Things to consider before you start

From Our Toolkit

Before you start your financial planning there are some key questions to ask:

How will you hold money?

Do you need to set up a bank account or if you are within a larger organisation will you have a budget line or cost code in a larger budget? If you need to set up a bank account then this advice from the Resource Centre can be helpful. If your income and expenditure forms part of a larger budget you need to be clear on how you can track the money you have, what your spending limits are and how you record and report any financial activities.

Understanding your financial situation

The National Archives in partnership with the Archives & Records Association have produced a Financial Planning Toolkit which outlines the importance of understanding your financial situation before you begin any new financial planning.

What level of reporting will you need to do?

Some financial reporting is determined by your legal stucture or whether you hold charitable status. You will need to check with Companies House and the Charity Commission as to their requirements.

Accounting software

Once you know what reporting is required, you can choose an appropriate software for the job. This could be as simple Microsoft Excel or other spreadsheet package or could be an accounts package such as Sage, Quickbooks or Xero. West Yorkshire Community Accounting Services has advice on Sage and Quickbooks in the Accounting Software & Record Keeping section of its Good Practice Guides.

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A one-page list of all the sections of the Toolkit.