2011 Budget/Controls

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Proposed interim financial controls

  • Date: 3 February 2011
  • Prepared for: Board of Trustees, Wikimedia UK
  • Prepared by: Thomas Dalton, Treasurer, Wikimedia UK


Maintaining control of its finances is a priority for any company, especially a charitable company. As Wikimedia UK intends to become a charity, the Board has decided to operate along charitable lines. For a charity, financials controls serve to ensure that charity funds are spent appropriately and to give potential and actual donors confidence that their donations will be spent appropriately.

Wikimedia UK is a rapidly growing organisation and it is impractical for us to put together detailed financial controls at this point in time. The following is intended to maintain a minimum acceptable level of control during financial year 2011, allowing us to put together a full policy during that year.


  1. The Board of Trustees will write and publish a budget outlining expected income and expenditure during the financial year.
  2. This will be published before or soon after the beginning of the financial year.
  3. Each section of the budget, with the exception of the Opportunity Fund, will identify a specific board member, either by name or position, who is responsible for authorising expenditure within that budget. Expenditure within the Opportunity Fund must be authorised by the entire Board.
  4. Any expenditure must be allocated to a specific budget and authorised by the appropriate board member or the board.
  5. If a transaction is for over £250 or is being executed by the authorising board member, it must be authorised by an additional board member. This should be the Treasurer or, if the Treasurer is the specified board member for that budget, the Chair.
  6. If a required board member is unavailable, authorisation should be sought from the Board.
  7. Authorisation must be received in advance of the transaction taking place. If it is impractical to seek prior authorisation, authorisation may be given retrospectively in the following cases:
    1. Travel within the UK by member of the board or staff as required for them to perform their duties up to a cost of £250.
    2. Entertaining of external parties by a board member up to a cost of £250.
  8. The person executing any transaction that is not authorised either in advance or retrospectively must reimburse the company or, if the person used their own funds, will not be reimbursed by the company.
  9. All authorisation of expenditure must be granted using the Authorisation of Expenditure form.
  10. All reimbursement of expenditure made using ones own funds must be requested using the Request for Reimbursement form. The appropriate Authorisation of Expenditure form should be attached or included by reference.
  11. The person(s) granting authorisation for expenditure is (are) responsible for ensuring that the expenditure is necessary and appropriate.
  12. The signatory making the payment is responsible for ensuring that the expenditure is appropriately authorised. If the payment is to reimburse someone for costs already incurred, the signatory is also responsible for ensuring that the costs were genuinely incurred. The signatory making the payment is not responsible for ensuring the expenditure is necessary and appropriate.