The information on this page has been adapted from this document created by the Science Undergraduate Society.
Three Principles of Sound Financial Practice
- Have a written policy that requires proper documentation for all financial transactions (receipts, contracts, reimbursements, etc.).
- Keep invoices from all suppliers/contractors for the required period of time (seven years according to government regulations).
- Have a requisition/approval form for large expenses.
Proper financial procedures, policies and controls
- Require two out of three/four authorized signatories on cheques.
- Draft a list of authorized signatories.
- Approve all expenses to be reimbursed beforehand.
- Implement processes to ensure compliance with all policies and procedures, including periodic reviews of various expenses and reconciliation of bank accounts.
Proper accounting records
- Leave an audit trail; organize and keep all receipts, invoices, contracts, cheque stubs and any other relevant documentation in a secure location.
- Keep separate accounting books for revenue, expenses and petty cash (float).
- Use either a general ledger book or an accounting software to record all financial transactions; this will facilitate the transfer of information to your accountant at the end of the fiscal year.
Things to Avoid
- Leaving blank cheques in publicly accessible areas
- Keeping cash in publicly accessible areas
- Storing more cash than is necessary
- Having the person claiming expenses approve them
- Having cheque signatories write/approve their own cheques
- Pre-signing blank cheques
- Issuing reimbursements without proper and complete documentation
Things to Remember
- Prepare budgets for everything: events, projects, initiatives, meeting expenditures, etc.
- Pay off debts as soon as possible to avoid interest.
- Deposit cash and cheques in a timely manner.
- Be informed about Revenu Québec's and Registraire des Entreprises du Québec (REQ)'s policies and documentation.
- Be informed about documentation required by your MOA with McGill University (e.g., insurance policy, annual declaration of incorporation, audited financial statements, etc.).