Treasurer, ARLIS NA
February 5, 2002
Submitted by Trudy Jacoby
The Treasurer is completing the second year of a two-year term.
Annual Meetings, ARLIS/NA Board, Los Angeles, March 29-30. April 2, 2001 and Post Conference meeting, Los Angeles, Apr.4, 2001
Online Blackboard Executive Board Meeting, June 1, 2001
Conference Planning Advisory Committee (CPAC), Saint Louis
Attended the IFLA Preconference Meeting in Boston. Met with members of the ARLIS/NA and VRA Boards to finalize financial agreements for the joint conference.
Mid-Year Meeting, ARLIS/NA Board, New York, August 11-13,2001
Met with Phil Heagy, incoming Treasurer, in Hartford for preliminary training, Jan.6-7,2002
Upcoming online meeting, Feb.8, 2002
Upcoming Annual Preconference Meeting, Saint Louis, March 20, 2002
BUDGET AND GENERAL:
Procedures with headquarters were further refined. The financial operations function very smoothly now that we are in the second year with Clarke. Routine payments and transfers are processed in a timely and efficient way. The monthly check run has, on the whole, been fine. When extra payments are needed, this has not been a problem. Monthly reports are sent to the Treasurer who checks transactions for proper coding and to the Executive Board.
ARLIS/NA has returned to the accounting firm of Mills,Rouse and company (our previous accountants). Reviewed and signed tax return. Verified payment of estimated taxes. There will be a general review for FY 2001 rather than a full audit.
Several old bank accounts were closed down. This included accounts that had been set up for the Vancouver and Los Angeles conferences.
The FY 2002 budget was produced with the help of several people. The accurate actual expenses for most of FY 2000 and 2001 were used to produce a more finely tuned blueprint for society income and spending now that we have had more than a year of operations with Clarke Association Management.
Timely reminders were sent to ARLIS-list for committee budgets and special funding requests.
The conference budgets were produced and updated on a regular basis by Marianne Cavanaugh with input from the President and Treasurer. The conference budgets for Saint Louis are unusually complex because this is a joint conference with the Visual Resources Association.
Final review and reporting of the Los Angeles conference budget. Although this was largely completed by early summer, remaining details were not fully resolved until late Autumn. This was our most successful conference ever and allowed the Society to replace the restricted funds that had been held in reserve in case they were needed to cover the cash flow shortage and transitional expenses.
FINANCE AND DEVELOPMENT COMMITTEES:
There was a brief meeting of the Finance Committee in Los Angeles to discuss the relationship of the Treasurer, the Board, the Finance committee and the Financial Advisor. Also discussed at this meeting was the relationship with the financial advisor and the nature of the investments made with ARLIS/NA funds. The safety and growth of the Society’s funds is of paramount importance. To date, the relationships with financial advisors have not resulted in great growth of resources for the society. A return to the investment policy as written was seen as being of the highest priority. The role of the Finance Committee was discussed by the special Board Ad Hoc Finance Advisory Committee. Recommendations from this committee will be discussed at the annual board meeting in Saint Louis.
The Development Committee has been working very hard on fundraising and various databases with great success. The importance of outside support for Society activities must not be underestimated. Our new Executive Director has some ideas for improving our overall fundraising program. Great praise is due to Jill Patrick, outgoing chair of the Development Committee, for the extraordinary work she has done.
The success of the second
silent auction at the annual meeting in Los Angeles and generous contributions
from John Benjamins and our members allowed the Society to start building the
Conference Speakers’ Fund. This newly established restricted fund is dedicated
to the enhancement of the conference program by giving support to bring in
speakers who are not members of ARLIS/NA. It
is hoped to have this fully funded by the end of 2003.
INVESTMENT ACCOUNT ACTIVITIES:
Following the annual Board meeting in Los Angeles, transferred the Schwab account to ARLIS/NA control with online access.
Sold, at the direction of the Executive Board, all individual investments that had been held in the account; returned the society to compliance with the written investment policy.
Transferred the Schwab money market fund to higher yielding money market fund with reduced expenses. Did not move money into CDs as interest rates were not much higher than the yield on the money market funds and would tie cash up.
The timely sale of the individual investments preserved society assets in a very volatile market. Several of the bonds previously held are for firms now in Chapter 11 bankruptcy. The Society did not suffer any losses in the volatile markets following September 11, 2001.
ISSUES AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
Costs of the publications program must be fully examined. This includes the financial aspects of publishing the Handbook, Art Documentation, Update as well as the Occasional Papers. The procedures of advertising sales and billing for all publications (including AWS) will be reviewed.
Still to be completed:
Completing the editing of Section J of the Policy Manual, updating the Financial Matters information on the AWS, and creating a specific “management calendar” for financial matters.
A review of the dues structure, as well as comparisons to other organizations structure and services is a priority. This should include comparisons of other organizations’ conference fees. As more of our income is charged to credit cards by members, conference registrants, exhibitors, etc., our actual cash income decreases by the 3-4% which we pay to the credit card companies.
There are some difficult decisions to be made in light of relatively small revenue streams and large ambitions. We have occasionally unrealistic expectations without sufficient financial resources to fully realize our goals. We must be more careful about monitoring costs and operating within set budgets.
One long-term goal is an increase in financial support for board members. The people serving on the executive board receive no compensation for the large amounts of time volunteered to the organization. It can be quite expensive to travel to required meetings and regional chapters, and not all board members have institutional support.
The Treasurer is well aware of the time and knowledge required to adequately discharge the duties of this office. The second year is office was easier as both the Treasurer and the headquarters staff were familiar with the financial management of the Society and the financial systems were in place. My sincere thanks to Bonnie James (and Elizabeth Clarke).