Skip to main content

Trustee Role Description – Treasurer

Role title: Treasurer
Accountable to: Board of trustees
Responsible for: Finance
Term of office: Four years

The British Society for Immunology (BSI) is a dynamic membership organisation and learned society, with a mission to drive scientific discovery and make a positive impact on health. With over 4,400 members and a remit across academia, industry and healthcare in the UK and globally, we run many valuable initiatives, to connect our community, champion career development for our members and to catalyse change for the benefit of research, clinical delivery and public health

The Board of Trustees has up to 10 elected members, and four co-opted individuals with specific expertise. Trustees make active and dynamic contributions to the Board, using their wide-ranging skills, knowledge and experience to ensure good governance and the development of the strategy for the Society. They feed into wider activities that help enhance the work of immunology.  

Elected Trustees include the President, Treasurer, Chair of Member Representative Forum, Clinical Secretary, two Early Career Trustees and four General Trustees, all are members of the Society. Co-opted Trustees are appointed by the Board for their skills and expertise in finance, legal matters and other areas deemed necessary to ensure that the duties and obligations of the Board are fulfilled.   

Trustees are appointed for four years, may be elected for a second term, and may not serve more than two consecutive terms. The role holder is expected to attend four Board meetings per year held both virtually and in person in London. These are unremunerated positions but expenses such as travel are met by the Society. 

Board meetings are chaired by the President (or a deputy Trustee) and are attended by the Chief Executive and other senior staff. Other appointed Secretaries, Chairs of sub-committees and Editors-in-Chief of the Society’s journals are invited to attend Board meetings to report on BSI activities annually.

Scope and purpose

The overall role of the treasurer is to maintain an overview of the Society's affairs, ensure financial viability, and ensure that proper financial records and procedures are maintained.


  • Ensure that the Society is carrying out its purposes for which it is set up, as set out in its governing documents, the Articles of Association and the Rules. 
  • Comply with the governing documents and charity law requirements, having training where needed and taking advice on charity or company law changes.   
  • Are responsible for the sound governance of the Society, ensuring openness and following good charity practice, working with other trustees to make balanced decisions. 
  • Work with other Trustees to agree and set the BSI’s five-year strategy, setting annual strategic and operational goals and evaluating the delivery of activities and goals against annual targets.  
  • Manage the BSI’s resources responsibly, ensuring that there is proper financial oversight and responsibility for expenditure and investment policies.     
  • Oversee the risk register to ensure that all risks are regularly recorded, understood and acted upon where necessary. 
  • Ensure that the mission and the values of the Society are safeguarded. Oversee the effective operation of the Society, working with the Chief Executive and senior management team to guide and improve the delivery of activities. 
  • Appoint the Chief Executive and monitor their performance, carrying out an annual appraisal. 
  • Work with the BSI committee members and staff to advise and guide on various areas of Society’s work, attending Congress where possible and attending meetings with external bodies.  
  • All Trustees must understand and accept the legal duties, responsibilities and liabilities of trusteeship.

In addition to compliance with statutory duties, every Trustee should use their specific skills, knowledge, or experience they have to help the Board of Trustees reach sound decisions.  

Additional duties of the treasurer

  • Overseeing, approving and presenting budgets, accounts and other financial statements.
  • Being assured that the financial resources of the Society meet its present and future needs.
  • Ensuring that the charity has an appropriate reserves policy.
  • The preparation and presentation of the financial statements to the board.
  • Ensuring that appropriate accounting procedures and controls are in place.
  • Liaising with the Finance Manager on a regular basis.
  • Ensuring that the Society has an appropriate investment policy.
  • Ensuring that there is no conflict between any investment held and the aims and objects of the Society.
  • Monitoring the Society's investment activity.
  • Responsible for ensuring that the Society complies with all relevant legislation.
  • Ensuring that equipment and assets are adequately insured.
  • Ensure that the accounts are prepared in the form required by the relevant statutory bodies. 
  • Ensure that the accounts are audited in accordance with the regulations and that any recommendations are acted on.
  • Make a formal presentation of the accounts at the Society AGM as required by the legislation.
  • Chair the quarterly Finance sub-committee meetings.

Treasurer person specification

  • A demonstrable commitment to the Society and to immunology 
  • Fair, independent judgement and a willingness to speak their mind 
  • Adhere to and promote the BSI Code of Conduct
  • Aligned with the BSI values – ambitious and committed, evidence-based and responsible; collaborative and inclusive; agile and energetic
  • An ability to work collaboratively and collectively, accepting consensus
  • A willingness to deal with conflicts of interest and loyalty
  • Must use reasonable care and skill, making use of your skills and experience and taking appropriate advice when necessary 
  • Should give enough time, thought and energy to your role, for example by preparing for, attending and actively participating in all Trustees’ meetings 
  • A willingness to engage with members, act as an ‘ambassador’ for the BSI and promote its values and purpose
  • Financial experience
  • Some experience of charity finance, or a broad understanding
  • Skills to analyse proposals and examine their financial consequences
  • Willingness to be available to staff at short notice and on an ad-hoc basis