Trustee - Treasurer

Job Title: Trustee - Treasurer
Contract Type: Contract
Location: London
Salary: Unremunerated
Reference: Treasurer
Contact Name: Catherine Charlery
Contact Email:
Job Published: May 21, 2020 16:28

Job Description

Are you passionate about empowering the local community to improving financial and social well-being, through access to good legal, financial, housing and debt advice?

Are you motivated to apply your experience and skills in shaping the financial health and strategic direction of a high impact charity that enables people in need to transform their lives?

Citizens Advice Lewisham (CAL) is the lead agency in the Advice Lewisham partnership providing vital services in a large and culturally diverse London Borough.

Through its dedicated staff and volunteers a wide range of advice and information services are provided to individuals enabling them to exercise their legal rights, resolve debt issues, secure benefit entitlement and sustain their accommodation.

Last year we dealt with over 18,000 contacts, generated around £2m in income and benefits, and brought in an additional £500k of resources to the local economy, and we are committed to improving on these achievements. Our partnership with Southwark Law Centre to set up a new Lewisham Law Service is also developing well, with plans to further fundraise to deliver an employment and immigration service in the borough.

Future strategy will focus on developing our fundraising to develop wider services to meet the increasing need in the local community, and developing our digital strategy to maximise access and improve the customer journey experience.

We are currently seeking a Treasurer to join our dynamic Trustee Board.

As Treasurer you will apply your financial skills to ensure excellent financial governance, working effectively with the dedicated Board and Chief Executive, and make a difference to the lives of people in the local community.

We are a highly engaged board who is passionate about ensuring our charity makes a big difference to Lewisham residents, especially to the most vulnerable people. We work in a collegiate way, respecting the diverse viewpoints board members bring to the table and hold ourselves to high professional standards.

We welcome applications from individuals with diverse backgrounds, including for example Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic (BAME) candidates, individuals with disabilities, or individuals from the LGQTBI+ communities.

Main duties and responsibilities

  • Guiding and advising the board in the approval of budgets, accounts and financial statements, within a relevant financial policy framework
  • Keeping the board informed about its financial duties and responsibilities
  • Advising on the financial implications of the charity’s strategic plans and key assumptions in the operational plan and annual budget
  • Ensuring that all board members have a clear understanding of the accounts presented at meetings and the implications that they reveal
  • Understanding the accounting procedures and key internal controls to be able to assure the board that the charity's financial integrity is sound
  • Ensuring that a realistic budget is produced which meets all the charity’s needs and that there is an appropriate reserves policy
  • Monitoring the charity’s income and expenditure position, and presenting reports to the board at least quarterly, in a format accessible to the board members
  • Ensuring that full financial records are kept for all transactions, and that proper financial procedures and controls are in place to safeguard the bureau's resources
  • Ensuring that money received is only spent on the purposes for which it was given, and, where required, ensuring that reports and accounts demonstrating this are submitted to funders
  • Ensuring that accounts are prepared at year-end in compliance with the SORP Accounting for Charities and making arrangements for them to be audited or independently examined, as required by the Charity Commission
  • Ensuring that annual accounts are submitted to the Charity Commission and/or Registrar of Companies, within the deadlines set
  • Presenting the accounts at the AGM and drawing attention to important points in a coherent and understandable way
  • Liaising with the CEO and finance staff about financial matters
  • Chairing Finance sub-committee, and reporting back to the full board
  • Governing the charity in the best interest of the clients and in line with the governing documents
  • Actively contributing to setting policy and strategic direction, defining goals, setting targets and evaluating performance and ensuring effective oversight of the charity's activities. This includes visiting Citizens Advice Lewisham to get to know the team and being aware of the service in action
  • Taking responsibility for their own learning and development
  • Monitoring whether the service complies with its governing document and how well the advice needs of the local community are being met
  • Supporting the development of Citizens Advice Lewisham through agreed projects and managing risk
  • Maintaining confidentiality about any sensitive or confidential information received

Personal skills and qualities

  • Commitment to the aims of the charity and to our beneficiaries
  • Ability to contribute to a diverse and inclusive board
  • Financial qualifications or experience
  • Ability to manage risks
  • Preparedness to make unpopular recommendations to the board
  • Ability to meet time commitment
  • Commitment to clients and ensuring the impact of Citizens Advice Lewisham in the local community
  • Ability to fulfil governance role, specifically to manage risks, ensure oversight and strategic development of the charity
  • Effective communication skills and willingness to participate actively in discussion
  • Willingness to gain knowledge of local needs and resources
  • Ability to understand and accept their responsibilities and liabilities as Trustees and employers

Time Commitment and availability to attend required meetings:

  1. As Chair of Finance Sub-Committee
  • Quarterly Sub-committee evening board meetings (each 1½ hours plus prep)

       2. As Trustee

  • Quarterly trustee evening board meetings (each 2½ hours plus prep)
  • One annual trustee awayday (weekend - 5 hours plus prep)
  • Liaison with Chair, CEO and colleague trustees by phone, e-mail or Skype (occasional)
  • Day-time visits to our offices to understand our work and engage with staff/volunteers (occasional)
  • Two annual stakeholder events (one evening event, one mid-week all-day event)

Please note, during the COVID-19 pandemic, there will be no face-to-face meetings.

How to apply: Please send a CV highlighting relevant skills and experience you will bring to the role along with a cover note explaining why you would like to be a Trustee of Citizens Advice Lewisham to Catherine Charlery: If you have any questions, Catherine is happy to set up a call with another Trustee Board member or the Chair.