Interview with BATW Treasurer Bill Scull
by Laurie McAndish King
BATW’s treasurer performs many important (though often behind-the-scenes) functions for the organization, including leading the budgeting process, collecting annual dues, paying bills, balancing the checkbook each month, and preparing the annual financial report.
Having served as Treasurer myself, I can attest to the fact that leading the budgeting process is no small task: Although expenses seem to increase every year, BATW’s dues do not. The last increase — from $100 to $125 for Associates and from $65 to $75 for all other membership categories — was at the beginning of 2008. Prior to that, the dues had not increased for seven years.
I recently asked Bill Scull for an update on the budget:
Q: What are our dues used for?
A: Our biggest expense is maintaining BATW’s web presence; 30% of our budget is spent updating our website each month. Another 15% is spent paying for our website management service and occasional web consulting services to improve our website. The next largest expense is our monthly meeting and annual party expense, which represents 20% of the budget. Creating the directory, insurance and miscellaneous expenses each are 10% of the budget, and credit card processing is 5% of our budget.
Q: Will the dues stay the same for 2013?
A: It is likely that we will raise dues next year after holding dues at the same level for five years.
Q: How much money is in the BATW account, and who makes decisions about spending it?
A: BATW is conservatively run financially. We create a breakeven budget each year, meaning we budget to spend only as much as we take in through dues and other fees. We have a financial cushion of approximately half a year’s operating expenses. Early in each calendar year the treasurer recommends a budget based upon current BATW goals and historical spending levels. The board discusses and sets priorities at its board retreat and tweaks the budget to reflect these agreed-upon priorities.
[Ed. Note: Thanks go to Laurie McAndish King for conducting this interview.]