The Treasurer is one of the key roles of any local party. Along with the Chair, you are one of two signatories on the local party, and have direct responsibility and accountability for its activities. The Treasurer's role in their Local Party is to oversee their finances, both in their expenditure and income that they receive.
This page contains practical guidance on the standard tasks that each treasurer should be doing, along with resources and instructional videos to help you in your role. For further information, or if you have questions about this content, you can always contact the HQ Compliance department by calling 020 7022 0988.
For more information about the role of a Local Party Treasurer, you can read our role profile here:
Which tasks should a treasurer do as standard?
The Treasurer will prepare a budget for the year. This will usually be in consultation with the officers or a campaign committee if the local party has one. The budget should be approved by the executive and is a useful tool to monitor income and expenditure on a regular basis.
The Treasurer needs to keep accounts, which are audited annually, approved by the Executive and sent to Party HQ. If your local party has an annual income or expenditure of over £25,000 then it must comply with additional rules. You can get advice and guidance on these from the Compliance department at party HQ.
The Treasurer must put in donation reports to the national party in accordance with the PPERA rules.
The Treasurer will need to work with the fundraiser or the officer group to set targets.
The Treasurer needs to ensure that accurate records are kept and budgets are stuck to. This may require liaising with branch treasurers, if you have them, and election agents across election times.
The Treasurer needs to fill in campaign expenditure records as required by PPERA.
How do I make sure that my local party is compliant with PPERA?
All Local Party treasurers should receive a monthly communication from the HQ Compliance Officer.
In each mailing will be a letter containing important information regarding upcoming events and deadlines and a PPERA compliance form if you file your returns by post.
The PPERA (Political Party Election and Referendum Act) compliance return can alternatively be completed using the Membership Database (http://liberaldemocrats.force.com/localparty).
These returns are required to declare any donation, loan or gift in kind, such as a premises or office rental, that the Local Party has received within the month.
It is also important to know that if your Local Party has not received a donation the form should still be sent back stating such.
What do I have to report?
Donations and gifts in kind that need to be included on the PPERA form are those that are £500 or over.
The form also asks for other bits of information such as if the donation or gift in kind comes from an individual or business.
If it comes from an individual, the donor must be on the electoral register, the poll number for them and their address must be included on the form.
If the donation comes from a business, the business must be on the Companies House register, the company number and address must be included on the form.
If a loan has been received by the Local Party, information about the loan such as the individual or business who has given the loan, their address, if there is any interest to be paid and the terms, such as payment date should be included. Please also include a copy of the signed loan agreement with the PPERA form.
PPERA states that we can only accept donations from permissible sources. As such, you are required to check the validity of each source.
End of Year Accounts
At the end of the year all treasurers are required by law to complete a set of accounts for their Local Party. For bigger parties with a longer return to complete, you can read our guide to completing your return here:
In order to simplify this process some accounts templates have been created which can be downloaded here:
When you send your accounts in, please also include what for historic reasons is known as the yellow form. This is a checklist to help you compile the accounts and the compliance department process the accounts once received:
Please note that you must complete your return by 10th April 2020. You can find guidance from the Compliance team on completing your return here:
For support on how to use Lighthouse to submit expenses, you can read our how-to guide here:
Please contact our Compliance Team if you have any queries on 020 7022 0988