Managing the finances of Sports and Social Clubs

Managing your money is an essential part of good club management and although managing the day-to-day finances of your sports club can seem a daunting or tedious task, it’s a vital part of running a reputable and sustainable sports club.

We’ve outlined some simple finance practices, which will help you manage your club’s money and follow good governance standards:

Get organised and stay organised

  • Set up a routine that works for you to maintain control of your money. This can be something as simple as a procedural guide so that if a member of the team is away, someone else can pick up the work and avoid the club getting behind with its finances.
  • Check your club bank accounts at the end of each and every month against what you expect to have been paid in and out. If there are any differences, you can then find out why.
  • If you have stock (e.g. club kit, refreshments or bar stock), make sure you keep detailed stock records and do regular stock takes.

Separate personal finances

  • Keep any personal finances separate from club funds. Don’t mix up your money or money from the committee with the club’s money. At best this is confusing, at worst this could lead to fraud.
  • Keep receipts for all expenses and make sure these are in line with your club policy on expenses.

Bank account

  • Set up a bank account for your sports club, most banks will allow you to do this by either going into a branch, over the phone or online. Many banks also offer reduced or zero charges for clubs and societies.
  • Using a formal bank account, rather than an individual’s personal account, promotes independence and a separation between the club and individual.
  • If possible (although it may not be with online banking) set up your account so that you require at least two signatories when making payments. This reduces the risk of mistakes being made or the chances of fraudulent activity taking place.

Annual accounts

  • At the end of your club’s financial year, you should prepare your annual accounts. This is typically done by your club treasurer.
  • Preparing your accounts is particularly important if your club is set up as a limited company or charity as they have legal requirements. 
    • To check your annual accounts requirements as a limited company, visit the Companies House website:

https://www.gov.uk/running-a-limited-company/company-and-accounting-records

  • To check your annual accounts requirements as a charity, visit the gov.uk website:

https://www.gov.uk/prepare-charitys-annual-accounts

  • Once you have prepared the accounts, you should ask someone independent (i.e. not the person who prepared them) to review the accounts; the person reviewing them should have suitable financial knowledge and experience to do this properly.
  • If your club is membership based, you should publish your annual accounts (or a summary) for your members to access – you could share this using your club website, newsletter, by email or another method that works for you and the club.

Communication and transparency

  • Keep everyone up to date with the club’s financial position – as mentioned above, publish your annual accounts for members if you are a membership based club.
  • Try to keep your reports simple so that others can understand them.
  • Transparency is a great way to promote trust within your club and sharing your financial position is key to this, particularly if your members pay fees and would like to see where their money is going!

Cash flow

Whether you are just starting out as a sports club, or have been running for decades, managing your cash flow is essential to your club’s sustainability. Record all money in and out of the club and find a way that works to do this easily e.g. cash sheets or cashbook, a spreadsheet or budgeting tool.

Still need help?

Smarties Bookkeeping offers all round financial support for clubs and societies and we are here to help you. Please get in touch at info@smartiesbookkeeping.co.uk.