From Canadian Christian Charities Council (CCCC)

by Gilbert Langerak

Whether you are a treasurer of an agency which uses a policy governance model or a church treasurer with more administrative responsibilities, the transition from one treasurer to another is important.

Administrative treasurers are entrusted with the major responsibility of ensuring financial transactions are handled in an orderly and timely fashion, and that the results are reported to the charity’s leaders, supporters, the government and the public.  Some activities have serious repercussions if not completed on a timely basis, such as filing the T3010 and remitting payroll deductions.

Each charity has its own unique history and specific financial systems.  To ensure this corporate memory is not lost, it is important for an out-going treasurer to ensure the incoming one is fully briefed.  The following checklist can serve as a guide when the old and new treasurers meet to transfer responsibilities.  This checklist assumes the treasurer is directly involved in carrying out various administrative tasks and it can be reduced if charity staff carry out any of the functions noted below.

  • Signing authorities – update for banking, tax receipting, invoice payment authorization, etc. Any signing authority change requiring Board approval should be noted in the minutes.
  • Contact information – update for all associations and government forms.  These would be, as applicable: denominational head office, affiliated agencies, government bodies and others (e.g. CCCC, which can be self-updated at – Members section).  Note: CCCC recommends all government forms go to the charity’s address, not the Treasurer’s, in order to reduce the risk of missed deadlines or penalties during a transition period.
  • Review government filings and deadlines – such as the annual T3010, remitting payroll deductions and GST/HST(if applicable), filing for GST/HST rebates, and any other reports (e.g. if your charity is incorporated, other filings may be needed).
  • Financial system overview – including budgeting, cash handling, donation and cash receipts ledgers, expenditure controls and ledgers, the general ledger, internal and external financial statements, etc.
  • Time-sensitive remittances (if applicable) – such as pension contributions, extended health coverage premiums, denominational payments, etc.
  • Agendas – review agenda items the treasurer is responsible for with the Board and at the Annual General Meeting, including preparation lead time.
  • Bank reconciliations – “how-to” and keeping them up-to-date.
  • Insurance – review coverage, documentation and contact information.
  • Back ups – review the computer back up system and frequency.
  • Records retention – review (please see the checklist template available at – Member Resources area – topic section: Books and Records).
  • Policies – review ones specifically relevant to the Treasurer (e.g. applicable Board and Committee policies, Audit Committee, Benevolence, Designated Giving, Ethics, Gift Evaluation & Acceptance, Investment, Privacy, etc.), the salary review process and have an awareness of all other charity policies.
  • Past minutes – minute copies for the past year and any other relevant historical information.
  • Other items – such as, but not limited to:
    • Restricted funds – both externally and internally restricted and the nature of the restrictions (e.g. bequests, donor restrictions, government funding, etc.).
    • Investments (if applicable) – what investments are held, for what purpose, term, etc.
    • Long-term commitments – equipment and rental lease agreements, service contracts, review at what dollar amount items are capitalized, rates of depreciation, etc.
    • Things on the horizon – are there any legal or other issues either underway or that might be coming up.

CCCC Bulletin Issue 5, 2009 (Last Reviewed:  January 22, 2019)

This article is provided as a general guideline to assist CCCC member charities of which The Free Methodist Church in Canada is an active member.  We would encourage local churches to consider the benefits of a CCCC membership.
This information does not constitute legal or other professional advice.
Appropriate modifications are required to suit the facts applicable to each situation.
Where the intent is to use this sample, it should be provided to legal counsel along with appropriate instructions to meet the specific needs and circumstances of the charity.