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What is a Treasurer?

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  • Written By: Niki Foster
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 07 April 2014
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A treasurer is a person who oversees the treasury, or monetary stores, of a government or other body. Clubs, corporations, and nonprofit organizations, as well as national and local governments, commonly employ treasurers. In the original use of the term, a treasurer was the person entrusted with the oversight of a noble's wealth, or treasure. A treasurer is responsible for economic and financial matters, such as the maintenance and administration of funds, generating revenue, and keeping financial records. Treasurers create financial reports for their employers and analyze past financial records in order to predict future trends and plan appropriate budgets.

The precise role of the treasurer in governments around the world varies. In the United States, for example, the Treasurer does not have direct control over all the actions of the Treasury, but reports to the Secretary of the Treasury and has limited financial authority, mostly related to the minting and printing of currency. In the Australian government, on the other hand, the Treasurer is second in importance only to the Prime Minister.

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In a corporation, the treasurer is typically in charge of all financial matters. Corporate finance consists of maximizing the value of the corporation while reducing financial risk. Corporate treasurers manage investments, debt, and expenditures and advise the corporation on financial matters. For example, they may assess whether certain expenditures, investments, or loans are in the best interest of the corporation. Corporate treasurers also make sure that a company has adequate cash flow to achieve its goals and run smoothly.

Nonprofit organizations and clubs often appoint a treasurer to handle funds and make sure they are appropriately spent. The treasurer of such an organization is also responsible for generating income, such as through seeking sponsorship or organizing fundraising events. He or she must also maintain a budget, keep records and documentation on all financial transactions, and keep other officers abreast of financial matters.

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