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Difference Between Treasurer and Financial Secretary

For the efficient and effective running of a business, accurate financial reporting is paramount. Records such as capital expenditures, income data, balance sheets and cash flow are vital regardless of the size of an enterprise. Accurate financial reporting helps businesses become financially transparent, identify success and improvement sectors, identify business opportunities, mitigate mistakes and errors and define business structures.  Based on the business structures, various personnel ease this process in a business such as a treasurer and financial secretary. Although sometimes used synonymously, the two have differences. 

Who is a Treasurer? 

This is personnel in an entity that oversees all aspects of financial management. Treasurers work in collaboration with other members of the organization to safeguard finances in an organization. 

Among the roles of a treasurer include:

  • Oversees all financial transactions including ensuring that all financial systems are in place
  • Ensure financial compliance with the legislation
  • Present and oversee budgets in an organization
  • Manage funding in an organization. This includes advising on the fundraising strategy and ensuring it is in line with the organization’s policies and the relevant legislation
  • Reports on an organization’s financial position and presents the accounts to the management
  • Advises the board on financial measures as well as investment options
  • Set up appropriate systems for payments, bookkeeping, petty cash management and bank accounts management
  • Ensure proper records are kept and maintained

In most instances, the treasurer delegates financial responsibilities to junior staff depending on the size and dynamics of an entity.

Who is a Financial Secretary?

This is a person who works under the supervision of the treasurer and finance manager to ensure relevant financial obligations are carried out. 

The roles of a financial secretary include:

  • Receive and record all funds transactions in the financial system
  • Handle disbursements and refunds
  • Reconcile and provide monthly and annual financial reports
  • Deposit funds in the company’s bank accounts
  • Prepare and issue payment authorizations as approved by the treasurer or finance manager
  • Ensure that financial records are in line with the organization’s audit requirements

Similarities between Treasurer and Financial Secretary

  • Both ensure that a company’s financial policies are adhered to

Differences between Treasurer and Financial Secretary

Duties

A treasurer oversees all financial transactions in an organization including budgeting, managing of funds, ensuring financial compliance, advising the board on financial measures as well as setting up appropriate financial systems. On the other hand, a financial secretary receives, records and reconciles funds transactions, prepares monthly and annual reports, prepares payment authorizations as well as ensuring financial records are in line with an entity’s policies. 

Complexity of work

A treasurer handles complex work that requires more qualifications and work experience. On the other hand, a financial secretary handles simpler financial work that requires less work experience and qualifications. 

Decision making

A treasurer has high decision-making authority and reports to the board of directors. On the other hand, a financial secretary has minimal decision-making authority and reports to the treasurer or finance manager. 

Treasurer vs. Financial Secretary: Comparison Table

Treasurer vs. Financial Secretary

A treasurer oversees all financial transactions in an organization including budgeting, managing of funds, ensuring financial compliance, advising the board on financial measures as well as setting up appropriate financial systems. He or she has high decision-making authority. Also, the complexity of the work is high hence requires more experience and qualifications. On the other hand, a financial secretary receives, records and reconciles funds transactions, prepares monthly and annual reports, prepares payment authorizations as well as ensuring financial records are in line with an entity’s policies. A financial secretary has minimal decision-making authority. Despite the variance in the roles, both are vital in ensuring a company runs efficiently.  


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    References :


    [0]Report, United States. Industrial Commission. U.S. Government Printing Office, 2014.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=SidFAQAAMAAJ&pg=PA60&dq=Difference+Between+Treasurer+and+Financial+Secretary&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUk6jH_vzuAhVHUxoKHTqiC74Q6AEwAHoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20Between%20Treasurer%20and%20Financial%20Secretary&f=false

    [1]Decisions and Orders of the National Labor Relations Board, Volume 349. University of California, Berkeley, 2015. https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=wAHYIXWbmigC&pg=PA218&dq=Difference+Between+Treasurer+and+Financial+Secretary&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwiUk6jH_vzuAhVHUxoKHTqiC74Q6AEwAXoECAIQAg#v=onepage&q=Difference%20Between%20Treasurer%20and%20Financial%20Secretary&f=false

    [2]David C. Ruffin. The Duties and Responsibilities of the Secretary of the Treasury. The Rosen Publishing Group, Inc, 2004.https://books.google.co.ke/books?id=3hvLaUio3R4C&printsec=frontcover&dq=roles+of+a+Treasurer+and+Financial+Secretary&hl=en&sa=X&ved=2ahUKEwixj5aS__zuAhUC0uAKHVuSCKwQ6AEwAHoECAEQAg#v=onepage&q=roles%20of%20a%20Treasurer%20and%20Financial%20Secretary&f=false

    [3]Image credit: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:MC_Status_Patch_-_Treasurer.jpg

    [4]Image credit: https://pixabay.com/photos/money-magnifier-economy-dollars-4345351/

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