Control over access to, and the management of, an organization’s bank accounts ( financial institution accounts ) is an important part of good finances.
The FAL requires that a policy and certain procedures be put into place to make sure that a First Nation’s bank accounts and cash are managed to limit the chance of loss of money.
Under the FAL, Council must create a policy for the management of the First Nation’s financial institution accounts that includes that:
- all accounts are kept and used only for their intended use
- all records of account happenings are kept up-to-date and are available at any time for review
- all records about those in charge of the financial institution accounts must be kept up-to-date and any changes need to be reported to Council
- any changes made to the rules for writing a cheque need to be reported (in writing) as soon as possible to the financial institution. The rules for writing a cheque are outlined by Council, the Finance and Audit Committee, or the senior financial officer . A copy of these changes should be kept in the First Nation’s records
This policy must also include the steps for making deposits into the First Nation’s financial institution accounts, including that:
- all exchanges of cash should be done in a way that is clear and controlled so that fewer mistakes are made
- a record must be kept of any deposits that will happen on a regular basis
- it must be clear where each deposit is coming from and from what type of source
- all money in the deposit must be separated into different groups as needed
This policy must also include the steps for financial institution account reconciliation , including that:
- all financial institution accounts must be reviewed and reconciled by the senior financial officer. This must be done within 30 days from the end of each month, though exceptions may be made with good reason
- any errors or items seen as being out of the norm are documented and reported by the senior financial officer to the Finance and Audit Committee as soon as possible