President's Message April 2021

Well, April is finally here and I am hopeful that life will be a bit easier than it has been this past year.  We had a great board meeting this week and I am pleased to report that the officers of AAHN are hard at work to strengthen the organization and make it more representative and welcoming for our members.  One of my goals as president is to highlight current officers of the board and give the members a sense of who they are and what they are doing for the association. One of the chief areas of concern for AAHN in the past few years has been related to our financial status.  Each year at the conference the treasurer has presented the budget or at least a report of our financial status and in the past there has been concern regarding our ability to maintain the organization. Research funds are stable and protected but it has been a challenge to operate AAHN at the level we would like.  I am pleased to report that under the leadership of Mary Gibson, along with Stephanie Woods and Jennifer Riggs of Riggs Enterprises, the financial situation is much clearer and steps have been taken to strengthen our financial position.  With that in mind, I am pleased to provide a report to the membership from the treasurer, Mary Gibson.  Mary is a past-president of AAHN and has served as 2nd Vice President previously.

Treasurer’s job/report 

The Treasurer’s role in AAHN is to monitor and manage (with Management) the health of our finances. We operate on a calendar year budget, approving the budget for the following year in December of each year.  This past year, 2020, I took office and we migrated all our day-to-day record keeping and budget to QuickBooks, giving us access to all information in our financial picture through one portal. This platform allows for easy retrieval of reporting documents and reflects all of our general income and expenditures.

Riggs Enterprises, our management company, (specifically Jennifer Riggs) works with an accounting firm to keep track and provide further oversight of our financial profile. In addition to our operating budget, we hold renewable CDs and another account which are earmarked for our awards and research grants. These accounts are separate from our general operating funds. This is a critical factor in our financial administration since we have a much more robust research/awards nest egg than we have funds on hand to maintain our general operating expenses. We monitor budgeted spending during the year that will be vital to planning for next year’s budget - always with an eye to future solvency. Our planning is also informed by the Strategic Plan, which is still in place from 2019.

The Finance Committee (Mary Gibson and Stephanie Woods) meets with Jennifer Riggs on a monthly basis to go over our year-to-date spending and monitor the routine spending and any deviations from our financial plan. The Finance Committee is in regular contact with the President and reports to the Board at every Board meeting, and more frequently as needed.

We are currently on track with our budget for 2021 which reflects a small surplus. This is the first year in many years that we passed a budget that did not anticipate a loss. To put this in perspective, each event that we hold (even online) costs the organization money (for platforms, CEUs and staff time), so there are a limited number of “free” events that we can support in a given year.  Since we did not have an in person meeting this past year, we were able to mitigate any potential losses associated with an international meeting.  In the past, though we all love our annual meetings, we have frequently encountered a loss. Our goal ,as the Finance Committee, is to act as a safeguard to overspending now and in the future.  To that end, we advise the board on matters related to finance and keep the board informed of our current and anticipated financial status.  We will work to ensure that our next in person conference is in line with the budget while keeping up with member expectations and will strive to prevent the organization from incurring losses that we have experienced in the past-(Report provided by Mary Gibson 4/1/21)

If you have questions or concerns related to the budget or comments you’d like to make to me or to Mary, please feel free to reach out.  We’d love to hear from you.

Wishing everyone warm weather and hope you all stay safe.

All the best,