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Core club tips for operational expenditure and long-term sustainability.


Watch a recently recorded 45-minute webinar on Financial Management (a must for all Treasurers). A simple and free, one-time-only registration is required to watch all webinars within the AFL ClubHelp Webinar Series. Click through to login and view 'ClubHelp Webinars'.


Whilst the Treasurer & Club President will spend more time assessing the financial health of the club, the whole Committee need to take an active role in monitoring the financial health of the club.  

Getting a diligent Treasurer who understands modern practices when it comes to preparing and reporting on the club budget, cashflow & balance sheet is important. They should however not be the only Committee rep with access to the bank accounts as this opens them (& the club) up to potential concerns should any questions be raised about the accuracy of the reports / fund levels. Having multiple representatives with oversight of the transactions is also a requirement for insurance coverage within the Club Management Liability policy provided by Marsh as part of the National Risk Protection Program. 

Have a look through the following two sample Treasurer PDs to help establish one suitable for your club:

All football clubs, no matter their size, need sound practices for regulating and recording financial transactions. 

The treasurer is responsible for reporting the financial status of the club to the committee on a regular basis and comparing the financial performance with the budgeted performance. 

Make sure all bank accounts held by the club are regularly presented to the committee. e.g., senior account, junior account, social /events account and ensure these are reported in the club financial reports. 

Accounting Stationery 

An online accounting system suiting not-for-profit organisations is highly recommended. Examples to consider include – xero, quickbooks, TidyHQ etc. The size and complexity of a club will influence what is finally put in place. If you don’t have anything in place at present, ask your League &/or other clubs in your League for advice on what they use (including pros & cons & usage costs). 

All clubs should have a budget as it underpins all club activities and plans, in the short and long term. Your sports club budget (also known as a financial plan / forecast) is a tool to help your club manage money and plan for a healthy future. 

The treasurer is responsible for developing a financial plan (or budget) for the club in consultation with the relevant committees. 

Writing a club budget doesn’t have to be complicated. One way to create the budget is to compare your actual income and costs to what you budgeted or use last year's figures. The budget is simply a plan that’s been expressed in money terms and is usually prepared for one year in advance. A budget will show: 

  • How much income your club expects to receive during the next financial year (income) 
  • How much your club expects to spend in the next financial year (expense) 
  • The predicted surplus (profit) or deficit (loss) for the budget period 


A club’s income is the money received by the club. A club’s income can come from: 

  • Registration fees 
  • Canteen sales 
  • Grants 
  • Gate takings 
  • Fundraising 
  • Merchandise sales 
  • Sponsorship 


A club’s expenses can be defined as the amount of money that is spent by the club. Club expenses can include: 

  • Insurance and affiliation 
  • Ground hire 
  • Footballs and other equipment 
  • Event costs 
  • Medals and trophies 
  • Uniforms and merchandise 
  • Utilities (electricity, water etc.) 

Preparing your budget 

When preparing the club’s annual budget, the treasurer should lead the process. However, they will require input from others, like club committee members, equipment managers, coaches, trainers, and canteen managers. 

The easiest way to prepare your budget is by basing it on the income and expenditure of the previous year. 

Start by reviewing last year’s income and consider any changes in income for the current year like: 

  • Is your income level expected to be similar? 
  • Is income reducing or are there new income streams? 
  • Have council rates increased? 
  • Is the club expecting any unsual / one-off income / expenditure this year 
  • Remember to be careful in budgeting excessively for income that may not happen! 

The club’s development or strategic plan should also be examined to identify any additional sources of income and major areas of expenditure associated with the coming year. The budget is then drawn up outlining when money can be spent and when it should be held in reserve to cover future payments. The budget should be reported on monthly at committee meetings and annually at the club’s AGM.

Club Budgets - Watch (3 mins)

  • Does the club need an ABN? 
  • What tax obligations does the club have: GST, PAYG and FBT? 
  • Is a Business Activity Statement required to be completed? 
  • Are all accounts reported to the Committee in the monthly reports? 
  • Are the accounts reflective of all transactions? Are there any red flags? 
  • What are the reasons for variances to last year? 
  • Who has access to cash handling & what processes are in place to monitor this? 
  • Do multiple people have access to all of the accounts? 
  • Can payments in and from the club move fully away from cash / cheques (using on-line / credit card payments as the preferred method)? 
  • What procedures are in place to reduce risks associated with cash held at matches / events? 
  • Is the club meeting its financial reporting requirements under state/territory legislation? 
  • Are there any gaps in insurance coverage for the club to consider? 
  • How secure is any data that the club holds? 
  • Does the club have written contracts in place for anyone who receives a payment from the club? 
  • Do multiple people undertake a regular stocktake of supplies (merchandise, bar, canteen)? 
  • Does the club regularly obtain multiple written quotes from any suppliers? 
  • Are clear written contracts in place with suppliers (& players where relevant)? 
  • What financial reporting is required to retain sponsors? 

A statement of income and expenditure and a statement of assets and liabilities are the principal components of the annual financial report to be adopted by members at AGM. These statements show the profitability and financial position, as well as the net worth, of the club after the year’s activities and should include comparisons to the previous year’s figures to assist the members in determining any area of significant change between periods. 

The report is based on the receipts and the payments, which have been summarised in the cashbooks. 

Annual income and expenditure statement shows how much money the club has made or lost over the year. The statement is based on figures recorded in the cashbook and is normally prepared by your club’s treasurer and verified by the auditor. 

Annual statement of assets and liabilities is a statement of what the club owns and what it owes, the difference between the two being the net worth or accumulated funds of the club. 

If the club is incorporated under state/territory legislation, it is required to lodge a return (copy of the annual accounts) at the appropriate state/territory authority. 

Depending on the range of systems used, the club treasurer may need to oversee multiple systems. The more systems in the place, the higher the workload for the Treasurer and the more chance of errors. At some clubs, Club Treasurers may need to monitor the following: 

  • Cheque books 
  • A numbered receipt book with carbon copy page 
  • A file for accounts payable 
  • A file to store receipts from accounts paid 
  • Bank deposit books 
  • A cash book or a general ledger 
  • Account forms for members' subscriptions 
  • File of orders placed with suppliers 
  • A file to store bank statements 
  • A petty cash payment voucher/book