I finally got a chance to look at these reports that were posted and have a few questions.
Isn't the first report actually a yearly report?
Aren't the first two reports actually just actual to budget comparisons? As such, not really full financial reports?
Did the Riders actually vote in a deficit (negative) budget for the 2016-2017 year?
Should the Riders be paying the RNS and RNCO $2,400 a year for cell phone reimbursement? And if it was approved that they be reimbursed, do they really have plans that cost that much? That seems to be a ridiculous amount and I am sure a less expensive option is available. I would really like to see receipts to justify the reimbursement.
One last thing, over 62% of the expenditures had to do with hotels, travel, and miscellaneous expenses involving meetings. Can we try to come up with a cheaper, better way?
I have read your post and reviewed your questions, please review the responses below.
"Isn't the first report actually a yearly report?"
Yes, it was the final budget report for the year 2015-2016. All the reports are for the whole year, the quarterly report shows where we are at that time in comparison to the approved budget.
"Aren't the first two reports actually just actual to budget comparisons? As such, not really full financial reports?"
These reports are to show where we are in reference to the approved budget. What else do you think should be provided that isn't there in order to be a “full financial report”? We provide for all expenses and bank balances in this report.
"Did the Riders actually vote in a deficit (negative) budget for the 2016-2017 year?"
YES! That is the report and budget that was presented and approved with no questions or opposition at Convention in Reno, you where there and didn't question any of it when it was voted and approved. We establish a budget for the extreme case scenario, if you look close you will see we were $13,427.24 under budget last year. We were $15,834.50 under on expenses but we were also $2,407.26 short on income and that still kept us $13,427.24 to the positive. So even though we show a deficit for the 2016-2017 budget I expect to keep to the positive.
"Should the Riders be paying the RNS and RNCO $2,400 a year for cell phone reimbursement? And if it was approved that they be reimbursed, do they really have plans that cost that much? That seems to be a ridiculous amount and I am sure a less expensive option is available."
The $2,400- that is in the budget for RNCO and RNS for a cell phone has been part of the budget for a couple years and started after we no longer had an Executive Secretary. We used to fund the Executive Secretary for utilities plus wages that amounted to $6,000- annually. When we no longer had to do that, we voted to use the $2,400- that was for utilities to make sure the RNS and RNCO have a cell phone with internet in order to review emails anywhere. They are required to have a smart phone and if something happens to theirs they have to replace it at no cost to the organization. The cell phone plan does not cost $100- per month but again they are required to have one and must replace it if anything happens to it, which could cost $300 to $400 to replace it. The other option was to get a cell phone plan for National Riders and the Board decided against that because we didn't want to be responsible for those phones, plus than do we get phones for all the National Officers and how much extra would that cost??? The RNS and RNCO are the first line of contact for National Riders, we need them to have a smart phone, should they have to pay for that out of their pocket when they are volunteers!!!
"One last thing, over 62% of the expenditures had to do with hotels, travel, and miscellaneous expenses involving meetings. Can we try to come up with a cheaper, better way?"
It is very costly for the National Officers to attend NEC, Mid-Year, and Convention but we feel it is VERY important for them to be there to represent the National Riders Organization. If you review our Travel Expense Policy you will see we are very diligent on watching our expenses and making sure whatever we do the Membership is getting a return on the expense. Please remember we are all volunteers, none of us are paid to do the work we do. How are we to get good qualified and dedicated Officers if it is going to cost them so much to do their job. Again this is the budget that was presented and approved at Convention in Reno by the Membership with no questions or opposition and you were present. The National Riders Board has worked very hard in order to get and maintain a good budget. Most of us were elected to Office almost 5 years ago when National Riders didn’t even have enough money to pay travel for all the National Officers. Rob Quick who was 1st Vice at that time waited a year to be reimbursed because we didn’t have the money to reimburse him. We now have gotten to the point in our current budget to start giving back to the Membership so we created the Death Benefit and Scholarship Funds and presented it to the Membership Body last year at Convention. This National Riders Board has worked very hard to get us to where we are now financially by making a lot of cuts in expenses plus spending a lot of our own money.
Thank you for the quick and full response Dan!
Regarding the actual financial statements, they normally consist of a balance sheet and an income statement. You have the information in there, just not presented in the manner consistent with these financial statements. Also, the heading on that first statement is very confusing. It is listed as a Quartely Financial Report 6-1-2016 to 8-31-2016, yet it has information dating all the way back to the beginning of the fiscal year. A quarterly report should only contain information from that quarter.
I was at the Annual Meeting when you went over the budget, but it was difficult for everyone to keep up with because we were not provided a copy of it until now. Had I had a copy in front of me and realized we were going to be running a deficit I would have surely said something.
I do not understand your justification and accounting of the reimbursements to the RNCO and RNS for cell phones. Are they each spending a $100 a month on Riders business? Are they turning in any receipts for "reimbursement"? You state they are required to have a phone and it "could" cost $300-$400 to get a replacement. Shouldn't that actually happen before someone gets reimbursed? We pretty much all use cell phones and computers these days, nobody else gets paid, I mean "reimbursed", to have one. I would think that whoever gets selected for those positions should first have the capability to perform those functions.
I do understand that the National Riders were in a terrible financial position years ago. I saw some financials back then and was appalled at the deficit we were in. I commend the fact that leadership has been able to work its way out if that hole and actually have a surplus in which to support programs for veterans. I was merely pointing out some facts and want to ensure the leadership continue to be diligent in looking for places to possibly cut spending.
Thank you again for your response and if I can be of any assistance in the future please let me know. I am a licensed CPA in the State of Florida.
Florida Chapter 44 Rider
Department of Florida Judge Advocate
We are sorry our answers are not adequate, please bring up your questions and concerns in the National Riders Finance Committee Meeting at National Convention.
Mid Year Rally
Sergeant At Arms