York, York
This is a voluntary position
Job description

RSPCA  York, Harrogate and District Branch is a separately registered charity, working in partnership with the RSPCA National Society. We are primarily self-funding with the money raised being spent in York, Harrogate and surrounding areas. We run the York Animal Home on Landing Lane in York, which is licensed to look after 54 dogs, 54 cats and 19 rabbits, as well as small animals and birds. The branch has an annual expenditure of in excess of £1 million and employs a staff team for 28 people and several hundred volunteers. We are a successful rehoming organisation working in a challenging funding climate.

Trustees' responsibility is to support and promote the organisation, maintaining the vision, mission and values and developing strategy for the York, Harrogate & District branch of the RSPCA.  Trustees ensure accountability and governance of the organisation, compliance with legislation and the charity’s governing documents along with the Branch Trustee Code of Conduct.

The Treasurer has a watchdog role over all aspects of financial management, working closely with other members of the management team to safeguard the organisation's finances.  The Treasurer ensures that these responsibilities are met, and may be delegate to a finance sub-committee, paid team members or volunteers.

The Treasurer will oversee the financial matters of the charity in line with good practice and in accordance with the governing document and legal requirements, and reports to the Board of Trustees at regular intervals about the financial health of the organisation. The Treasurer will ensure that effective financial measures, controls and procedures are put in place, and are appropriate for the charity.

They will act as an information and reference point for the Chair and other committee members: clarifying financial implications of proposals; confirming legal requirements; outlining the current financial status; and retrieving relevant documentation.

The following points outline the typical responsibilities of a Treasurer:

1. General financial oversight

  • Oversee and present annual budgets, accounts and financial statements to the board.

  • Liaise with designated staff about financial matters.

  • Ensure that appropriate financial systems and controls are in place.

  • Ensure that record-keeping and accounts meet the conditions of funders or statutory bodies.

  • Ensure compliance with relevant legislation.

  • Oversee, and present budgets, accounts, management accounts and financial statements to the board of Trustees after discussion with the Branch Manager where applicable.

  • Ensure proper accounts and records are kept, ensuring financial resources are spent and invested in line with the charity’s policies, good governance, legal and regulatory requirements.

  • To be instrumental in the development and implementation of financial, reserves and investment policies.

  • Liaising with the charity’s auditors or independent examiner, where appropriate

  • Despite the additional responsibility the treasurer will have in overseeing the financial matters, all Trustees continue to be jointly responsible, and therefore liable, for the administration of the charity.

2.   Financial planning and budgeting

  • Advise on financial implications of strategic and operational plans.

  • Present revised financial forecasts based on actual spend.

  • Support the management team and finance staff to present financial information in a commercial and risk appropriate standard.

  • Ensure the production, monitoring and annual review of the branch’s financial risk management strategy in accordance with the charity commission’s requirements.


3. Financial reporting

  • Present monthly and time appropriate reports on the organisation's financial position.

  • Prepare accounts for audit and liaising with the auditor, as required.

  • Present accounts at the AGM.

  • Advise on the organisation's reserves and investment policy and in conjunction with your fellow Trustees, conduct regular reviews of the branch accounts and investment portfolio to ensure the best return on branch funds.

  • To liaise with appropriate stakeholders on financial affairs as necessary and alert them immediately to any possible difficulties or irregularities.

  • To ensure the retention and safekeeping of all branch financial documentation for the appropriate time as set by the charity commission. In the event of a hand over, to ensure timely provision of all documentation.


4. Banking, book-keeping and record-keeping

  • Conduct diligence checks on bank accounts.

  • Oversee appropriate systems for book-keeping, payments, lodgements & petty cash to ensure they are accurate and efficient.

  • Ensure everyone handling money keeps proper records and documentation.

  • To govern financial control of all branch fundraising activities.


5. Control of fixed assets and stock

  • Ensure proper records are kept

  • Ensure required insurances are in place.

  • In all these areas the Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that effective financial systems and procedures have been established, are being consistently followed and are in line with best practice and legal requirements and evolve as necessary.

Person Specification


We are looking for a Treasurer who will be an ambassador of the RSPCA Mission, Vision and Values.  The ideal person will have the following attributes:


  • Effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion, and challenge where appropriate.


  • Willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources.

  • Commitment to the aims, principles and policies of the RSPCA.

  • Ability and integrity to act in the best interests of the Branch at all times.

  • Ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as trustees and employers.

  • Willingness and ability to learn, and to develop and examine their own attitudes.

  • Ability to think creatively and strategically, and exercise good, independent judgement.


Essential Skills and Abilities


  • Financial experience preferably obtained at Board level within a charity, or the private or public sector.


  • Ability to contribute to budget setting and to analyse and monitor complex financial data.


  • Ability to explain an organisation’s financial position in plain English.


  • Able to work as part of a team and to accept corporate responsibility.


  • Proven ability to think strategically and exercise independent judgement.


  • Able to communicate effectively and to act as an organisation champion with a variety of stakeholders.


  • An understanding of the legal duties, responsibilities, and liabilities of trustees.


  • Able to chair meetings.


Desirable Skills & Abilities


The RSPCA believes that it would be advantageous if the Treasurer possesses experience in the following areas:


  • An understanding of pensions, investments and/or fund raising.


  • An understanding of charity governance and law.


  • Able to direct resources in a changing environment.


  • Success in building and enhancing the reputation of an organisation with external bodies, the media and/or customers.



Time Commitment: 

  • Monthly Trustee meeting (typically 7pm, third Tuesday in the month), an AGM meeting.

  • To take part in events and fundraising activities

  • Regular (monthly and quarterly) diligence checks to review adherence to appropriate financial management systems

  • The treasurer may present his or her proposal of frequency and content after initial diligence checks.



Practical Considerations

As a minimum, trustees would normally be expected to attend a monthly Trustee meeting lasting 2 to 3 hours. However, the commitment may vary dependent on whether or not the Trustee takes on additional duties and as projects arise.

Trustees are elected for a 12 month term each year.  They need to be members of the National RSPCA and local branch, but can be co-opted onto the committee in the short-term. The position is not remunerated but reasonable travel expenses will be met.

To apply, please send a copy of your most recent curriculum vitae and a letter of interest demonstrating how you meet the above criteria.


Refreshed on: 18 October 2020
Closed date: 02 December 2020
Tags: Finance, Governance