There has recently been a change to the Girlguiding finance policy. Previously the policy insisted on “dual authorisation of a transaction at the point of purchase” meaning that 2 signatories for the bank account had to approve any payments before they could be made. This meant a lot of our volunteers were relying on cheques, which we know isn’t always the easiest way to pay.
We’ve removed this requirement and you no longer need to have “dual authorisation at the point of purchase”. This means that one person can make payments and manage transactions – not two – in person, over the phone, or online.
It’s still important to agree spending with the other signatories before you pay. And make sure you have the money in the account before buying anything.
Lots of banks now offer online banking with dual authorisation but you’ll need to specifically ask for this and set it up when you open the account. You’ll also need to make sure it is set up for each of the account’s signatories who will be using it.
Dual authorisation works by one of the signatories logging into the account and setting up a payment. A second signatory then logs in and authorises it. The payment will be made once the second signatory authorises it. The first person can see the payment in the list of ‘awaiting transactions’ but won’t be able to do anything more. The second person gives the final authorisation to the bank.
Where a unit is run by multiple members of the same family the authorisation has to come from someone from outside the family.
If dual authorisation is set up, you won’t need to provide evidence that each transaction was agreed in advance as part of the end of year review process. This could save you a lot of work, so if dual authorisation is an option we highly recommend it.
If it’s not available, transactions made through online or mobile banking must be agreed in advance by another signatory and there must be evidence for this agreement. This could be through meeting notes, where spending was agreed and assigned to you, or it could be with an email, text, Facebook message or WhatsApp message between signatories. It’s important that this evidence is easy to find in future, as it will be needed for the end of year review of the account.
You might want to think about which form of communication will be the easiest to share with the independent reviewer; emails can be easily printed out, but texts and WhatsApp conversations may need to be screenshotted and pasted into a document before printing.
Where a unit is run by multiple members of the same family the authorisation needs to comes from someone outside of the family.