Person holding a stack of coins

Managing Your Finances

Managing Your Finances

The information on this page has been adapted from this document created by the Science Undergraduate Society.

Three Principles of Sound Financial Practice

  1. Proper documentation

  • 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.
     
  1. 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.
     
  1. 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.).
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