Memorandum on Finance: March 1982

Memorandum on BMC Finance (19, March 1982)

These notes are presented for the consideration of the AGM, the Committee and the Sponsoring Societies. In view of the autonomy of each successive committee, it may be inappropriate for the main committee or the AGM to make firm decisions about finance. However, some notes such as these, updated year by year, could help future planning.

  1. Balance
    The balance of nearly £8,000 may be thought excessive, but it is not easy to say what would be 'adequate'. In the present financial climate, any year may bring a substantial loss. I suggest that at least £5,000 is desirable.

  2. Membership fee
    The Bangor committee discussed this at length and decided to retain the £10 fee. This is in fact necessary to cover charges which should be spread over the whole membership (resident and non-resident). It is clear from recent statements of accounts that residence charges have been unnecessarily high, the excess being used to pay for the residence of speakers.

  3. Expenses of speakers and officials
    This is the most uncertain item in the estimates. A speaker from U.S.A. may require travel expenses between £600 and nil, depending on his other involvements. U.K. members are finding it increasingly difficult to get support from their own institutions, and the BMC, therefore, has in some cases to pay for U.K. speakers or members helping with the organisation. It may also be necessary in some cases to subsidise officials (Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer) from the previous Colloquium or the following Colloquium.

  4. Future support for the BMC
    We considered circulating a questionnaire at this meeting to investigate the extent of financial support given to members. However, the distribution of this year's membership among U.K. Universities suggests that some of these may be giving no support. Hence it would be more useful to circulate such a questionnaire generally. I offer the suggestion that the 1983 notice should contain a reply slip aimed at all potential members. In this way we might find out how many fail to come because of lack of funds. We could also usefully ask about the competition from specialist meetings.

  5. Financial Estimates
    To assist future planning, I suggest that future statements of accounts should show rather more detail than hitherto. An outline of our estimates at Bangor is given below. The accommodation of ordinary members (i.e. members not subsidised by BMC) will show a loss in respect of each member taking the full £50 package. Members taking less than the full package are being charged at cost. We estimate the loss on residence at about £300. Other items we are estimating to be in balance as shown below (but no doubt the final result will be very different!).

    Estimated receipts £ Estimated Expenditure £

    Membership fees 2,500 Loss on ordinary residence 300
    Interest 1,000 Speakers' accommodation and travel 2,400
    Net receipts
    [ 600] Morning coffee and afternoon tea 500
    British Council grants
    (for speakers from Europe)
    400 Helpers' casual meals
    and committee meetings
    University grants
    (for reception)
    200 Reception 300
    Hire of rooms 600
    Transport 100
    Secretarial costs 200
    Stationary, Printing and Postage 250
    Films 50
    Miscellaneous 50
    Excess of Expenditure
    over Receipts

    £5,000 £5,000

C.C.H. Barker
Treasurer, 34th B.M.C.