FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS AND POSITION IN 2001-2002
Despite the vicissitudes of the global political and economic situation, the Society finished its Session 2001/2002 in an excellent financial position.
The Society had budgeted to overspend its income by £8,700, using surplus income from earlier years. In the event, income slightly exceeded expenditure, by £526, and at the end of the year there was £16,339 in the reserve account. The main reason was that actual expenditure on grants and publications in the year was about £7,700 less than budgeted, though commitments were carried forward to next year and expenditure on the Society’s main charitable objects was only slightly down on last year. In addition, income was over £1,000 greater than anticipated.
The Society’s overall fund balance dropped slightly from £367,194 to £364,906, mainly through unrealised losses on the Society’s investment assets. That the value of the Society’s portfolio of investments at the end of the year was so little changed is, in the circumstances, a remarkable achievement by our investment manager, Maria Neary of Carr Sheppards Crosthwaite Ltd. Unlike many charities, we are also fortunate in that our investment income has not fallen. A substantial proportion of our funds remains invested in convertible and other fixed interest securities which provide a measure of protection in the present difficult times. Indeed, this year our investment income rose by £4,000, despite the global economic problems, reduced or cancelled dividends, and the Government’s continuing reduction of the dividend tax credit for charities. (This last alone has reduced our income by £1,500 annually since 1997.) The Council is most grateful to Maria Neary and her team for their excellent stewardship of the Society’s investment portfolio which has enabled the Society to continue its support of scholarship at the same levels as in previous years.
Members’ subscriptions bring in a relatively small proportion of the Society’s total income. At around £1,400 it is less than the net amount spent on members’ events during the year, and less than the cost of the Society’s administration. The subscription rate has been set at £12 since 1997. In addition to normal inflation during that period, the Society has lost £1,500 a year through Government tax increases. Taking these factors together, the Council has decided that it would be wise to increase the subscription to £15 a year from October 2003, and a resolution to this effect will be put to the Annual General Meeting.