Setting up financial controls and processes for events

Event organisers should establish an event's financial controls and processes early and ingrain them into their team.

Controls and separation of duties

As a matter of best practice, all financial transactions within an event should have tight controls and processes in place.

There must be an appropriate separation of duties within the finance team and between other staff involved with cash and financial dealings. For example, a single employee should not be able to sign off an invoice, set up a payment and then process that payment.

Examples of some of the controls that should be put in place include:

  • 2 signatories on cheques/payment runs/online payments
  • 2 authorisers of investments
  • if an event has a large cash surplus, it's prudent to split investments between 2 or more banks
  • the person raising a payment should never be the person to sign it off
  • a clear expense claim process
  • expense claims should always be signed off by the direct manager.

Policies and procedures

To be effective, policies need to be clear and concise. Examples of some items or activities that may require a policy include:

  • taxis
  • corporate hosting
  • investments
  • insurance
  • supplier payments
  • expense claims
  • credit cards
  • travel, accommodation and meals (if employees are required to travel).

Delegations/financial roles and responsibilities

Clearly define each employee's delegated authority limits and responsibilities. The delegations should include areas such as:

  • spending limits
  • executing contracts
  • signing off invoices
  • capex purchases.

These limits are likely to vary depending upon the seniority of the employee.

Sample policy

Delegations of Authority policy — Rugby New Zealand 2011 Limited [PDF, 61 KB]