By Joanne Newman on 27th March 2014
We love working for clubs. It’s a demanding role, and I have to say, is not something ordinary accountants do well. It requires specialist skills because not only are clubs required to keep accurate records, their insurance policies require them to have good systems in place.
We are unique in that not only are we qualified accountants we are also licenced private investigators. No other accountant has that combination of skills – skills that are absolutely critical to protect your club against fraud. Clubs that don’t have good up-to-date systems run the risk that their insurance claims may be declined. Most committee members don’t realise this and don’t realise how exposed their clubs are to fraud.
It is the committee that must ensure it satisfies the conditions of its insurance policies and one can’t blame the insurance company for requiring a club to have good systems in place to protect the clubs assets. It would be a little like trying to claim on the theft on your vehicle when you left the vehicle parked with the window open and the keys in the ignition. The insurance company would quite rightly refuse the claim on the grounds that reasonable care to protect the property had not been taken.
And so it is with club insurance. If you don’t have the systems in place to stop a staff member helping themselves to the bar or gaming money then don’t expect the insurance company to pay out.
This is where a good accountant comes in. A good accountant should be doing a heck of a lot more than adding up the debits and credits. They need to make sure the club has systems in place that:
- Accurately record the financial transactions for the year and the financial position at any one point in time, and
- Be able to benchmark those figures against others clubs to identify when something is ‘not quite right’, and
- Make sure the club has defensive systems in place to minimise the risk of fraud.
That’s a big responsibility on the accountant’s part, and not something that should be asked of your ordinary accountant. It’s the responsibility of the club’s committee to ensure their accountant is doing all three of these things. If they don’t the responsibility for the theft comes straight back to the committee.