Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No.3, May 1999

1999, Vol. 21
No. 3 (May)
.. News from IUPAC
.. Other Societies
.. Reports from Symposia
.. 1997 Accounts
.. New Books and Publications
.. Provisional Recommendations
.. Reports from Commissions
.. Awards
.. Conference Announcements
.. Conferences

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Chemistry International
Vol. 21, No. 3
May 1999

Report of IUPAC's 1997 Accounts

Download the Auditor's Report and Balance Sheets in pdf format (68K)

Treasurer's Comments

I apologize for the late publication of the audited 1997 accounts. This is due to unexplained but extended delays in arranging the audit by Neutra Treuhand, the auditors we have used for many years. These difficulties have forced us to close our business with them and to instruct Batchelor, Tillery, and Roberts of Raleigh, North Carolina, local to the Secretariat. These auditors have carried out the audit using Generally Accepted Accounting Principles in the United States. These principles differ in two important respects from the Swiss principles used hitherto. First, subscriptions and service charges are recorded when earned, and expenses are recorded when the relevant activity actually occurs. Secondly, whereas realized and unrealized capital gains on our investments were previously shown only in the balance sheet, these must now appear as income in the income and expense account. So care must be taken in reading the appropriate items in the accounts. Thus, the total income over expenses item appears as USD 168 380, but includes realized and unrealized gains of USD 362 076, so the excess of income over expenses resulting from our operations over the year, our previous bottom line, is in fact a deficit of USD 193 696.

This deficit takes into account the cost of moving the Secretariat from Oxford to Research Triangle Park, North Carolina, some USD 186K, and the cost of several extraordinary meetings called to discuss and formulate the future strategy of the Union, USD 52K. These items were discussed and approved by the Executive Committee and the Bureau but were not put into the budget because these were nonrecurrent items. If the costs of these items are removed, the deficit becomes a surplus of about USD 44K. Even if these are included, the surplus from 1996 (excluding the Barings windfall) of USD 290 690 added to the deficit of USD 193 696 gives a biennial surplus of USD 96 994. The principal causes that give rise to these figures, and our being able to move the Secretariat and stage several extraordinary meetings, yet finish the biennium with a surplus, are that the Publications surplus was some USD 110K over budget and that the Geneva Assembly came in USD 83K below budget against all expectations due, in turn, to the absence of a number of Titular Members and to the cost of air fares remaining flat. Also, in spite of my exhorting Division Presidents to use all their allocations, and granting substantial extra funds to Division II, there was a divisional biennial underspend of USD 48K.

Our reserves remain strong. The heavy calls on funds to cover the exceptional items during 1997 reduced the value of the total reserves from USD 3 582 324 to USD 3 525 662; a fall of 1.6%; in real terms about 5%; however, over the biennium there was an increase in value from USD 2 753 916 to USD 3 525 662, 28%; in real terms, 19.5%. But this figure is inflated by the Barings windfall; without it, the biennial gain was 7.9%. Our investment strategy continued to give good returns. There was a total gain in the equities (shares) held throughout the year of 23.4% and a total gain on bonds of 6.3%, giving an overall gain on the portfolio of 16.8%.

The windfall received from Barings in 1995, USD 343 800, has been used to found an Endowment Fund. It is intended to use the interest and dividends from it for special purposes, while preserving its capital value in real terms. At the Finance Committee meeting in February 1998, it was decided to dissolve the Building Fund and to move its assets to the Endowment Fund to give a total in this fund of USD 783 405. It is hoped to encourage outside organizations and chemical industries to make contributions to the fund. To this end, part of the fund (USD 219 802) has been set aside as the Endowment Reserve Fund that will be used to match contributions to the main fund.

Overall, aside from the Endowment Fund and the Southern Hemisphere Sinking Fund, the operating reserve remains sufficiently above target to implement at once measures arising from the recommendations of the Strategy Development and Implementation Committee, including extra funding for Divisions and Standing Committees to enable them to accelerate the completion of existing projects.

Professor John Ward
IUPAC Treasurer




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