In the conference room on a Sunday evening. EM is wrapped in a blanket. Everyone is very hyped for the post-meeting social ft. organised fun.
Present: RJ (FCO), JC (Vice-President), EM (President), AB, SR, KM, DB
Annual accounts review
RJ: I went to the accountants with the chair of the trustees, and these are the accounts for the most recent academic year. They haven’t been passed yet. I’m showing these to you mainly for interest but also in case you see anything odd. Pg 20. Shows income and expenditure by category and compares it to the year before. The number for University Grant last year is wrong, that’s why they’re so different. We got more than expected from levies. The VAT written off is related to when we de-registered from VAT. It was on Ribchester’s records but not ours so they had to put it. The net is much higher than it should be – £25k. That’s why this year’s budget has been written more tightly. But that number is also inflated by a few factors. The general aim is not to keep making money.
RJ: This will be £100 under officer expense, for people who need to drive places for events. Currently we just pay but it’s not budgeted. Sometimes it comes out of events budget.
EM: Is that going to be enough? There was a lot spent for Ball.
JC: I’m more in favour of this coming out of the relevant budget, but I appreciate that might be difficult.
EM: But there are some miscellaneous driving things. £200 might be more realistic with things coming up.
RJ: This will allow outreach to run more events without worrying about the driving costs.
*Agreed to have a fund of £200 for this*
Action: RJ to write this onto the budget.
RJ: I’m sure there’s sufficient wriggle room for little things like this.
Swimming (subs payment)
RJ: This is more just general subs. Subs deadline was 23rd November and most people have paid. Swimming pay for the swimming then reclaim half. They expect lots of people to claim. There’s also an option where you buy membership for a month and they asked if we’d pay half. If someone rather than spending £4.50 every were to pay £19 for as much as they like in a month can we pay half of that?
AB: Would it be a membership for one person or more general? What if they don’t go every week.
RJ: I think it’s individual.
RJ: Some people bought them before they knew how it worked.
EM: Why don’t you let them buy it then only pay them back for half the cost of the swims they go to up half of what they spent?
RJ: It is still within our parameters. It’s not very different to going once a week.
SR: If the membership saves money then that’s better for everyone.
RJ: So if it falls within the requested budget is that fine?
EM: What would be an equivalent for a different society?
EM: If it’s a precedent we might not want to set it.
RJ: It can be rejected if we want at a JCR meeting.
SR: Is it too located to give them £2.25 every time they use it with Cuth’s up to half the price of the membership?
EM: I’m also in favour of that.
RJ: I’ll speak to their treasurer and see what they think.
AB: What do they do at swimming?
RJ: It’s just more fun if lots of people go together.
RJ: Netball has loads of money.
End of Year Budget
RJ: At the end of the year, I want to see how we write the budget for next year. We made a lot of money last year and I want to avoid that in future. Some societies just don’t claim all the money we allocate them. That often leads to a big net profit. So we need to keep an eye on that next year. We might suggest some people request less money next year if they don’t spend it all this year.
Policy – AB
RJ: The purpose of this to keep track of the decisions we’re making and the things we discuss so people know what we’ve done and why. Some things won’t be written into policy but they should be here. So it’s sort of unofficial policy.
AB: We have a confusingly defined budget deficit rule for societies. If they overspend by 5% that’s fine. But we have no formal steps for we respond if they do. We also discussed increasing the deficit for smaller societies. We suggested 10% for societies that spend less than £300. But we’ll review that at year end. Most societies have positive reserves currently. This isn’t ideal because it suggests they raise more than they need. We want to diminish these for long term benefit. Reserves are fine if there’s a reason for them. The boatclub recently built up a big reserve because they were saving for a boat. But darts had a £200 reserve with no plans for it so they’ve reduced subs. So unless a society has a reason to save they’ll be encouraged to diminish them gradually over a few years. It’s not fair to spend it all in one year.
RJ: it’s not written anywhere officially so it’s good to have this here.
AB: It’s more guidelines that rules. We also didn’t have a policy for dealing with society debts. So we’ve suggested a criteria for wiping debts, which is if it’s not their fault, if they have no realistic chance of paying and if it affects the survival of the society. It also specifically applies to small societies.
RJ: Mixed lacrosse were £400 in debt but they’ve cleared it in a few years. So it’s possible to survive just not for small societies.
AB: We also discussed spending on consumables. Currently we don’t allow people to spend JCR money it to avoid funding booze ups. So we fund spending minus consumables. We might formalise this rule. Karaoke is an exemption because they do events for everyone and it’s free to attend. They’re also infrequent.
RJ: It’s in their budget and it discussed last year and decided it was fine.
AB: Why do they need snacks?
EM: They want snacks.
RJ: This was in the budget, so we’ve put it in as definite exception.
EM: I don’t think karaoke should be a magic exemption. Other societies are free for everyone.
RJ: I’m basing this off what we currently do. Karaoke is currently an exception. And this is how we’ve justified it.
EM: What about other events.
RJ: Committees are allowed to spend on consumables.
JC: I think we should decide other exceptions if people apply.
RJ: That’s actually what it says. We can just say no if people ask for money for food.
EM: What if rugby asked for money for biscuits at games.
RJ: I think it’s easiest to not allow it all.
EM: I’m also in favour of that. Karaoke aren’t special.
RJ: I agree but I can’t currently do anything. We should write a motion on this. That S&S can’t spend JCR money on consumables. If we let one society others might want to. Let’s say no consumables.
AB: Committee budgets might need to be recalculated.
RJ: I don’t think the current amounts have been looked at for a while. Also currently all the minorities reps are using the welfare budget. So I think we should review their expenditure over previous years.
AB: This is all just general guidelines and not official. At the end of the year we’ll see how it’s done.
Management Accounts – SR
SR: We went through budgets and spending in August, September and October. We highlighted reasons for why things were higher or lower than might be expected. I hope it’s self-explanatory. At the bottom there’s how much was spent overall.
RJ: Some figures are slightly inflated. When I transfer money between accounts it’s flagged as income but that’s fixed now.
JC: It might be nice to have an estimate of expected expenditure by now.
RJ: SB (chair of trustees) has suggested this too. So do your best at it. He also outlined a few changes he liked so I’ll forward that to you.
Long Term Financial Plan
RJ: I’ve asked exec and trustees about this. So far I’ve laid out the current state of our finances. We don’t yet have income from freshers’ week or levies but we will soon. Our current savings situation is that we have a 32 day deposit account but it’s only 0.75% interest. We’re also proposing to open a new savings account with more interest. It makes sense to split the savings so they’re better protected. I’d like to find some banks with better interest rates. DB will do this over Christmas. We’ll have either £70k or £50k. We’re a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation). Some banks will operate differently based on that.
Action: SR to do November management accounts
Action: RJ to send relevant information and email from SB to SR.
Action: DB to research banks with good interest rates on savings.
RJ: Currently the 32 day notice is fine, but we don’t mind having a 6 month minimum withdrawal account for some of it. That should give a better rate of return.
Action: KM to continue helping with bookkeeping.
Action: AB to keep up with policy and help RJ with spreadsheets.
RJ: I don’t know when our next meeting will be, but probably not straight after Christmas. Maybe twice next term.
We all move to EM’s flat for organised fun. There will be a trip to the coin counter.