OA service bodies are self-supporting (in accordance with Tradition Seven) through contributions from individuals and OA groups. These contributions help service bodies to carry the OA message of recovery. OA service bodies use these funds to cover their expenses and services. Service body funds generally subsidize such services as:

  • Meeting space expenses for the service body
  • Post Office box fees
  • Copying and postage expenses
  • Telephone and/or voice messaging services
  • World Service Business Conference delegate and region representative expenses
  • Website setup and maintenance
  • Literature for public information and professional outreach
  • Expenses associated with retreats, workshops, OA celebrations, and events
  • Newsletters and meeting lists
  • Applicable governmental business licenses and taxes
  • Liability insurance

Service bodies forward surplus funds (over and above the operating budget) to their region and the World Service Office based on percentages agreed on through a group conscience.

The treasurer meets service body bylaw qualifications for the position, which generally include a minimum period of abstinence and demonstrated recovery. Familiarity with or a willingness to learn and use technology for communication and record keeping is important. The treasurer usually has three areas of responsibility: bookkeeping, budgeting, and reporting. Bookkeeping is maintaining the service body’s ability to collect and pay out funds and keeping clear and simple records of funds collected and spent. Budgeting is creating and following a plan for funds to be collected and spent. Reporting is presenting bookkeeping and budgeting data in ways that keep the Fellowship and any outside authorities informed. For example, many treasurers provide a spreadsheet showing income and expense items and amounts, as in the attached sample spreadsheet.

Bookkeeping Tasks

  • Establish and maintain a checking account
  • Ensure appropriate safeguards are in place and used to protect the assets of the service body (for example, requiring dual signatures on checks)
  • Pay expenses on time
  • Make deposits promptly
  • Balance the bank statement against receipts and checkbook regularly
  • Update the bank signature card when needed
  • Create and maintain expense forms
  • Collect the Seventh Tradition at service body meetings, if there is a collection

Budgeting Tasks

  • Chair the budget and/or finance committee
  • Ask for annual budget requests from committee chairs and board members, using the OA Budget Guidelines for Service Bodies
  • Create an annual budget and present it for service body approval
  • Maintain a prudent reserve
  • Look for creative ways to reduce service body expenses and increase funds

Reporting Tasks

  • Create regular reports and present them at service body meetings. (Periodic reporting of group Seventh Tradition contributions is advised.)
  • Maintain treasury archives and retain financial records for an appropriate amount of time
  • Submit required financial reporting forms to governmental (local, state/province, national) authorities on time n Oversee regular review, such as an independent audit, of insurance and financial documents
  • Interact with member group treasurers regarding monetary issues

The outgoing treasurer also helps train the new treasurer when it is time to rotate service. Note: oa.org has a wealth of resources for group and service body treasurers.