Figuring things out

I’ve talked before about our participation in the Goulburn Medievalists, our local branch of the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA).

This gives us plenty to do, and for the last two and a half years I have been the Chancellor of the Exchequer, basically the treasurer for the SCA kingdom.

It’s now time for the Domesday (end of financial year) report.  I have 28 Australian groups to report on, and a New Zealand deputy who does another 5 groups there.

Before I took on the job, most groups didn’t provide financial reports, and there were no regular reporting periods.  Groups running kingdom events failed to send in the required 50% of the proceeds.  The kingdom was often broke.

So I chased up lots of overdue monies.  I instituted a set reporting format and tied it to financial quarters.  After some initial screaming, most groups reporting regularly and properly.  Truth to tell, it’s probably easier for people to have a set report than stumbling about in the dark doing things your own way.

I’m still chasing up the last few groups.  Some haven’t reported at all, and others have sent in reports that don’t reconcile with last year’s or last quarter’s reports.

Most of the local reeves are not accountants, so it’s not surprising that some would run into difficulties.  Also, every year there are funds that go missing, so we need to work out what has gone wrong and why.  My review is really a sanity check rather than a real audit, as I’m doing this unpaid in my free time (huh!).  I’m just trying to deliver a reasonable level of confidence in the book-keeping of the kingdom.

The kingdom has gone from having about $12,000 when I started two years ago, to about $40,000 now.  And this after we put up the travel payments to the Crown from $4000 to $7000 a year, and a number of new spending initiatives.

This will be my last report as a Greater Officer of the Kingdom of Lochac, and I’ll be back to relative obscurity after that.  I’m looking forward to it.

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