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2.1(1)M The amount of dues payable annually by each Member shall be:
$15.00 of the dues for Regular, General, Inactive, and Subscribing Members shall be designated as a publications charge.
[History of dues:
10/67: R $10, G $5, S $2.50 (10/69 $3; 3/71 $4), F $2.50.
3/74: R $10, G $6, S $5, F $2.50.
10/75: R $11, G $7, I $7, S $6, F $3.
8/80: R $14, G $10, I $10(?), S $9, F $3.
6/82: R $15, G $15, I $15, S $12, F $1; pub. charge first set, at $11.
8/84: R $20, G $17, I $17, S $13, F $1; pub. charge $12.
5/86: R $22, G $19, I $19, S $15, F $1; pub. charge $14.
3/91: R $23, G $20, I $20, S $16, F $1; pub. charge $15.]
2.1(2)M Interpretation of By-Laws Section 1.6: When notice has been given of a specific dues-change proposal, the Membership may vote to change the proposed amounts of dues. However, any motion to change the dues for one or more membership classes to an amount outside the range between the current dues and those proposed in the original notice may not receive final passage until additional notice has been given to all Members. [Based on precedent set in 5/82.]
Membership Committee may authorize an
Affiliate Member to substitute a subscription to its publication(s)
in lieu of dues; in the absence of such substitution, the dues for Affiliate
Members shall be the same as for Subscribing Members.
[7/71*; second clause added 9/83. In all dues schedules through 10/75, the Affiliate and General dues were the same; later it was tacitly assumed that Affiliates didn't pay dues. In practice this section appears not to be invoked.]
2.1(5)M In accordance with Section 1.2 of the By-Laws, a Member newly admitted shall be dropped from membership if he or she has not paid his or her dues within one month from the date of admission. Any other Member shall be dropped from membership who has not paid his or her dues by the end of the month containing the anniversary of his or her admission. [7/71*. Second sentence essentially passed 9/68, first sentence 11/70.]
2.1(6)M No adjustment of dues shall be
made for transfers from one class of membership to another unless so requested
by the Member, and in any case never for amounts
less than $1.00. Each Member shall pay dues for
the class of membership which the Member holds at
the time the dues become due.
[9/83. The original (7/71*) rule was that dues increments must be paid upon transfer to a more expensive class, refunds upon transfer to a less expensive class. The current rule was added to the By-Laws in 5/78 for transfers between Regular and Inactive Membership, and was thereafter in practice applied to all other transfers.]
2.1(7)M Ben Bova and Barbara Rose are excused from paying dues in perpetuity. [2/77]
2.1(8)M Every year there shall be transferred from the NESFA Life Memberships liability account to the dues-income account the Subscribing Member dues rate times the number of NESFA Life Members, except that the transfer shall not exceed the interest accrued during the year on the NESFA Life Memberships liability account. [7/05: Added to conform to long-standing practice. Quoted in /Treasury/LifeMembershipsAnnual.htm.]
2.2 Contracts and Debts
2.2(1)E Unless otherwise determined, any Contract to be executed by or on behalf of the Corporation shall be signed by the Officer or the chairman or authorized representative of the committee having charge of the activity involved, or by the President. [7/71*]
2.2(1A)M Any contracts or other
agreements made on behalf of NESFA with other parties must be approved by the
Executive Board before being executed; the
Executive Board should normally be
consulted before negotiations on such agreements are entered into.
[E 8/84, M 10/84. It was stipulated in the debate that this rule does not apply to expenditures of budgeted funds, and does not preempt the Membership's rights to form contractual relationships.]
2.2(2)E Records of all royalty agreements shall be kept by the Clerk, the Treasurer, the Rules Committee, and NESFA Press. [11/83; 3/95: the Book Production Committee renamed NESFA Press; unfortunately, this rule has seldom been obeyed.]
2.2(3)E Amounts owed to NESFA of one dollar or less may be ignored. Amounts owed by NESFA of one dollar or less should be paid only upon request. [8/83]
2.3(3)M Expenditures or obligations in excess of $400 require a two-thirds vote of the Membership, unless (a) prior approval of the Executive Board has been obtained or (b) all Members have received one week's written notice. [12/83]
2.3(4)M Budgets shall be submitted in sufficient detail to designate individual categories as well as accounts. [1/75]
2.3(5)E Proposed budgets should be sufficiently detailed that intelligent discussion can take place. For small budgets, this can take the form of a verbal explanation; for large budgets, line items are a must. When a budget is approved, the Membership has approved not only the dollar amount, but also the plan for spending it which was presented in justification; such justifications should be included in the minutes. Significant changes (in the budget or in the uses to which the budget is to be put) may be made only with the consent of the Membership; questions as to what changes are "significant" should be referred to the Treasurer or the Executive Board. [11/83]
2.3(7)E Two kinds of budgets exist: annual and ad-hoc.
(a) An annual budget is a budget for an ongoing activity which has no explicit term. Such activities include Instant Message, Operations, Sales, etc.
Annual budgets are developed by the Executive Board in consultation with both the outgoing and the newly appointed committees, and are presented to the Membership at the June or July business meeting. Upon approval, they go into effect immediately.
During the interim period between the end of the old fiscal year and the approval of the new fiscal year's budget, the previous annual budget is continued automatically on a proportional basis. Money spent during the interim budgeting period is charged against the new fiscal year's budget when it is approved.
(b) An ad-hoc budget is set up for an activity which has a limited term of existence. Such activities include conventions, production of individual books, etc.
Ad-hoc budgets may be presented to the Membership at any time. Ordinarily, the budget for the entire term of the activity is set up at one time and extends until the activity ends.
[11/83. Budgets were first required in 12/70, and from then until 1983 were on a quarterly basis: budgets were submitted to and approved by the Executive Board before the beginning of each quarter, and were voted on by the Membership at the first meeting of the quarter. The first annual budget was for the fiscal year 1983-84, adopted 8/83.]
[The number of budgetary categories has varied greatly over the years. The oldest accounting categories (10/67) were General, Index, Convention (Boskone), and Refreshment, with the Pun Fund added in 12/68. Thereafter a new category was generally added whenever a new committee with a budget was established. In 1971-72 a formal distinction into "Alpha" (dues-supported) and "Beta" (self-supporting) funds was attempted. In the mid-70's the theory was that each committee head authorized to spend money had a separate account, but more recently a number of such categories have been combined for budgeting purposes. The distinction between quarterly (now annual) and ad-hoc budgets first appeared in the budget adopted in 8/82.]
[Immediately after the purchase of the Clubhouse in 1985-86, the budget had grown to include the following 21 categories (expanded from 8 the year before): Apa:NESFA; Awards; Building Maintenance; Building Supplies; Building Taxes; Building Utilities; Clerk's Exp; Depreciation; IM; Insurance; Library; Meeting Space; Miscellaneous; PB; Program Comm; Rules Comm; Sales; Storage; Story Contest; Treasury Exp; and Trust Interest. Things have since been simplified, and for the 1991-92 budget the Membership voted on only the following 13 categories: Clubhouse Insurance; Clubhouse Maintenance; Clubhouse Supplies; Clubhouse Utilities; Misc. Program Services; Misc. Non-Program Services; IM Postage; IM Printing; IM Supplies; IM Miscellaneous; Library; Sales Postage; Sales Advertising. See the Chart of Accounts (see also SR 2.5(10)) for a more detailed breakdown, including income categories.]
2.3(8)M Any decision by the Membership or the Executive Board which authorizes any expense or instructs any purchase shall automatically expire if it is not implemented within six months after its passage, unless the authorization specifically provides otherwise. [7/71*]
2.3(9)M People are requested to submit any non-budgeted expenses to a business meeting before spent, if possible. Budget overrun items shall be reported to a business meeting with an explanation as soon as possible. [1/75]
2.3(10)M The Treasurer is directed not to pay bills submitted when Section 2.3(9) has not been adhered to, or when reported expenses are not identified by individual categories within a given account. [1/75. Second clause clarified 12/83.]
2.4 Guidelines for Expenditures and
[While most of this section was first formally passed in 11/83, it is largely a codification of long-standing practices.]
2.4(1)E Everyone authorized to spend or receive money on behalf of NESFA or Boskone shall report to the appropriate Treasurer at least once per month on current expenditures and receipts. [11/83. Essentially duplicates 1/71 rule.]
2.4(2)E NESFA as a 501(c)(3) organization is under stringent obligations to see that all monies are used only to advance NESFA's objectives. No part of NESFA's monies may inure to the benefit of any individual NESFA Member, except as allowed by the Articles of Organization. [11/83]
2.4(3)E The following are basic guidelines for acceptable expenses. In general, use common sense -- if you have any doubt about the appropriateness of an expense, it's probably inappropriate. Without prior approval by the Membership or the Executive Board, no reimbursement will be paid for:
2.4(4)E The Treasurer has the duty to refuse to honor any expense which is not documented or which was made contrary to the policies of NESFA. Documentation usually consists of a properly-filled-out expense form and a receipt. [11/83]
2.4(5)E NESFA is a tax-exempt organization, and nothing purchased for NESFA's use is covered by sales tax (in Massachusetts). Our tax-exemption number is E237-134-890; ask the Treasurer for tax-exemption forms. The Treasurer will ordinarily reject any request for reimbursement of sales tax. [11/83; number updated 5/92, cf. Section 5.4(2).]
2.4(6) ADVANCE ACCOUNTS
(a)E Advance accounts are set up as a convenience to the Members so that they can spend money for NESFA without having to provide NESFA with a temporary loan. Having an advance account is not a right, and may be denied to any Member who does not properly document her expenses and income. [11/83]
(b)E When an advance account is idle (e.g., reports no expenses for a year), the Treasurer may decline to accept income reports for money owed NESFA by the Member (i.e., the Member may not be allowed to charge her own dues, etc., to the advance account). [11/83]
(d)F Treasurer: When advance accounts are reported, a positive figure beside a person's name means that they owe NESFA that amount; a negative figure, that NESFA owes them. [Pre-1974: advance accounts were first listed individually in the Treasurer's report in 7/70.]
2.5 Treasury Procedures
[Again mostly documents long-standing practice.]
2.5(1)E NESFA treasury procedures should follow generally accepted practices modified by NESFA's traditions and practical circumstances. In particular:
2.5(2)E Treasury reports must be made monthly, and must be written and deposited with the Clerk. If a report is not published in Instant Message, copies must be provided by the Treasurer to any Member upon request.
The purpose of treasury reports is to inform the Membership of the financial state of NESFA or Boskone. Reports should be designed to convey maximum useful information, and should show income and expense figures for the period covered as well as asset and liability numbers. Breakdown into individual accounts should be sufficiently detailed that no additional material is needed for the reader to judge the financial health of NESFA or Boskone. [11/83]
2.5(3)E Consistent with prudent control of cash flow and minimum risk to capital, NESFA's money should be kept in the highest-interest-rate accounts available. [11/83]
2.5(4)E Some accounting details: [11/83]
2.5(5)F Treasurer's fiats: [11/83; (d) added 9/90.]
2.5(6) [Deleted 7/05. This section contained the Chart of Accounts. The original version passed in 1/86 as an E rule; after it fell badly out of date, the Chart of Accounts was updated and reduced to a Treasurer's fiat in 4/92. (See SR 2.5(10).)]
2.5(7)M NESFA Fiscal Years are numbered starting when NESFA was founded, so the fiscal year number is the calendar year during which the fiscal year started minus 1966 (e.g., the fiscal year beginning 1 May 1982 and ending 30 April 1983 is Fiscal Year 16). Fiscal quarters are May-July, August-October, November-January, and February-April.
[11/83: Originally a Treasurer fiat as 2.5(5)(a). 7/05: Moved, updated, the redundant definition of the start and end removed, and made an 'M' rule.]
2.5(8)M The Boskone which occurs during fiscal year N is recorded in the NESFA books when it produces its final report during fiscal year N+1. [11/83: Originally a Treasurer fiat as 2.5(5)(b). 7/05: Moved, updated, and made an 'M' rule. Quoted in /Treasury/BoskoneClosingBooks.htm.]
2.5(9)M Interest on internal accounts (e.g., Boskone and NESFA Life; Boskone advances) will be paid at a fixed rate which will be determined from time to time by the NESFA Treasurer and which will roughly reflect the average interest earned by all of NESFA's interest-bearing accounts. [9/90: Originally a Treasurer fiat as 2.5(5)(d). 7/05: Moved and made an 'M' rule. Quoted in /Treasury/LifeMembershipsAnnual.htm.]
2.6 Internal Audit
2.6(1)E Auditing subcommittees of the Finance Committee shall examine the books of the NESFA Treasurer and of each Boskone Treasurer, as required by Section 5.10 of the By-Laws. They may enlist the services of any other Member in this examination. The examination shall be to determine if:
The auditing subcommittee is encouraged to make suggestions for the
improvement of treasury procedures, but, except as provided in the By-Laws, has
no authority over the Treasurer.
[11/83, with the task of auditing assigned to the Rules Committee; while the Rules Committee was charged with this duty by the By-Laws in 11/79, through 1983 no such audit had actually been made. In 4/92 the job was transferred to the Finance Committee, which displayed much more enthusiasm for it.]
2.6(2)E AUDITING PROCEDURES [11/83]
(a) Purpose: The purpose of auditing is to determine whether or not the financial records and reports of the Corporation accurately reflect what actually happened.
(b) Tests: The tests to be performed shall include the following, supplemented by such additional tests as the auditing subcommittee feels are required to clearly assess the accuracy of the records and reports being audited:
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(c) Reports: If the books being audited are double-entry, and all tests enumerated above (with such additional tests as the auditing subcommittee may apply) indicate that the books accurately reflect reality, the auditing subcommittee shall issue a report substantially as follows:
"An auditing subcommittee of the Finance Committee has audited the financial records and reports of ______ as of _____ and covering transactions occurring from _____ through ______. While it was not feasible to verify every item in these records, a number of internal and external auditing tests were performed, including all of those required by the Standing Rules, and the auditing subcommittee is confident that these financial records and reports are an accurate reflection of what actually happened."
If the conditions for issuing such a report can not all be met, an appropriately qualified or modified report shall be issued. If possible, problems to be mentioned in such a report should be discussed with the Treasurer and other persons responsible for the books being audited before the report is issued. The goal of such a report is to convey to the Membership the auditing subcommittee's opinion of the degree to which the financial records and reports reflect what actually happened and the level of confidence the auditing subcommittee has in this opinion. As a general rule, such reports should avoid comments on the performance of individuals.
2.7 Boskone (and Other Convention) Finances
2.7(1)E The Boskone
Treasurer is an independent official of NESFA with responsibility to the
Membership of NESFA both directly and through
the Boskone Chairman and the NESFA Executive Board.
[11/83. The Boskone Treasurer was first made an independent official in 8/79, having earlier been a mere appointee of the Chairman. In subsequent years, disputes periodically arose as to the extent of this independence, and in particular what authority the Boskone Chairman and NESFA Treasurer held over the Boskone Treasurer. The rules in this section were aimed at clarifying these points.]
(a) Bookkeeper: The Boskone Treasurer keeps Boskone's books, issues checks, pays expenses, deposits monies, and generally provides an array of financial services to Boskone. The Boskone Treasurer reports monthly to the Membership on the financial status of Boskone. A report may also be requested at any time by the Boskone Chairman, the NESFA Treasurer, or the Executive Board.
(b) Controller: The Boskone Treasurer is responsible for seeing that Boskone expenditures are made in a regular fashion: are made from some budget by a person authorized to spend from that budget; are for the purposes for which that budget was approved; are properly documented; and are within the limits prescribed by law, by NESFA's procedures, and by Boskone's procedures.
2.7(3)E The NESFA Treasurer, with the approval of the Executive Board, sets financial procedures for all of NESFA, including Boskone. While adhering to the overall framework of NESFA's procedures, the Boskone Treasurer has considerable discretion in defining the implementation of NESFA's procedures for Boskone. [11/83]
2.7(4)E While ultimate authority in all matters remains with the Membership of NESFA, the Chairman of Boskone is primarily responsible for developing Boskone's budget. The Chairman will ordinarily involve (at least) the Boskone and NESFA Treasurers, and the responsible individuals at Boskone, in budget preparation prior to submitting the proposed budget (or changes in the budget) to the Executive Board. The Executive Board submits the Boskone budget to the Membership for approval. [11/83; in practice the NESFA Treasurer is not always consulted.]
2.7(5)M Unless otherwise provided, known
income of each Lexicon or Codclave in excess of budgeted expenses shall
automatically be transferred to the convention's contingency budget.
[4/85. Replaced an earlier rule (recommended by Executive Board 11/75; apparently never formally passed by the Membership, but assumed to have been) which applied to half the excess income of all NESFA conventions -- meaning primarily Boskones. The intent was to "allow con committees who find that there are large surplus funds to reduce them AT THE CON," large surpluses then being considered undesirable; the thinking on this subject had changed by 1985.]
2.7(6)E Three extraordinary types of line item exist:
(a) A contingency budget may be used at the Chairman's sole discretion to increase approved line-item budgets to cover unexpected expenses. Such transfers should be reported to the Membership by the Boskone Treasurer.
(b) Reserved indicates money budgeted as a place-holder for future line items. The reserved budget may not be spent, but is used by the Membership to create new line items after the initial passage of the Boskone budget.
(c) Discretionary budgets may be spent at the Chairman's whim on anything which in the Chairman's judgment is in the best interests of NESFA. No discretionary funds may be spent contrary to the policies or procedures of NESFA or Boskone, or for the benefit of the Boskone Chairman or their family. ["self/family benefit" phrase added 2/95]
Unless a line item is explicitly labeled as one of these types during passage of the budget by the Membership, it is ordinary and may be spent only for its stated purposes.
[11/83. The three terms had been used semi-interchangeably in previous years, leading to much confusion; this rule defines distinctions between them.]
2.7(7)M When Boskone makes use of NESFA-owned equipment or facilities, it pays an appropriate charge to NESFA. These charges should be budgeted as part of Boskone's normal expenses. No cross charge is ever made for labor. Specific charge rates: [11/83, except for b). 7/05: change to an 'M' rule (it was originally an 'E' rule).]
2.7(10)M (a) A Boskone Chairman may withhold authorization to spend part or all of any line item in the Boskone budget. Any such change shall be reported in a timely fashion to the Executive Board and to the Membership, either of which may overrule the Chairman's decision if there is time to do so.
(b) A Boskone Chairman may forbid the use of any Boskone funds for a specific type of expenditure; such action shall require the same approval procedure as described in subsection (a) for withholding of funds.
[9/87; repassed in slightly different form 1/90.]
2.7(12)M Boskone numbering shall use Arabic numerals except when the Roman numerals are too good to pass up. [4/97]
2.7(13)M Consecutive Boskones shall not use the same checking account. [5/05. Recommended by the Finance Committee, to avoid the confusion which occurs if at any time more than one Boskone is financially active on the same account.]
2.7(14)M The NESFA Treasurer shall, for each Boskone, determine a uniform percentage for charging credit card fees; after the convention, in lieu of any other charges for credit card fees, a single charge will be levied based on this rate and the total amount of credit card payments made to that convention. [7/05.]
2.8 Income Stabilization Fund and Related Matters
2.8(1)M There shall be a fund designated as the Income Stabilization Fund, which shall be restricted surplus (as defined by the U. S. Tax Code), and which shall be used to make up for unanticipated shortfalls in NESFA net income. [11/87. The Income Stabilization Fund was previously designated as the Snow Insurance Fund, but until 11/87 was not formally defined in the Standing Rules.]
2.8(3)M The balance of the Income Stabilization Fund shall be $20,000. [11/87, increased from an earlier value of $8500.]
2.8(4)M The assets backing the Income Stabilization Fund may be released for general use by a three-fourths vote of the Membership, or by a two-thirds vote with advance notice or Executive Board approval. [11/87]
[The current Section 2.8 was formerly (until 5/92) Section 1.17, and replaced the original Section 1.17, "The Building Fund and Related Matters." See the historical note after the current Section 1.17.]
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