A society secretary is not required to possess any formal qualifications but must demonstrate that they have the ability and/or access to the relevant advice to enable them to carry out the role.  The main duties of the Secretary are:

  1. In conjunction with the Board, plan, give the required notice of, and hold Board and general meetings, including the Annual General Meeting
  2. Maintain the Society’s registers, including a Register of Members, Register of Directors, Register of Charges and Minutes
  3. Arrange for the Society’s accounts to be audited
  4. Make the returns to the co-operative’s registrar (Financial Conduct Authority, ‘FCA’)
  5. Inform the FCA, at the appropriate time, of any changes to the co-operative’s governing document, directors, secretary or registered office address

The secretary benefits from the protection of limited liability. However, limited liability may be lost is they fail to perform duties required under the Co‑operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (‘the Act’). In the main they will only incur liability if the negligence was knowing or deliberate.

More information about the role can be found at


The Treasurer has day-to-day responsibility for looking after the Society’s money but the Board of Directors is responsible for deciding how funds will be raised and spent. Main duties of the Treasurer are:

  1. Oversee and present budgets, accounts and financial statements to the Board of Directors and the AGM
  2. Liaise with designated staff about financial matters
  3. Ensure that appropriate financial systems and controls are in place
  4. Ensure compliance with relevant legislation and that record-keeping and accounts meet the conditions of funders or statutory bodies
  5. Prepare accounts for audit and liaising with the auditor, as required
  6. Ensure appropriate systems for book-keeping, payments, lodgements & petty cash
  7. Ensure everyone handling money keeps proper records and documentation and there is effective monitoring and reporting
  8. Manage bank accounts and present regular reports on the organisation’s financial position reporting
  9. Ensure required insurances are in place

In addition the Treasurer will advise on:

  • the organisation’s fundraising strategy
  • the preparation and presentation budgets for new or ongoing work
  • the financial implications of strategic and operational plans
  • financial forecasts based on actual spend

In all of these areas the Treasurer is responsible for ensuring that effective financial systems and procedures have been established, are being consistently followed and are in line with best practice and legal requirements.