JCUMSA Financial Report - Feb 2021
By Eric Smith
Hey everyone, welcome to the second instalment of the JCUMSA Financial Report. The past month has been hectically trying to follow up loose ends, so nothing very interesting, but thought I’d best summarise some of my main tasks. If you would like to read the previous report, click here;
One of the main changes I’ve made over the past month is introducing the JCUMSA Reimbursement Form and JCUMSA Store Refund form, both available under a new menu of the website titled ‘Forms’. Moving forward, all requests for reimbursement from the JCUMSA Treasury for event-related purchases will have to be made through submitting the appropriate form. We are looking at making a constitutional change to reflect this soon. The same is true for refunds for items/tickets purchased through the JCUMSA store.
This change has been made to streamline the process for me as the treasurer in processing payments, as the output of those forms are then forwarded to me directly and I can process those payments sequentially.
The existing semi-official policy for Store refunds has been that JCUMSA has a strict “no-refunds” policy, because it is quite onerous to get them done efficiently (it is not a simple button; we have to manually bank transfer), however I have gotten approval to change this to an approach whereby if you for whatever reason do not wish to attend an event or wish to get a refund for an event ticket purchased via the website, you must;
- Firstly: Attempt to re-sell your ticket to another person for at least (1) week
- Secondly: If you were unsuccessful with re-selling your ticket, submitting the refund application via the website form I linked above
JCUMSA Bank Account Access
After a slightly turbulent time trying to get transferred ownership to the JCUMSA account, both Sachin and I now have full access and have begun reimbursing people for various events.
Square was used at the JCUMSA Welcome BBQ, and quite successfully. We had to add a 1.9% surcharge to payments to cover the cost of Square’s transaction fee (which worked out as exactly $1.14 on a $60 Gold membership payment), but we made that clear to all people, and offered purchasing by the website if you wished to waive that cost. Many of you found the ease of getting tickets quickly in person quite helpful.
We are looking at ways to greater encourage signing up to JCUMSA Gold membership, as there are a variety of benefits involved in with getting membership that far exceed cheaper tickets to JCUMSA events. We will provide more details on this later.
With our ANZ account access now, I am also planning on ringing up ANZ to discuss their merchant fee in contrast to the Square fee. If we get Square access, we may be able to offer automated refunds which was one of the primarily objectives for me this year. I again, will provide the outcome of this in next month’s report.
“…Moving forward, all requests for reimbursement from the JCUMSA Treasury for event-related purchases will have to be made through submitting the appropriate form. The same is true for refunds for items/tickets purchased through the JCUMSA store. …”
After some consultation, I have revised the initial budget to provide more subsidies for non-academic events by JCUMSA. As I mentioned in the January report, I initially put together the budget with the expectation of making a slight profit of non-academic events (ie. MedBall, MedCamp) with the extra funds to be used to subsidise academic events, but I realised especially after the initial quote came to with regard to how much MedCamp was going to cost, that this would be unfair to our students and may provide financial barriers to students to attend these events. Already, JCUMSA has subsidised the total cost of MedCamp significantly to make ticket prices cheaper for students.
I am still in the middle of trying to make the budget neutral over the year (such that expenditure roughly equals income), but this will depend on getting the final numbers from Riya (Sponsorship Officer) regarding sponsorship grants and how much money we have to use this year. However, at the moment things are looking a bit more optimistic than what we were preparing for last month. I will have a better update on this next month.
One other big change to the budget has been to double the total Wellbeing budget from existing years, as JCUMSA has a firm mission of further improving wellbeing support for students this year.
One of the other main things I’ve done is begun looking at getting registration with the Australian Charities and Non-Profits Commission. Doing so will offer us a variety of financial benefits, including official GST-free status and tax rebates so we can better invest in your guys. But also, some discounts for services like website hosting and Canva (which we use for our design and publications work).
So far, we’ve started off the year pretty strong financially. The budget has almost come together, and with JCUMSA account access Sachin and I have a lot more freedom with getting on top of our invoices and reimbursements.