Position of SPR Honorary Treasurer - applications invited

The Society for Psychical Research is seeking nominations for an Honorary Treasurer, as the current Hon. Treasurer is stepping down.  The treasurer works as part of small team which includes the full-time Secretary, a part-time bookkeeper, an accountant from a firm of auditors, and a representative of an investment house.

The role is largely managerial and advisory and does not involve the execution of day-to-day financial transactions, which are handled by the Secretary.  The bookkeeper maintains the records of income and expenditure, and the accountant assists in the calculation of VAT and Gift Aid claims, and the preparation and review of the Annual Accounts.  The Secretary takes care of the payroll and does the filings to Companies House, HMRC and the Charity Commission. The investment house manages the investments in line with the policies communicated by the Treasurer.

This role is not remunerated; however reasonable expenses will be reimbursed.

The main responsibilities and duties of the Treasurer are:

  • Ensure that the financial affairs of the SPR are conducted in line with good practice and in accordance with the governing documents and legal requirements.
  • Ensure that financial measures, controls and procedures are in place, are effective, are appropriate for the Society, are cost-effective, and are observed.
  • Review, develop and ensure implementation of suitable financial, reserves and investment policies.
  • Ensure that financial resources are spent and invested in line with the Society’s policies, good governance, and legal and regulatory requirements.
  • Ensure sound financial instruments are in place for the control of the Society’s assets.
  • Monitor the financial health and prospects of the SPR and report on this to the SPR Council (Board of Trustees) at regular intervals.
  • Provide financial advice and support to persons or committees in charge of event pricing, the making of research grants, the management of SPR projects, and the acquisition or disposal of major assets.
  • Oversee the preparation of the Annual Accounts, present them for approval to the SPR Council, and present them to the Society’s members at the AGM.
  • Act as a financial advisor to Council regarding options and strategies for fundraising, cost reduction, asset disposals and acquisitions, income improvement, membership retention and recruitment, and general development and enhancement of the Society’s capacities, reputation and visibility.
  • Represent the SPR in matters of financial significance such as negotiations about legacies, real estate transactions, investment restructuring and legal disputes.

The role requires a person with:

Strong commitment to the SPR, and willingness to devote the necessary time and effort.

  • Strategic vision and good, independent judgment.
  • Ability to think creatively and willingness to speak their mind.
  • Understanding and acceptance of the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.
  • Ability to work effectively as a member of a team.
  • Financial qualifications and experience, some experience of Society finance, some management experience.
  • The skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences.
  • Tactfulness, patience and diplomacy to guide the Council in making complex or difficult decisions.
  • Willingness to be available to Council and staff for advice and enquiries on an ad hoc basis.

The task requires a time commitment of approximately 1-3 days per month, and includes:

  • Attending Council meetings at the SPR head office in Kensington in London.  These are held every two months and usually last from 18:00 to around 20:30.
  • Attending the AGM, usually held at the end of April in London, starting at 17:15.
  • Ad hoc meetings with the Secretary (based in the London office), to review financial status and operations.
  • Liaising with the investment house regarding investment policies and reporting of investment performance.
  • Liaising with the bookkeeper, Secretary and accountant/auditor for preparation of the annual accounts.
  • Ad hoc liaison with external persons or bodies regarding relevant SPR matters.

Applications in the form of a letter and CV should be sent to the Secretary (secretary@spr.ac.uk) by email by the 25th of April 2014. For further information please contact the Secretary by email or telephone (020 7937 8984).