HMRRC’s Financial Condition

by Ray Newkirk

HMRRC’s financial situation is sound. We have both significant financial assets, and the procedures and systems in place to safeguard them.<br>

At the close of 2016, we had approximately $400,000 in cash in five accounts at SEFCU. We have two checking accounts (a general account and a race account), and three savings accounts. (SEFCU sets up a saving account in conjunction with each checking account, so two of those savings accounts are largely dormant.) The third savings account pays a slightly higher interest rate and is where most of our savings are held.

The club’s budget for 2017 projects a loss of approximately $25,000. But budgeting for the club is not an exact science. In past years, projected losses have not always materialized (we try to be conservative in estimating both income and expense, with the former frequently being lower than actuality and the latter, higher).

The great bulk of our income comes from race entry fees, and those are obviously dependent on the number of participants (in turn, dependent on such factors as weather, competing events, etc.). Most of the club’s races do not make a profit (no surprise, given that 13 of them are free to club members). Those shortfalls are more than compensated for by the Workforce Team Challenge and the Mohawk Hudson River Marathon and Hannaford Half, both of which generate significant profits. The Stockadeathon regularly turns a profit, as well, as do some of our other events. So far in 2017, however, many of our events that showed a profit in 2016 are showing losses or substantially lower profits in 2017 (participation in road races in general is down, and the weather hasn’t been kind to us in 2017). The exception – happily – is the Workforce Team Challenge.

Two expense items that are new in 2017 are cash prizes for our Grand Prix winners and the hiring of a part-time administrative assistant to help race directors with their jobs. I’ll go further into these and other major expense items next month, but those two initiatives account for the bulk of the projected red ink.

A sound financial status consists of more than having money in the bank and having a balanced budget (or a budget that projects manageable losses). It also encompasses having the appropriate safeguards and organizational management in place. Over the past few years, the club has taken several steps to improve its financial operation and reporting. These include:

  • Implementing Quickbooks Online to consolidate our accounting systems (a few years ago, we had as many as five, most manual).
  • Reducing our number of bank accounts from 11 to 5 and consolidating those accounts at a single financial institution (SEFCU).
  • Identifying and complying with the disclosure requirements on the NYS Charities Bureau.
  • Modifying our bylaws so that the roles of board members – especially financial officers – are more clearly defined.
  • Preparing for a full audit of the club’s finances. We have secured the services of Marvin and Company for this purpose and will undergo a financial review this year and a full audit next year.
  • Asking race directors and club officers to prepare budgets for their events/activities to be consolidated into the overall annual club budget in an effort to reduce uncertainty (while recognizing the variables inherent in such budgeting, as mentioned above) and to adequately document expenses.
  • Being transparent. The club’s budget and meeting minutes are available on this website. Our monthly meetings are open to all members (7:30 on the second Wednesday of every month at the Point of Woods community room). Our tax return and other organizational documents are available at charitiesnys.com (the attorney general’s reporting site).
  • In sum, we’re in good financial shape, both in terms of available resources and financial organization. But what do we use those financial resources for? Next month, I’ll outline what we spend our money on – and how those financial decisions are made.

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