Honorary Treasurer, Oral History Society


Oral History Society. Reg Charity No 288805

Vacancy for the position of Honorary Treasurer starting July 2020

The Oral History Society is looking for an honorary treasurer to take over responsibility for the financial affairs of the charity from July 2020 in succession to the current Treasurer Nick Chalmers. The Society, which has approaching 1,000 members, is over fifty years old and is the leading organisation in its field in the UK. 

Amongst other activities, the Oral History Society:

  • publishes a print journal twice a year 
  • supports a well-used and informative website (www.ohs.org.uk),
  • holds highly successful conferences, 
  • maintains a regional network of expert oral historians who can support members locally and help local organisations,
  • supports a number of special interest groups,
  • partners with National Life Stories at the British Library to run the UK’s most highly respected oral history training courses,
  • acts as an advocate for high quality and ethical collection, preservation and reuse of people’s memories. 

Over twenty elected trustees from across the UK, meeting quarterly, are responsible for the governance of the charity, headed by an Officers’ Group comprising the Chair, Vice-Chair, Secretary and Treasurer, supported by three part-time staff funded on a freelance basis. The Society also contracts a graphic designer and web support consultants.

Integral to the effective running of the Society is the position of Treasurer. The Society is in good financial health and has plans to expand activities through its 3-year strategic plan, and the Treasurer’s input into the charity’s financial strategy and planning will be crucial.  Full support will be given to the new Treasurer who will be expected to attend the quarterly committee meetings of the Trustees, and quarterly meetings of the Finance & Membership Sub Committee.

The ideal candidate will have:

  • Experience and knowledge of charitable organisations
  • A reasonable knowledge of the financial affairs of a medium sized charity 
  • Experience of accountancy and/or book-keeping
  • The ability to take responsibility for the charity’s finances

We can offer you:

  • Training where necessary
  • Support with financial planning and fundraising from the Finance & Membership Sub-Committee, the Officers and the other Trustees 
  • The opportunity to increase knowledge and skills in financial planning and management in the charity sector.

Please note that direct experience of or interest in oral history or similar historical discipline is desirable but not essential.  If a candidate had some knowledge of fundraising, this would also be welcomed.

This is a voluntary position, although travel expenses are covered by the Society.

For further information about this role please contact Robert Wilkinson on 020 8530 4847 or by email to robert.wilkinson1970@gmail.com

To apply for this position please send:

  • a short statement indicating why you are interested in this role 
  • a current CV which also shows your knowledge and experience of the responsibilities covered by the accompanying role description. 
  • the contact details of two referees. 

Send to: Robert Wilkinson via email robert.wilkinson1970@gmail.com

The deadline for applications is Friday 3 April 2020

OHS Treasurer Role Description


  • Oversee the financial affairs of the Society and ensure they are legal, constitutional and within accepted accounting practice.
  • Ensure proper electronic records are kept and that effective financial procedures are in place.
  • Monitor and report on the financial health of the organisation.
  • Oversee the production of necessary financial reports/returns, accounts and audits.
  • Assist with fundraising as necessary.
  • Deal with monies in and monies out of the Society’s bank accounts.


  • Liaise with trustees to ensure the financial viability of the Society.
  • Ensure that trustees are aware of their financial obligations and take a lead in interpreting financial data to them.
  • Report on the Society’s financial position at quarterly committee meetings and finance sub-committee meetings which are normally held in London (and produce reports and commentaries showing the balance sheet, cash flow, fundraising performance etc).
  • Oversee the production of an annual budget, liaise with appointed auditors and propose its adoption at the Annual General Meeting.
  • Ensure proper records are kept and that effective financial procedures and controls are in place, ie:
    • Cheque signatories
    • Purchasing limits
    • Purchasing and payment systems
    • Monitoring and approving trustees’, networkers and Special Interest Group expenses
  • Ensure that the organisation is compliant with the regulations of the Charity Commission and make appropriate organisational returns to that Body.
  • Advise on the financial viability of plans, proposals and feasibility studies.
  • Lead on appointing and liaising with auditors/an independent examiner.
  • Liaise with the Charity’s bankers and other financial agencies where necessary.
  • Liaise as required with the Society’s subscription agents (at January 2020: Webscribe).
  • Liaise with National Life Stories and BL-NLS/OHS-accredited trainers to ensure fees are paid to the Society.
  • Liaise with the Society’s Data Protection Officer and Membership Officer as required.


  • Knowledge and experience of current finance practice relevant to voluntary and community organisations.
  • Knowledge of bookkeeping and financial management.
  • Good financial analysis skills.
  • Ability to communicate clearly.

Benefits to the postholder

  • Support from trustees through a Finance and Membership sub-committee to ensure good financial management of the Charity.
  • The potential to develop one’s financial management skills.
  • Training is available where necessary.
  • Out of pocket expenses are payable

Ongoing Work

  • Keep and file invoices enter on cheque reconciliation spreadsheet
  • Make payments to invoices – try to do within three weeks of receipt
  • Raise Invoices with individuals and agencies from time to time
  • Keep abreast of any changes in legislation
  • Liaise with Webscribe – file membership sheets weekly
  • From time to time oversee and make investments
  • Liaise with JSTOR re membership 
  • Organise an annual/biannual meeting with Webscribe
  • Generally deal with any  matters re Society finances