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2020 Finance Annual Report

Dear JCOGS Community,

What a year it has been! I stepped up as the chair of the finance committee last July 1st, 2019 and already have experience estimating the economic effects of a global pandemic.

But in all seriousness, the finance committee was doing great work in the pre-COVID19 environment and is now working overtime within the COVID19 environment. We started the fiscal year with a budget that had been built, examined, and re-examined by everyone who interacts with the budget, their committees, and the board. Over the summer, we quickly identified that a historical accounting method for how our Profit & Loss statements handled payroll taxes was undercounting the full payroll tax cost. At the October Board meeting, the board approved adjustments to the budget to account for the additional, correct payroll tax costs. In September, our beloved finance committee member, Al Besser, also retired from the committee after many years of service – we were so fortunate to have his perspective at the table and his personality in our lives.

Throughout the fall and winter, the finance committee continued to monitor the budget to actuals and kept the board apprised of any anomalies. We also fielded requests from committees for movement of budgeted funds between line items and made recommendations to the board on requests for additional expenditures. The FY2021 budget process started on January 22nd, with everyone who interacts with the budget receiving a spreadsheet containing prior year expenses, prior year budget, current year expenses to date, and current year budget. Budget meetings/phone calls were held the first week of March. At the March board meeting, the finance committee presented a FY2021 budget based on the pre-COVID19 environment that required board input on key policy decisions which were challenging to make in the face of the start of COVID19. The finance committee met twice in April to monitor actuals and discuss the approach to the FY2021 budget in light of COVID19. The finance committee presented a first quarter FY2021 budget that was passed at the May Board meeting.

This may be the first year in recent history that the annual report does not contain a 12-month budget. However, I believe that a quarterly approach to budgeting, acting swiftly based on the changing environment, is necessary for the next year. 

I will speak in detail at the annual meeting on necessary revenue downgrade assumptions made in the first quarter FY2021 budget but for now I would just like to say this – if you feel that JCOGS is value-added to the Jewish community in north-central Vermont, and to you personally, and if you have the ability to give at the same level, or even a bit more than prior years, please do so. Thank you to everyone who donated in the past year and to the members of the finance committee. This year will be challenging, and the way we face that challenge together will be a source of great opportunity.

Respectfully,

Candace Elmquist

Finance chair & treasurer

Wed, July 8 2020 16 Tammuz 5780