Budget Officer's report: Marnie Hannagan

The main duties of the branch Budget Officer are to:

• submit a branch budget for the financial year, which the national finance officer incorporates into the overall IPEd budget

• ensure that branch expenses are within budget, approved and submitted to the national Finance Officer for payment.

Our branch administration expenses, including branch committee meetings, the ABM, the newsletter and the website, are funded by the national office.

Branch events, such as dinner meetings and professional development workshops, are funded by participants’ fees and we aim to at least break even, and ideally make a surplus.

As you may know, IPEd has had some financial challenges during the past year and the Board has taken various measures to address this.

At the IPEd AGM in October, an increase in membership fees was approved, and the new fees were introduced from January 2019.

In December, all IPEd branches were asked to consider a one-off donation of up to 25 per cent of their reserved funds to the national body. After some discussion, our branch committee agreed to this and donated about $21,000, with several caveats. For example, we asked the national office to provide clearer information on where funds have been spent and prioritise the establishment of a single national newsletter.

At the request of the national office, our branch committee also tried to identify any savings it could make between January and June this year.

In terms of the performance of the Victorian branch, the last finance report from the national office covered up to 31 March 2019, so I can report on nine months of the financial year.

For branch events, generally expenses have come in under budget and income has been higher than anticipated, and thus we have made a profit. At the end of March; for branch events we were about $11,600 in surplus.

For branch administration expenses, we’ve been under budget every month. By the end of March, we had spent about $13,600 less than was budgeted. This is partly because we haven’t had a paid Administration Officer since December. While we’ve been working out how much administrative support we can afford, these duties have been shared by committee members. We have also saved money by no longer paying honoraria and holding many of our committee meetings via video conference.

At the start of the financial year, the Victorian branch had about $84,000 in reserved funds. In February, we donated 25 per cent of this to the national office, as mentioned earlier. The committee also decided to use reserved funds to offer a $150 subsidy to members who live in regional Victoria or outside the state to attend the IPEd conference in May. These subsidies will be paid to 22 members (making a total of $3300) after the next IPEd Board meeting.

The national office was delayed in sending out the branch budget templates and guidelines for the current (2019–2020) financial year due to the appointment of a new Finance Director.

In the present budget, IPEd has substantially reduced the amount allocated to each branch for committee and other administrative costs, including newsletters and websites.

We are now working out how we can cut our administrative costs without sacrificing the services we provide to members.

Budget Officer Marnie Hannagan

ABM Marnie Hannagan

Marnie Hannagan at the ABM. Photo: Marie Pietersz