from each Member Union is correct (i.e. amount received is correct in ledger, in line with constitution, and matches invoice) and has been deposited in a timely basis. Verify the currency/conversion is correct.
- Verify that income taxes, EI, QPIP and CPP/QPP are deducted and remitted each month when the CSEU pays wages of staff or any honourarium to an individual.
- Verify all expenses are accompanied with invoice/receipt and completed expense voucher, and that the expense has been approved by the appropriate body (i.e. Membership Council).
- Verify that revenue that is “earmarked” for certain uses (i.e. donations) are clearly separated in the CSEU’s records and used only for the designated use.
- Prepare a written report to the Coordinating Committee outlining findings and/or concerns as well as recommendations.
- Review the response from the Coordinating Committee.
- Prepare a final written report to Members.
- Maintain an up-to-date guide on the process and procedures of carrying out the audit (i.e. to be passed to subsequent trustees).
- The Coordinating Committee shall:
- Respond in writing to the report from the trustees (see 4.3.5. and 4.3.6 above)
- Disseminate the trustees final report to the Membership Council within one week of receipt of the report.
- The membership council may request an external audit of the CSEU finances at any point with a majority vote (50%+1) at any official meeting of the council.