The LI Accounts Tool is now established as an effective and user-friendly way to record an institute’s income and expenditure, as well as act as your annual financial return. We are pleased to see that the majority of local institutes now use the tool.
If you do not currently use the Accounts Tool, we request that you adopt it for your institute’s accounts for 2021.
Why? Because the tool brings benefits to you as local treasurers, and to us in being able to assess a consistent set of financial annual returns. You save time on your end-of-year tasks and the tool facilitates your annual return.
The 2021 version, and the User Guide, can be downloaded below for you to customise to your institute and start using.
In addition, please note the additional tips below:
1. READ THE INSTRUCTIONS PAGE (Instructions tab) and follow the 8 step instructions - Set up your bank(s) details properly (Bank Accounts tab) and insert the name of your LI because it activates all your further or future activity in the tool. If you don’t, it won’t work.
2. Close down your year-end accounts by checking off all items appearing on the end of business day bank statement. When complete, check that your accounts balance i.e. the bank account balances match the balances shown on your accounts on the tool. If not, the tool will highlight the discrepancy in red on each account that does not match, to allow you to identify the items missing and reconcile your accounts successfully.
3. Remember, while you are only ever reporting the current activity in any given year (1st January to 31st December), the tool creates a rolling process, to ensure outstanding items from previous years are not forgotten.
4. Year-end can be a very busy time for LIs where accounts transactions are concerned, particularly where transactions straddle the old and new year, so you need to transfer the “outstanding” items on to your new year’s tool, prior to any further work.
5. To do this, you can filter the appropriate items and copy and paste the transactions to your new 2021 spreadsheet:
At 31/12 close your bank and copy over all ‘N’ items (accepting that 'N' in the cleared bank cell on the income worksheet identifies this as a debtor’s item, and 'N' in the cleared bank cell on the expenditure worksheet identifies a creditor’s item).
So, therefore, you copy the 'N' items from the 2020 income worksheet to the 2021 income worksheet and the 'N' items from the 2020 expenditure worksheet to the 2021 expenditure worksheet.
6. It is advisable to do this immediately, as you may get confused if you wait until the items appear in the bank. NOTE: you DO NOT go back to the 2020 tool and update any 'N' items to 'Y' items.
There should be no alterations to the previous year tool once you have transferred the 'N' items and reconciled the year end.
It is important that you check that all bank entries have been entered and you are reconciling your bank statements regularly.
7. Transactions should be attached to the year of activity, not the year the transaction is raised.
8. If users fail to enter which bank account a transaction relates to (column C in ‘income received’, ‘payments made’), there is potential for this to flow into any bank account tab which does not have a selected bank account and further into the CII annual return). This column is highlighted as mandatory but please be aware as it is a potential area for error.
The Accounts Tool presented is ‘locked’, as it is important that the key elements and components are not altered, as this will affect how we assess and analyse your financial returns. We do however understand that some of you may wish to adjust column widths etc., so if you wish to make cosmetic tweaks, you can unlock by using the password ‘dp’. Please do not change any fundamental components or formulae.
Auditing with the Accounts Tool
The Accounts Tool is self-checking, however in line with guidance provided in the local institute model constitution, it is advised that all institutes, apart from those with an income below £7k, will be required to have their accounts either audited by a professional auditor or independently examined by someone who is a member of one of the UK’s accountancy bodies.
This is consistent with the approach taken by other organisations and seeks to protect the Institutes’ key officers and particularly the Treasurer who are handling large sums of money on behalf of Institute members:
• Income above £250k: audit by a professional auditor.
• Income £7k-250k: accounts independently examined by an individual who is a member of one of the UK’s accountancy bodies.
• Below £7k: accounts examined by an individual who must demonstrate sufficient financial awareness, numeracy skills and relevant experience to carry out the work and make the judgements required.
If you have any questions or need support in using the Accounts Tool, please contact email@example.com