I have been treasurer of Brighton Lions Housing Society for several years but I have to confess that, like my predecessor, my approach to my so-called duties has been rather casual. This is mainly because the treasurer's role in this instance is almost the name alone as the Society employs staff to do the office work. All the chairman and I really do is sign the cheques and make, with the management committee, strategic decisions. We have never bothered overmuch about budgeting and such like actions because there always seems to be sufficient money in the bank to do what is necessary. Indeed, more than enough. We have built up a property portfolio which is reckoned to be worth over £8 million and currently have £800,000 cash at the bank. Granted, there is over £700,000 owing on the bank loan and the Lions Charity Trust Fund is owed another £500,000 - all of which shows that we are not talking peanuts here.
The Society's auditors try each year to get us to adopt a slightly more business-like approach and at the annual accounts review meeting with them this week, they indicated that they would like to see proper budgets produced so that the management accounts (supposedly) prepared for the (supposedly quarterly) management committee meetings are rather more meaningful.
Given that our General Manager is about to retire and her successor has never in her life produced budgets like this, it seems it will fall to muggins to do the job.
Oh well, at least there's no panic. We won't see the auditors for another year.
The snow has just about disappeared now but the heavy frost has all but done for the daffodils in the garden. Those in Withdean Park look somewhat happier.