This is the time many P&C Associations have their Annual General Meetings. We have collated below some of the most common questions about AGMs:
- Do we need a professional auditor to do our P&C audit?
No. The auditor does not have to be formally qualified. The auditor should be someone who is not an office bearer, and does not have a relationship with an office bearer that would cause a conflict of interest (e.g. a personal or business relationship). They should also have appropriate skills in financial management and record keeping, however it is for the P&C Association to decide what level of skills would be most appropriate for them.
Often this depends on the size and complexity of a P&C Association: for example, a P&C Association that runs multiple large services such as a canteen and out of hours school care, and employs multiple people, may prefer someone highly qualified. Whereas a smaller P&C Association may prefer someone with more basic bookkeeping skills.
- Who is allowed to vote and nominate at the AGM?
Only people who are financial members at the time of the AGM can vote and nominate for positions. This means people who have paid the membership fee before the close of the last general meeting. New members that pay their membership at the AGM will not be financial members until the AGM closes, and they can vote and nominate at all meetings after that. The membership factsheet outlines this in more detail.
- What happens if some roles are not filled?
Any roles not filled at the AGM are called casual vacancies. These roles can be filled at any general meeting. The casual vacancies should be included on the agenda for all general meetings, and nominations should be called for. Casual vacancies are continually added to general meeting agendas until the roles are filled. If nominations are received at the general meeting, the roles are filled as they would be at the AGM.
The most important thing to remember is in order for the P&C Association to carry out any financial transactions or authorise payments you must have at least two of the five office bearer roles filled. This is because P&C Association accounts need two signatories, and only the office bearers can be signatories.
- How do we submit our audit reports to P&C Federation and update office bearer details?
Each year, you should update P&C Federation with your office bearers and (if your P&C Association is incorporated) supply P&C Federation with your audit report. You can provide this material to P&C Federation via the Member Portal or alternatively, via the Member Register Update. If your audit report is too large to upload, you can email it to P&C Federation through firstname.lastname@example.org
- Is proxy or absentee voting allowed?
No. There is no enabler in the Prescribed or Standard Constitutions that allow P&C Associations to use proxy or absentee voting. This is where a member of a decision-making body e.g. a current financial member of the P&C Association delegates his or her voting powers to another person (called the “proxy”) to enable a vote in their absence. Voting in P&C Associations can only be done by financial members who are present at a meeting.
If you want more information, the AGMs and Audit Reports webinar will soon be available at this link.