• By: RedPen
  • April 25, 2022
Reading Time: 4 minutes
What is the Role of a Nonprofit Treasurer

A nonprofit treasurer manages the financial health of an organization, which includes presenting financial reports to the board. Learn more about their duties and responsibilities.

Being elected or appointed as a nonprofit treasurer means the organization or the board trusts you with some of the most important aspects of the organization’s financial oversight and management. The position comes with crucial duties and responsibilities. 

As an officer to the board of directors, you work closely with other staff, such as administrators and secretaries, to ensure seamless board meeting preparations. Financial records and strategy should be included in agendas and presented at meetings. But the responsibility of a nonprofit treasurer extends beyond just recording transactions and bookkeeping. It involves aligning the organization’s missions with the operational budgets, as well as planning for the organization’s financial future. Read on to learn more about the duties and responsibilities of a nonprofit treasurer.

Nonprofit Treasurer Responsibilities

Among the several functions of a nonprofit treasurer, the primary role is to maintain the organization’s good financial health and help propel it into a better financial future. Nonprofit treasurers achieve this through these three steps.

1. Generate Financial Reports 

Aside from managing the day-to-day activities of the nonprofit organization’s finances, the treasurer prepares and generates timely, accurate, and reliable financial reports at the end of the organization’s fiscal period. They then deliver these reports to the relevant parties, including the finance committee, board members, executive director, and other C-suite level executives. 

This timely and reliable financial information proves crucial for sound and informed financial decision-making. Without this information, tracking the organization’s financial health would be impossible. Producing these accurate reports requires flawless bookkeeping and accounting. Commercial accounting software like QuickBooks may come in handy at this stage, especially for medium and large nonprofit organizations. 

Regardless of the size of your nonprofit, financial reports may include budget documents, balance sheets, cash flow statements, and footnote disclosures. From paying and recording the organization’s bills, reconciling bank statements to managing cash flows, and keeping debt records, treasurers oversee all the financial activities of the organization in order to generate accurate and reliable reports. 

2. Create an Operating Budget 

The treasurer determines an operating budget based on the organization’s fiscal year. As chair of the finance committee, the treasurer cooperates with the executive director, board members, and other program heads to create the overall budget and short-lived budgets for specific programs or tasks. 

While preparing budgets, keep in mind the board of directors relies on the budget to inform the organization’s objectives and make strategic decisions. Regardless of the budget size, ensure it upholds the organization’s financial health and is sustainable for the nonprofit. 

Operating budgets may include overhead budgets, labor costs, and administrative expenses. This role presents all the budgets to the board members for authorization and approval. As nonprofit treasurer, you must prepare to effectively answer all questions related to the budgets. Finally, make sure you track/monitor the budget performance by regularly comparing the actual expenses with the budgeted expenditure, and the actual income with the projected revenue. 

3. Provide Strategic Planning and Direction 

The treasurer takes an active role in the organization’s strategic planning and direction. As the treasurer, you have to formulate a short- and long-term financial plan. This may involve reviewing and enforcing new financial policies and procedures in the organization. For example, you can review the list of people who have access to the organization’s funds or can authorize spending. 

Strategic planning and direction, specifically on the organization’s finances, requires advising the board and management on the possible threats and opportunities for the nonprofit, as well as the organization’s fundraising and public relations efforts. Generally, you may contribute to the following processes: 

  • Preparing audits, whether annual or continuous audit reports
  • Developing financial goals and the measures to achieve them
  • Aligning financial goals with the organization’s mission 
  • Identifying and managing risk
  • Safeguarding the organization’s assets, data, and sensitive information 
  • Devising a backup plan for the organization 
  • Filing timely returns to the federal and state tax authorities (IRS) 

As the treasurer, you should also counsel the board on how investment decisions, tax obligations, legal requirements, and existing financial developments affect the organization’s future financial plans. 

Nonprofit Treasurers Rely on OnBoard

Like any other officer on the board, nonprofit treasurers shoulder many duties and responsibilities. Nonprofit treasurers count on OnBoard to optimize their financial operations with real-time and valuable financial insights. Our board management software helps treasurers and meeting administrators streamline their board responsibilities and operations to start working smarter. 

The right board management software saves you from the hassle of manually tracking and reporting financial information, while also ensuring you generate accurate and reliable reports in real-time. 

Check out our Board Management Software Buyer’s Guide for help choosing a board management vendor that aligns with your nonprofit’s mission and board requirements.