Massachusetts Public Library Trustees Handbook
The trustees have the job of setting priorities and securing funds; the director and staff have the responsibility to implement the funded programs to meet the needs of the community. Following are best practices of budget implementation:
The tasks, authority and duties for library spending must be clearly delegated to the bookkeeper, director or other staff.
Trustees may be asked to contribute specific expertise in fiscal management, but their major role is planning, budgeting and securing funds.
Personnel and procedures for handling library funds may vary in local library systems depending on the size of the library budget and staff. Specific procedures and responsibilities should be outlined in the local policy and procedure manuals so that all trustees and staff understand the lines of authority. Trustees generally should delegate the handling of day-to-day financial operations of the library to the director.
Trustees fulfill their fiscal responsibilities by maintaining a knowledge of budget implementation and adherence to budget plans and policies.
The library director is responsible for keeping the trustees informed of budget implementation. Periodic and annual reports should be prepared for the board, the public, and various funding sources which may require their own reporting forms. Trustees should:
Review monthly financial reports:
|Balance of budget|
|Budget to Actual/Actual to Previous Period|
|Explanation of major changes|
Monitor fiscal operations of the library to assure:
|Financial records are complete and accurate|
|Resources are managed in an economical and efficient manner|
|System of internal controls exists to safeguard the assets|
|Accuracy of accounting|