Internal Control Checklist for Community and Voluntary Organisations

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This guidance document is designed to assist community and voluntary organisations evaluate their performance against internal control recommendations by answering a simple set of questions below. If you answer "No" to many of the questions it may be advisable to re-evaluate procedures within the organisation.

This checklist only provides a general indication and is not an exhaustive list, but should cover most aspects of good practice.

SECTION A: GOVERNANCE

A1 Organisation Strategic Plan

  • Does the organisation have a written, agreed and communicated Strategic Plan? Yes | No

A2 Organisation Structure

  • Does the organisation have a defined plan containing the organisation's structure? Yes | No
  • Is the organisation structure communicated to all staff, laying down all possible lines of authority? Yes | No

A3 Budgeting

  • Are annual budgets covering all income and expenditure prepared and approved by the organisation? Yes | No
  • Are the budgets approved by the Trustees/Board? Yes | No
  • Where necessary, can the budget categories be adjusted to any changes during the year? Yes | No
  • Are actual income and expenditure figures compared against budgets at regular and frequent intervals? Yes | No
  • Are cash flow forecasts prepared for the year, indicating when receipts and payments will occur and updated at regular and frequent intervals? Yes | No

SECTION B: INCOME

B1 Income Received by Post

  • Is all incoming post opened at the earliest opportunity and in the presence of two authorised people? Yes | No
  • Are all incoming cheques and cash donations recorded immediately and entries verified by a person other than the recorder? Yes | No
  • Are all donations acknowledged by a written receipt? Yes | No
  • Is the security of unopened mail maintained to ensure that the post box cannot be interfered with? Yes | No

B2 Fundraising

  • Does the organisation have a Fundraising Protocol in place and operational? Yes | No
  • Has the Fundraising Protocol been recently updated to conform to current best practice? Yes | No
  • Has the Fundraising Protocol been communicated and explained to all involved in Fundraising, both staff and volunteers? Yes | No
  • Are there clearly defined and documented roles and responsibilities for fundraising activities? Yes | No
  • Is there appropriate insurance cover in place for all fundraising activities? Yes | No

B3 Public Collections

  • Are all public collections (including branch activities) approved in advance by the organisation? Yes | No
  • Are the relevant legal permits obtained and retained for each public collection? Yes | No
  • Are all collection boxes individually numbered and are there documented controls in place for their allocation and return?
  • Are all collection boxes sealed? Yes | No
  • Are all static boxes regularly opened and contents counted in the presence of two authorised people, who have not been involved in the collection? Yes | No
  • Is all collection money paid directly into the organisation's bank account? Yes | No
  • Where the collection has been undertaken by a branch or similar, is all the collection money immediately remitted to the HQ bank account or immediately advised to HQ? Yes | No

B4 Fundraising Events

  • Are all fundraising activities (including branch activities) approved in advance by the organisation? Yes | No
  • Are records kept for each fundraising event in sufficient detail to show gross receipts and costs incurred? Yes | No
  • For events for which there is ticket income:
    • Are all tickets pre-numbered? Yes | No
    • Is a records kept of all ticket sellers and their allocated ticket numbers? Yes | No
    • Is a record kept of all tickets sold?Yes | No
    • Is a reconciliation of receipts against tickets sold done?Yes | No
    • Is all fundraising money paid directly into the organisation's bank account?Yes | No
  • Where the event has been organised by a branch or similar, is the entire fundraising event surplus (or the previously agreed proportion) immediately remitted to the HQ bank account or immediately advised to HQ?Yes | No

B5 Grants/Funding

  • Are regular reconciliations done against amounts received to amounts due from the relevant government and/or statutory authority? Yes | No
  • Are all grants received, whether from government/statutory agencies or other funders, recorded in an open and transparent manner? Yes | No
  • Can all expenditure of grants be tracked in the financial accounts in an open and transparent manner? Yes | No
  • Are all grants used expressly for the purpose for which they have been granted? Yes | No
  • Are records kept for each grant in sufficient detail to show gross receipts and costs incurred, by individual grant? Yes | No
  • Are regular reports issued to all funders? Yes | No

SECTION C: EXPENDITURE

C1 Policy

  • Is there a written policy in place which sets out who can authorise expenditure and to what level, and is this policy available to all staff? Yes | No

C2 Purchases

  • Are sequentially, pre-numbered purchase order books used for the purchase of all goods and services? Yes | No
  • Are invoices checked against purchase orders and delivery dockets? Yes | No
  • Are all invoices only paid after ensuring that the goods or services have been received and are in good order? Yes | No
  • Are there authority levels in place for placing orders over a certain amount? Yes | No

C3 Payments

  • Is a payment requisition form completed when a payment is due for which there is not an invoice?Yes | No
  • Is a payment requisition form completed when an invoice is due for payment? Yes | No
  • Are there at least two signatories on the payment requisition form? Yes | No
  • Are the original invoices available as backup, when a payment is being requisitioned or authorised? Yes | No
  • Is there a policy of never signing blank cheques? Yes | No
  • Are all documents stamped "paid" to ensure that payment cannot be made twice on the same document? Yes | No
  • Are minor expenses paid out of petty cash? Yes | No
  • Are all non-petty cash payments recorded in the payments book/system, noting the relevant payment details, such as cheque numbers, credit transfer reference,
  • Internet Banking reference, direct debit Reference, etc.? Yes | No
  • Is a written policy and practice covering payment procedures available to all staff? Yes | No
  • Are most payments made by cheque or credit transfer, and are cash payments kept to a minimum? Yes | No

C4 Petty Cash

  • Are all payments made from a fixed float? Yes | No
  • Do all payments have supporting documentation and are filed safely? Yes | No
  • Are all payments entered in a petty cash book/system? Yes | No
  • Is the amount of the petty cash float set and any amount exceeding this limit paid by cheque? Yes | No
  • Is all cash in the office kept in a locked cash box or safe? Yes | No
  • Is the Petty Cash counted and reconciled every month? Yes | No

C5 Bank Accounts/Banking

  • Is a register kept of all bank accounts operating within the organisation? Yes | No
  • Are all bank accounts held in the name of the organisation and not in the names of individuals? Yes | No
  • Is the opening and closing of accounts properly authorised by the Trustees/Board? Yes | No
  • Are monthly bank reconciliations carried out for every bank account (irrespective of the number of transactions, if any)? Yes | No
  • Are all bank reconciliations verified and signed by an authorised person, other than the reconciler? Yes | No
  • Are all bank accounts and bank statements regularly inspected, for example by the CEO and/or Treasurer? Yes | No
  • Are all incoming receipts banked regularly and as soon as possible? Yes | No
  • Is there a pool of authorised signatories available to sign/authorise cheques/payments? Yes | No
  • Is the safety of getting money to the bank ensured? Yes | No
  • Is the lodgement book kept and maintained by authorised individuals? Yes | No
  • Are all banking procedures made available to all staff? Yes | No

C6 Fixed Assets

  • Is an overall fixed asset schedule kept and updated regularly, including any assets donated for use by the organisation? Yes | No
  • Are all properties that are rented, leased or owned vested solely in the name of the organisation, and not in the name of an individual or entity? Yes | No
  • Are all fixed assets checked at regular intervals to ensure they remain in good repair and continue to be of use to the charity? Yes | No
  • Is the use of the fixed assets reviewed annually? Yes | No
  • Has consideration been given to the need for insurance cover for fixed assets? Yes | No
  • Is the depreciation charge calculated and reviewed by the organisation prior to the annual audit? Yes | No
  • Is there an authorisation policy in place relating to the purchase of capital expenditure? Yes | No

C7 Staff/Payroll

  • Do all staff have an Employment Contract and a current Job Description? Yes | No
  • Are all staff policies and procedures, including a Grievance Procedure and a Sick Pay Procedure, in place and up-to-date? Yes | No
  • Are personnel files kept for all employees and kept separately from wages records? Yes | No
  • Are all staff paid by cheque or credit transfer and cash payments avoided? Yes | No
  • Are all wages/salary increases properly authorised? Yes | No
  • Are regular and frequent checks made on all wages/PAYE records to ensure no discrepancies? Yes | No
  • Are all salary/wages complying with PAYE regulations? Yes | No
  • Are staff provided with the training and support they need to carry out their individual jobs? Yes | No
  • Are all monthly/quarterly/annual returns made to the Revenue Commissioners on a timely basis?
  • Are PAYE/PRSI payments remitted to the Revenue Commissioners on a timely basis? Yes | No
  • Are the Wages, PAYE/PRSI and Pension Control Accounts analysed on a monthly basis? Yes | No
  • Do all staff receive a payslip with each salary payment? Yes | No
  • Do all staff receive a P60 annually? Yes | No
  • Have all staff been advised of their rights in relation to Pension/PRSA? Yes | No

SECTION D: REPORTING

D1 Financial Reporting

  • Are proper books and records kept for all transactions (including all branch activities, if applicable)? Yes | No
  • Are monthly/quarterly financial reports detailing income and expenditure reviewed and approved? Yes | No
  • Are monthly/quarterly summary financial reports provided to the Trustees/Board and reviewed? Yes | No

D2 Annual Accounts/Audit (where applicable)

  • Are all the activities of the organisation (including all branch activities) included in the annual financial statements (and the audit, where applicable)? Yes | No
  • Are annual financial statements formally reviewed and approved by the Trustees/Board prior to the annual audit? Yes | No
  • Do annual accounts comply with the latest accounting standards and in compliance with the latest charity or company legislation? Yes | No
  • Are the annual accounts available for inspection at any time during the year by the Trustees/Board? Yes | No
  • Is the external auditor appointed (where applicable) by the Trustees/B oard for the annual audit of accounts? Yes | No

D3 Record Keeping

  • Are all documentation related to all items of income and expenditure (including branch activities) kept for a minimum of six years? Yes | No
  • Where accounts are computerised, are safeguards in place in respect of hardware and offsite backups in place in respect of software and data? Yes | No

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