Finance and Audit Committee update

Finance and Audit Committee update

The Finance and Audit Committee of the S.C. Firefighters’ Association had its initial meeting of the 2013-2014 Jones Presidency on July 30, 2013 at the Association headquarters in Columbia, S.C.  Members of the Committee this year are Ken Kerber (Chairman), Brian Horton, Harold Smith, Ken Taylor, Eddie Turner and Carter Jones.  Joe Palmer, Janice Grunwald and Jeff Oswald also attended this meeting.

We reviewed the By-Laws that pertain to the Committee, and the directives issued by President Jones.  A major task for this fiscal year (October 1 – Sept 30) will be to develop a strategic financial plan for the Association.  This will be a fluid plan due to the economic climate of today’s financial environment.  By fluid, we ask ourselves who knows what’s next relating to interest rates, both to borrowing money and investing, or the value of money and real estate?  The committee wants to be conservative in our projections and make sure the Association is fiscally sound even in those rainy days that are sure to come.  We need to be prepared for events such as what happened in Charleston and Texas.  Our focus is on our membership and making sure we have the wherewithal to provide for them.

The Committee reviews the financial reports on a monthly basis looking at/for any trends, concerns or outliers over or under the budget.  Our bookkeeper, Janice, compiles the reports and details, Director Palmer reviews them and the Chairman of the Committee verifies them.  We are independently audited by a CPA firm annually to make sure we are in compliance and using proper and sound financial procedures and policies.

Further, we are responsible for review and assistance with the one percent audits performed by another independent CPA firm to make sure our member fire departments are complying with the law and rules related to the record keeping and disbursement of the one percent monies in each fire department.  There are random audits done on a regular basis and the intent is to verify, in case we are asked, to the General Assembly that we are following the statuette(s) regarding those funds.  It is simply due-diligence to protect the fund as a whole.  The Committee and the Association, with Jeff Oswald’s help, want everyone to understand the importance of compliance and will provide any assistance to any department with any questions or concerns.

As of immediate business, the Committee is working with Executive Director Palmer on the upcoming budget for the fiscal year 2013-2014.  The Association and the Committee are constantly looking for opportunities to find other benefits we can provide to the membership.  As most of you know, most projects and events have a financial impact.  There are some very interesting possibilities for our membership in the near future if it makes good business sense.  I hope I’ve peaked your interest.  More to follow soon.

My last comment is that we, the Firefighters’ Association, are always looking for help on committees.  We have such a well-rounded and talented pool of members in our Association.  There are many of you that can provide a great service to your Association.  Please contact the Association or an Executive Committee member and see where you can fit in.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions relating to the Finance  Audit Committee.  Be safe and proud!!!

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