December 8, 2019

The Editor speaks: Why proper accounting is essential

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Colin Wilson

The days are over when committees are set up with volunteers, a treasurer from within that committee is appointed and monies from outside are paid in, without any oversight.

Whilst the Pirates Week Office accounts are scrutinized by the government appointed accountants, the District Committees accounts have not come under this umbrella.

Things have changed.

This is a reason it is becoming more difficult to fill the post of Treasurer on these volunteer organisations.

Only last week the Pirates Week Office issued a statement that there would be no North Side Heritage Day, usually a staple diet of Pirates Week, this year.

North Side MLA, Ezzard Miller, said he was only made aware there would be no Heritage Day in his District when the Pirates Week Office contacted him.

The reason given for the cancellation of this event was the District Committee was inactive.

No funds had been given to them this year because last year, the Pirates Week office had only received a spread sheet with no back-up documentation to support the accounting shown on the spread sheet for the use of their funds in 2018.

In a letter to the Cayman Compass (see Compass story https://www.caymancompass.com/2019/11/05/miller-flags-north-side-pirates-week-committees-spending/) Miller said, “Given the continuing financial reporting failures of the Pirates Week Committee in North Side, I would be asking the Auditor General to look into the use of public funds by the North Side Pirates Week Committee. I will further be reporting the matter to the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation into whether there has been any misuse of public funds,”

“I am concerned, disappointed and somewhat embarrassed,” he added.

The issue of improper accounting by The North Side District Council was noted being an issue since 2016.

I once filled in the role of Hon.Treasurer for two years at a local church. A job I will never do again. It took many, many hours and when I occupied that position there wasn’t even the amount of red tape there is now!

The first thing you must have is some organising skills and to be methodical. You should take a course in how to manage routine income and expenditure. Plus, I learned the basics skills in using the computer software programme “QuickBooks”. [If anyone is interested in using this go to: https://quickbooks.intuit.com/ca/ ] {No. I am not getting any commission from QuickBooks.]

Given the announcement from Miller that he is reporting the past North Side Treasurer’s accounting to the Anti-Corruption Commission for investigation into whether there has been any misuse of public funds, it is going to make it doubly difficult to find anyone willing to take on that position, when and if another North Side heritage Day committee is convened.

Proper accounting is most definitely essential and better done by someone who has had training in keeping financial books.

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Comments

  1. Chris Johnson says:

    Good article Colin. Of course CIFA was a fine guide to corruption where many of the
    Board failed to spot the numerous red flags. More flags in fact than at the annual meeting of Matadors in Madrid.
    The problem of acting as treasurer of charities and sporting organizations is collecting and monitoring cash. Much of this is collected by volunteers outside supermarkets and given with thanks by the public. However it is impossible to monitor.
    Now these small organizations are facing draconian legislation. Arising from this is the reluctance for anyone to act as treasurer. Then of course many of these organizations need to be audited. It is difficult to find any firm, that requires a licence, to do pro bono work.
    In the light of all those organizations licensed under the Charities Law you can imagine the size of the problem.

    • You are 100% correct Chris. The laws they have made will stop all volunteers and government meaning us will have to foot the bills. Joan received a letter from the bank asking her to complete with eight questions each with four forms for her to fill up. Including passport and proof where she lives, etc. She worked for the same bank for years and has had two accounts there for 40 years. Ridiculous!!

  2. Chris Johnson says:

    That is hilarious. My bank that I have used for 51 years here demanded to know why I was sending 300 pounds to my aging aunt. It was for a new TV set! As I normally deal in client monies of millions I was more than pissed off.

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