"The Official Word"
A rotating blog featuring USATF Board members and officials
The Bottom Line
Wednesday, October 06, 2010
By Kenneth Taylor
At each meeting of the USATF Board of Directors, it is my job to give a summary of where our organization stands financially. USATF committees and departments currently are in the process of budgeting for 2011, and USATF has recently filed its 2009 tax forms, so now is a good time to give a more publicly accessible report on USATF finances via this blog.
Current budget overview/status
USATF 's 2010 budget is $20,462,671. We expect that USATF will be within budget on December 31, 2010.
We won't have final financial results until the end of the year, but there are indications that our major activities such as Team USA events, the Visa Championship Series, the Outdoor Championships and summer youth and Junior Olympic events were in line with budget, with few exceptions. For instance, there were unexpected weather-related travel difficulties for the 2010 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, which caused unbudgeted costs. The full impact of these costs are yet unknown as expense reimbursements are still coming in. But these additional unbudgeted costs will not be a major bottom-line factor.
In 2010, USATF saw some event-related savings in the number of Visa Championship Series events, but these savings were eaten up by higher than expected television and athlete costs.
Revenues and expenses are in line with budget expectations. A handful of favorable revenue and expense variances may fall to the bottom line, but projecting a favorable variance would be premature until we get closer to year-end. Major budget activities remaining for this year include a variety of fall High Performance programs aimed at athletes and coaches, and the 2010 Annual Meeting in Virginia Beach.
The 2010 USATF budget as proposed last December is available at http://www.usatf.org/about/financials/budgets/2010.asp . In addition, this week, USATF filed its 2009 Form 990 with the IRS, giving an accounting of last year's financials. To view that document, visit http://www.usatf.org/about/financials/taxes/. Audited financial statements are also available at http://www.usatf.org/about/financials/Statements/index.asp.
USATF spending and travel policies
There has always been great public interest, and sometimes misinformation, about USATF travel policies and how people travel. Below is a summary of Board-approved policies. The full policies can be found on our website at http://www.usatf.org/about/financials/budgets/expensePolicy.asp
In April 2010, the Board of Directors approved a new Travel and Business Expense Policy and Procedures. These policies and procedures, which are in line with past policies, are intended as a guide to reimburse individuals for USATF-related travel and business expenses. These policies and procedures ensure compliance with federal tax law and what the IRS prescribes under their "accountable plan" rules. The major policy items are as follows:
Airfare -- All airfares must be coordinated through USATF Travel Services and must include a travel authorization completed in advance and signed by the committee chair or treasurer. Travel is always booked on the lowest cost itinerary. Upgrades to first class, business class, etc. are the responsibility of the traveler. These upgrades shall not be reimbursed.
Hotel and Lodging -- Hotel Charges are limited to room and tax for a standard room. Upgrades to suites, concierge floors or other higher cost rooms are the responsibility of the traveler. These upgrades shall not be reimbursed.
Ground Transportation -- Travelers are expected to use no cost or low cost transportation systems where available.
Meal Expenses -- USATF will provide per diem for reasonable meal expenses incurred while traveling on or conducting USATF business. Per diem is not intended to cover the full cost of meals while traveling. The maximum per diem allowance is $40.00 per day and $50.00 in New York and most international locations.
& Miscellaneous Expenses -- Annual Meeting registration fees and banquet charges are not reimbursable.
Budget Management and how it works at USATF
The process of budgeting each year has many layers at USATF, as the National Office, USATF Committees and Board of Directors work together to develop a comprehensive budget document. The different layers and steps are designed to provide checks and balances, ensure fiscal responsibility and make sure that items are not being double-budgeted by multiple committees or departments./p>
The 2011 Budget Process is as follows:
Throughout September, USATF Senior Staff (Directors, Executive Staff and others with budgetary responsibility) met to discuss and review the budgeting process, timeline and budgetary assignments. Senior staff are responsible for budgeting for costs related to their departments, and most also are responsible for overseeing and assisting the budgeting process for various USATF committees. For instance, the men's and women's track & field committees' budgets are vetted and submitted through USATF's High Performance Department at the National Office.
All Senior Staff members submitted their proposed budgets for approval by the supervising Executive Staff member in late September; those budgets are now being vetted by the USATF finance department and the CFO. Senior Staff also will submit the committee budgets they help oversee. The finance department will work with each group to ensure their budgets are sound.
Once all departmental and committee budgets have been submitted and vetted, the CFO completes the comprehensive organizational budget and submits it to the CEO in late October. After the CEO reviews it, he will submit it to the Board's Budget and Finance Committee for further vetting and approval. The full Board will review the budget in November and approve it prior to the start of the Annual Meeting.
All budget steps are guided by the objectives of our Strategic Plan (http://www.usatf.org/about/committees/BoardOfDirectors/strategicPlan.asp). In addition, the Board and CEO ensure that the budget reflects the costs and revenue opportunities associated with our major tactical objectives and planned initiatives.
LLike USATF itself, budgeting requires the cooperation and insight of many different individuals and groups. Ensuring that the budget is realistic is step one; once 2011 begins it is the job of staff and volunteers to ensure that spending is kept in line with the budget.
Kenneth Taylor, CPA, is USATF Treasurer and Chairman of the Budget & Finance Committee
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