Branches Must Publish Financial Reports

I was looking through the exchequerate policies to answer a question about a recent event, and by accident I stumbled onto this provision.

A copy of the Comparative Balance Sheet and Income/Expense Statement from the annual report(Q4) must be made available to the membership at least annually, whether published in a newsletter or distributed to the membership in some other form.

East Kingdom Financial Policy VIII.B.6

It turns out that this directive comes from the corporate financial policy, which applies to every branch, and may help to preserve the Society’s tax-exempt status:

Financial statements (consisting of the Comparative Balance Statement and the Income Statement) must be made available to the public at least annually, whether published in a newsletter or distributed to the membership in some other form.

Society Financial Policy I.C.

As far as I can tell, Østgarðr has never made these public, at either the provincial or canton levels. Moreover it seems like this is a policy that nearly all Eastern branches are out of compliance with. (I found a few examples of baronies publishing these reports — but they’re all located in other kingdoms.) Perhaps some other branches are sending them to their local email lists? Or passing them around on paper during business meetings? Or, like us, maybe they are simply ignorant of this requirement altogether?

In general, publishing this information does seem like a good idea — groups don’t have to show a detailed breakdown of every individual expense, but letting the membership know roughly how much money they have and how that number changes over time seems like a good practice from the perspective of transparency and accountability.

2 thoughts on “Branches Must Publish Financial Reports”

  1. I was surprised to find that in the Outlands my current barony’s financial committee is open to any attendees of the monthly populace/business meeting and does cover exactly how much we have in the bank. I thought it was private in Østgardr, at the meetings I attended there as a local officer, financial committee was in a corner afterwards and I was pretty sure that meant it was not for me to know about.

    1. Yup — this kind of information used to be closely held in Østgarðr, but in recent years, our exchequer has made a point of periodically reporting the branch’s bank balance, and we’re continuing to work towards ensuring even more transparency over the coming year.

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