PORAC’s Budget Committee and financial team, composed of Executive Committee Directors Barry Donelan, Randy Beintema, Anthony Sanders, Laren Leichliter, President Mike Durant, Vice President Brent Meyer, Finance and Administrative Manager Kim Busman and I, have been busy through this budget cycle. The committee continued to focus on areas of the budget where we felt the organization could be more efficient. We have taken our fiduciary responsibility very seriously and are not afraid to ask tough questions or make adjustments as needed to ensure the financial health of the organization. The Budget Committee understands that our decisions are focused on doing what is best with your money. Therefore, some areas were targeted for potential cuts on the basis of whether PORAC is utilizing its money wisely and efficiently. The committee delved into a concept that is very hard to overcome, which is changing what is known as business as usual. Therefore, we looked at areas where the budget could be streamlined, along with increasing efficiency and reducing potential unnecessary expenditures. This requires a paradigm shift away from the concept of “That is how we have always done it.”
“How we have always done it” could eventually become a costly venture for our organization. While PORAC is fiscally strong and can continue to sustain practices along current lines, the real question should be “Why should we continue doing it that way, and is that based on best practices?” Moreover, I believe the Budget Committee is willing to bring forth this concept to the rest of the Board of Directors to make sure the Board members are asking themselves the same question. Ultimately, we want to ensure that the cost of the existing practice does not outweigh the benefit to the organization. This discussion brings to light the concept of cost-benefit analysis or return on investment (ROI). The areas that the committee looked at were evaluated for whether PORAC is getting the best ROI from them.
Unfortunately, budget decisions are not evaluated in a vacuum, and those who are affected by them may feel that the changes are personal attacks. However, budgetary decisions are not made with ill will or thoughts of retribution; they are made to ensure that those proposing the changes are fiduciary with the members’ monies. If it means that the organization can save a few hundreds or thousands of dollars by curtailing certain practices, then the organization needs to consider those changes. While those minor adjustments may seem insignificant in the greater scheme, over time they add up to significant amounts that can be used to strengthen the organization’s financial footing or toward other projects. Nonetheless, it is important to keep in mind while making budgetary adjustments to consider the overall impact, and not just to make changes because it saves money.
On another note, remember that if you are on your POA’s or DSA’s board, you have a fiduciary responsibility to your members. Your members have elected you to keep their best interests in mind, especially when it comes to financial matters. If you fail in your responsibility, you are subject to legal ramifications. Please take your responsibility seriously, and make sure to review your POA’s or DSA’s financial statements, ask questions, and ensure that there are checks and balances in place to avoid fraud and deception.
I am proud of the work being done by the Budget Committee and the rest of the PORAC financial team. Everyone is working diligently to ensure that PORAC is a force to be reckoned with, as well as protecting your money. I look forward to having the final draft of the 2018 budget for your review at Conference, along with the opportunity to provide you with additional insight on the positive work being accomplished by your PORAC financial team. I have made a commitment to be your fiscal watchdog, and I continue to stand by that commitment. PORAC has made great financial strides over the past several years, and we need to ensure that it continues to be financially strong through prudent fiscal management and oversight.