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Financial Procedures: Banking Best Practice

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There are many different banks which offer accounts for not-for-profit organisations such as churches. When it comes to banking as a charity there are two main areas to consider: is the account right for my needs and am I appropriately safeguarding access to the funds held there.

When looking at whether an account is right for your needs you will want to think about:

• Ease of access
• What services are offered (e.g. cheques, online banking, debit card etc.)
• Ease of depositing cash/cheques
• The cost of the account
• The interest on the account if you are trying to save

Most high street banks will offer these services. For general banking you may also wish to consider CAF Bank which is used by many parishes and can be managed online and through the Post Office. For mid-to-long term savings you may want to consider a CCLA Church of England account.

When looking at whether you are appropriately safeguarding the funds there are multiple issues to think about and detailed guidance can be sought from your Area Finance Adviser however there are some overarching themes:

• Ensuring only appropriate people have access to/can withdraw from the account
• Ensuring that at least 2-3 people have access in case of emergencies
• Where possible requiring two authorisations to make payments*
• Banking cash & cheques as soon as possible
• Performing monthly reconciliations between bank statements and accounts

*Most banks facilitate dual authorisation for cheques. CAF Bank also facilitates dual authorisation for online payments.

Borrowing

Parishes have the right to borrow money from any reputable lender however you will likely find that high street banks/lenders do not understand the structure of parishes and are therefore reluctant to provide funding. Click here for a list of banks that specialise in lending for churches/charities.

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