Greetings parish council treasurers. I hope you had a wonderful summer. No matter where in Canada you live, there is beauty all around and the theme, Care for Our Common Home, encourages us to take care of our surroundings. This summer, I spent numerous hours working in a community garden and have enjoyed the benefit of homegrown produce for several months. Not having to spend money purchasing vegetables makes my treasurer’s heart feel good!
Autumn is usually a busy time for councils as different fund-raising activities are held at this time of year. Remind members to keep receipts for any expenses they will be submitting. It is prudent to check the addition of the expenses and taxes as others may not have your expertise in dealing with figures.
Does your parish council collect membership fees in the fall? This is a great thing to do — the earlier per capita fees are remitted to national office before the February rush, the quicker they can be processed. Encourage the individual collecting the membership fees to remit them to national office on a regular basis, rather than waiting until all are collected.
DATE: September 30, 2019 FROM: Janet McLean, national secretary-treasurer TO: Parish treasurers
Greetings parish council treasurers. Liability insurance is a necessity for parish councils to provide protection in the event of an accident. In recent years, the national treasury covered the costs of the parish liability insurance program for all parish councils. For the upcoming year, insurance premiums will be collected directly from parish councils. The cost of this insurance has been kept as inexpensive as possible at $0.50 per member. This premium will be in addition to per capita fees. When remitting per capita fees to national office, insurance premiums will also be collected. For parish councils that submit payments electronically, insurance premiums will be automatically withdrawn upon successful completion of an electronic per capita remittance.
A new insurance policy will be distributed in the spring 2020 parish council mailing. In the meantime, the current policy will be in effect until a new policy is issued. Enrollment in the parish liability insurance program is mandatory and parish councils must remit premiums with the 2020 per capita fees. Only by having all parish councils participate in this program will the League be able to keep premiums low.
Every council should have a budget that should be in place at the beginning of your fiscal year. If your council does not have a budget, I have outlined some tips for getting this in place. If you do have a budget, this is a reminder and a review for you!
Please remember to budget funds for your members to attend the National Convention being held in Calgary this August!
Should be done at the beginning of each year
Fosters responsible financial stewardship among members
A tool that will guide your actions without having to constantly revisit financial decisions.
An estimate – will never be exact
How to prepare a budget if this is your first time
Written by Janet McLean, national secretary-treasurer
As I write this memo, Québec is still in the midst of warm summer temperatures, but I have heard that there is a chance of snow in Alberta. It reminds me that League councils are like the weather in Canada - different from one province to another and from one parish to another.
The annual online survey forms will be available shortly for completion. It is an opportunity for me to learn how parish councils handle the duties of secretary or treasurer, providing a better understanding of what secretaries and treasurers are doing across Canada. Both forms have a question at the end of the survey for comments, so feel free to share personal thoughts about the position(s). If I can be of any assistance, please feel free to contact me.
Did you know that the monthly financial report that you submit at your Council meeting does not need to be approved by way of a motion? Your report is for the members’ information only. Any expenses which are reported should have been approved before they were incurred. This is why a motion must be presented and passed at a general meeting when your council wants to disburse funds (e.g. donations to various charities the council supports, purchase of supplies for the council, approval of a stipend to be given to a guest speaker, etc.)
Only your annual report, which is submitted at your annual general meeting, needs to be voted on for approval.
Of course, at any meeting you should always ask if there are any questions on your report and you should be prepared to provide answers to any financial questions asked. Members are allowed to view the books of their council at any time.
This initiative introduced at the Provincial Convention 2010 is called ‘Nickels for the North.’ This fund raising project is for the support of the CWL sisters in the Mackenzie-Fort Smith Diocese for the purpose of travel to conventions and workshops.
Every council in Alberta Mackenzie is invited to consider working with the provincial council to raise funds for this cause to help CWL members in the Northwest Territories travel to CWL events. There are about 90 CWL members in the Diocese of Mackenzie-Fort Smith. The distances are great and high travel costs make it prohibitive for the executive to visit and meet with the councils in the diocese and for members to attend conventions. CWL members in Alberta are most welcome to help their northern sisters meet with each other and with members in the rest of the province and territory. Please consider:
Introducing the program at your parish council meeting.
Having a collection can available clearly marked “Nickels for the North.”
Passing the container around to members present, asking for the nickels from their pocket change. (Other coins are happily accepted, too!)
Depositing the collection to your CWL account earmarked “Nickels for the North.”
When the collected amount warrants it, forward a cheque to the Diocesan Treasurer using Diocesan CWL Parish Remittance Form found on the Calgary Diocesan Website at https://calgarycwl.ca/members/forms.
It is suggested that monies are forwarded in December, April and June before provincial convention.
Report the collected and sent amounts at year end in the parish CWL council's annual reports.