Annual Financial Return

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Thank you for your work on the District finances over the year. Being a local treasurer is a vital role both for your District and the national organisation and we greatly appreciate the work that you put in. We say this particularly now just as we are sending you the Annual Financial Return covering the period 1st Jan 2019 to 31st Dec 2019.

Below you will find information about (click links to jump to information):

When to complete your Annual Financial Return

Because the Return 2019 covers the 2019 calendar year, so we don’t expect you to be complete it until early 2020. If you are reading this before the end of 2019, you might want to take the opportunity to minimise any uncleared transactions by banking any cash or cheques that you have or by chasing anyone that hasn’t banked cheques that you have issued. 

Please complete the Annual Financial Return by 31st January 2020. By the same date, please also send in copies of the bank statements covering 31st December 2019 to

Because your Return is an online Google Sheet there’s no need to send it to us by email/post but you do need to post/email us your bank statement(s).

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The new format of the Return

The Annual Financial Return looks a bit different this year – rather than being a ‘Microsoft Excel' spreadsheet it is an online ‘Google Sheet’.

Because it’s online, we can access the Google Sheet for your District at the same time as you, enabling us to collect and collate information in real time. This should reduce the workload for both you and us. Also, because we can access the Google Sheet while you’re working on it we should be able to resolve any issues more quickly and easily.

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How to access your Annual Financial Return

To access the Annual Financial Return for your District, just click on the hyperlink which has been sent to each District Treasurer. Please note that there is a specific hyperlink to access each District's Google Sheets Return. If you have not received your hyperlink or need your return in a different format, please email

(NB: it’s free to use the Google Sheets.)

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Initial checks when you open your Google Sheet

  • Check that the opening balances on your District’s Return are correct (ie. that they follow on from your closing balances from last year. Please check both bank balance(s) and income/expenditure figures. If the figures aren’t correct, please let us know at

  • Go to the ‘Info.’ tab (the black tab) and go through the questions to check which other tabs you may need or want to complete.  Some tabs are requirements and other tabs are optional.

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Overview of your Google Sheet - summary of the tabs

  • The ‘District Return’ tab (the green tab) must be completed by every District.

  • The ‘Info.’ tab helps you navigate the Return. At the bottom of the page is the list of Groups that we think are in your District and are covered by the Return. You need to ensure that all your Groups are listed and that your Return covers all of them. If, for example, one of your Groups does its own Annual Financial Return and is not included in your District’s Annual Financial Return, please notify us at

  • The Grants tab (the blue tab) must be completed if you received restricted funding in2019 or had any in the previous year. Restricted grants are those for a specific purpose and include the Co-op Community Grants.

  • The ‘Reconciliation’ tab (the yellow tab) is provided to help you. You might want to use it if you need to reconcile (ie. adjust) your bank balance(s) to reflect any transactions that you have recorded in your income/expenditure records but which have not yet cleared your bank account. Note that if you have uncleared transactions and don’t reconcile your figures, the District return tab will show an error (ie. your income/expenditure records and bank balance(s) won’t match).

  • The ‘Consolidation (bank accounts)’ tab (the pink tab) must be completed, if your District has more than one bank account. Please note that it’s important we know about every bank account. 

  • The ‘Consolidation (records)’ tab (the purple tab) is provided to help you total-up your figures if you have more than one set of income/expenditure records (eg for different Groups). Please 'copy and paste' your District's total figures to the ‘District Return’ tab. Remember to 'copy and paste' the figures only. 

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More info on the ‘District Return’ tab

Every District must complete the “District Return” tab. (In contrast, because Woodcraft Folk Districts vary in size, organisation and complexity you won’t necessarily need to complete the other tabs -  please read the “Info.” tab to check which other tabs you must or may want to complete.)

You should keep in mind the following key principles, which are discussed below, when completing the Return:

  • separating internal Woodcraft Folk transactions from those external to Woodcraft Folk

  • separating restricted and unrestricted funds

Internal/external transactions

  • Woodcraft Folk is one organisation and we have to ensure that we do not overstate our turnover by counting transactions between one part of the organisation and another (eg between Districts and Centres or Districts and Folk Office). This means that in the preparation of national organisation’s audited  accounts we need to identify such “internal” transactions so that we can cancel them out. 

  • For this reason you'll see that there are various places on the Annual Financial Return where you need to be clear whether a transaction is internal to Woodcraft Folk or external to Woodcraft Folk. Eg. there are specific  spaces for recording camp expenditure that goes to Woodcraft Folk and other spaces for recording camp expenditure that doesn't go to Woodcraft Folk.  

Restricted/unrestricted funds

  • We need to be clear which money can be spent on anything (ie. is unrestricted) and which can only be spent on specific items (ie. is restricted).  Generally for grants, when applying you will have had to specify what you were planning to spend the grant on and thus the funds will be restricted to that purpose.  

  • Co-op Community Fund grants may appear a bit of a grey area but you must treat them as restricted. This is because, when you apply for these grants you need to specify what you will spend the grant on. If you have not treated them in the past, there is no need to go back and correct this but please make sure you treat them as restricted going forwards.

Extra info. on income/expenditure categories

  • Donations (subs/camps/other) - some districts ask for donations towards the cost of camps or group nights rather than charging specific fees.  If this is the case use these headings.

  • Received from other WF branches/region - enter any money received here from other regions or branches eg if a bank account within the district has closed and the balance transferred to the district.

Towards the bottom of the District Return you’ll see the ‘Financial Records and Bank balance/petty cash check’. This is to check that your bank balance(s) match your income/expenditure records. Hopefully when you have filled-in all your figures, you'll get the green signal. If you get the red signal instead and you can’t identify the problem, then please ask us and we will try to help

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More info. on some of the other tabs

‘Grants’ tab

  • We have pre-populated the 'Grants' tab with the balances brought forward from the previous year and the name of the grants.  Please complete the rest of the information for each grant and add in the information for any new restricted grants that you have received during the year.

  • The total on the ‘Grants’ tab should match the total on the ‘District Return’ tab.

‘Reconciliation’ tab:

  • Your income/expenditure records should match your bank balance. They won't match if there are transactions that have not cleared your bank account on 31st December and so are not reflected in the bank balance at the year end. The reconciliation adjusts your bank account as if uncleared transactions have gone through.

  • If you have more than one bank account, make sure they are all reconciled as necessary.

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Help with your Return

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