Learning the financial basics

It is your responsibility as a Trustee to ensure the financial health of your Library or Regional System.

You are responsible for approving financial plans, financial reports, and possibly, audits of your library. When you approve a financial statement or report, the assumption is that you understand what is presented. See Understanding your role for more information about your fiduciary responsibilities.

Your responsibility for the financial health of the library is more than approving a budget or financial report. You are also responsible for:

  • Understanding the implications of a budget and a financial report
  • Ensuring the allocation of money matches your Board’s strategic direction and plan
  • Ensuring that all necessary financial policies are in place.

There are many different kinds of financial reports you can expect to see. Financial reports tend to occur on a schedule—monthly, quarterly, semi-annually, annually—and can contain different information for different audiences. The reporting schedule and format differ from one Board to the next. Ask your Chair and/or Library Manager to explain your main revenue sources, expenditure categories, one-time funds, reporting procedures, and the different reports to you as they occur throughout the year.


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