|Committee Chair||Stefan Cieslik||250-498-2988|
To provide treasurer training to branches
To update financial reporting procedures
To review all insurance coverage (provided to BCRTA) e.g. Accidental/Life Insurance which only provides coverage for those 70 years or younger
To review appointment of auditor
To continue clarifying reserve fund procedures
Acting on advice from our new auditor, we spent some time this year reviewing our handling of BCRTA Reserve and Capital Funds, looking also at questions around branch funds, for which bylaw the BCRTA Board of Directors is ultimately responsible. We obtained further advice from alawyer with expertise in tax-exempt organizations. The nub of the advice is that a non-profit organization such as ours can lose its tax-exempt status if it becomes involved in fund-raising, or in any activities that would suggest that it is seeking to make a profit.
Arising from the above, we recommended to the Board, and it adopted, several amendments to our finance-related procedures. These include a clearer definition of what our reserve funds are for, and
some changes to how the starting amount of each fund should be established each year. The Board also adopted new rules around branch-held funds, clarifying that, although branch funds are generally for their use, at their discretion, they are subject to annual reporting to the Board, and also subject to random audits by the BCRTA auditor. The changes can be viewed in Part 3 of Section C of the BCRTA Handbook, viewable via the web page (bcrta.ca).
Questions around branch fund-raising activities and reserve funds will be addressed with the help of our auditor during the 2015-2016 year. Meanwhile we have provided instructions to branch treasurers
(through their presidents) regarding annual financial reporting requirements.
Although we all regretted the departure from our membership of the Retired Post-Secondary Educators, we were pleased to find that we ended the year with only about 65 fewer members, net, than the
number with which we started. And at the time of writing it appears that we will still be able to conclude 2014-2015 without falling into deficit.
We were asked to “revisit BCRTA meal allowances with an eye to raising them for future BCRTA meetings”. After comparing our rates with BCTF and BC government rates, we found that we were right in line, and the Board accepted our recommendation that there be no change. It was generally agreed that what we pay for meals is meant as a subsidy, not total recompense.
We have received regular reports from the Office Administrator and Treasurer regarding the health of our investment portfolio with National Bank Financial, and the state of our other bank accounts and
In June we made decisions about the 2014-2015 budget to recommend to the Board, for further recommendation to the AGM. We are able to report that, at the time of writing, BCRTA finances are in good shape.
My thanks to committee members Tom Brunker (Treasurer), Elaine Anderson, Stefan Cieslik, Patricia Clough, Barb Mikulec, and Gerry Tiede for the work they have put in this past year there has been
quite a bit to do. And thanks also to our Office Administrator, Patricia Laursen, with help from Assistant Kristi Josephson, for doing most of the work in keeping our finances in order.
Bob Taverner, Chair