National Executive Committee endorses revised annual budget process

March 13, 2013 The CAPE Finance Committee has examined the annual budget process and practices of CAPE and has recommended that this process be revised, with tighter timelines and stricter oversight. The NEC has accepted the recommendation.
The budget process followed up to and including 2012 followed a timeline that saw the budget preparation begin in January, with a membership budget meeting held normally in the month of September. The ballots for approval of the membership were issued to the membership at the same time as the distribution of the Annual General Meeting materials, and the voting period closed ten working days following the Annual General Meeting. In 2012, this date fell on December 13, thus making the budget process a year long affair.
In 2012 the CAPE Finance Committee agreed that a 12 month budget preparation and approval process was unreasonably long, and has taken steps in early 2013 to shorten this process, thereby refining and streamlining the process.
In 2013 and 2014 the revised CAPE budget process will follow the following schedules:
Input from Committees, Sub-Committees and Management
In the past, by the end of January, the CAPE Finance Officer requested input into the budget from all CAPE Committee and Sub-Committee Chairs, as well as all members of CAPE management, who consult with CAPE staff, and who then make budget submissions to the Finance Officer.
This time frame will remain the same for the preparation of the 2013 budget.
For the 2014 budget process, this information will be sought during November 2013.
Consultation with Local Leadership
Also, as in the past, The Finance Committee consults with the Local Leadership Council in preparing the annual budget.
In 2013 this meeting will be held on February 26, 2013 for the 2013-2014 budget and in late Fall for the 2014-2015 budget.
Two all day meetings of the Finance Committee
The Finance Committee then holds two full day meetings to consider the various budget proposals.
In 2012 these meetings were held during the months of April and May.
In 2013 these meetings will be held March and April.
In 2014 these meetings will be held in January and February.
Presentation of Proposed Budget to National Executive Committee for Approval
Once the Finance Committee has finalized the proposed budget, it is then submitted to the NEC for their consideration and approval.
In 2012 the proposed budget was presented to, and approved by, the NEC Committee meeting of June 2012.
In 2013 the budget will be submitted to the NEC by the Finance Committee for approval at the April 2013 meeting of the NEC.
In 2014 the budget will be submitted to the NEC by the Finance Committee for approval at the February 2014 meeting of the NEC.
Membership Budget Meeting
The budget documents are provided to the CAPE membership three weeks prior to the Membership Budget Meeting (MBM).
In 2012, the MBM was held on September 26.
In 2013 the MBM will be held on May 23.
In 2014 the MBM will be held on March 20.
Membership Approval of the Budget
As noted previously, past practice saw the ballots regarding approval of the budget issued at the same time as the materials for the Annual General Meeting.
In 2012 this material was issued on November 8.
In 2013, the information regarding the proposed budget, and ballots relating to same, will be issued in May and the voting period will end on June 14, 2013.
In 2014, the information regarding the proposed budget, and ballots relating to same, will be issued in March and the voting period will end on April 11, 2014.
A More Proactive Approach
This revised process will allow the CAPE Finance Committee and NEC to have an ongoing and accurate appraisal of CAPE’s finances. The budget process will be a timely process. Removing the submission of the proposed budget documents and ballots from the Annual General Meeting process frees the Finance Committee to act in a more proactive and assertive manner regarding CAPE’s budget and CAPE’s finances.
Greater Focus to Acquire Feedback from Members
As part of the revised budget process, CAPE will incorporate new opportunities for the membership to provide preliminary comments to the Finance Committee before a draft budget is prepared, as well as opportunities to comment on the actual draft budget before it goes to the membership for acceptance/rejection.
The Finance Committee also suggests that a new members meeting be held in the Autumn of every year to assist with goal setting and priorities determination.