From CFO Marina Cook 

 Year end results

At I write, we are in audit and have some preliminary results for the Playcentre Aotearoa national organisation. The pre-audit figures show a loss of $1.02million, which is not ideal but much better than the budget loss of over $3m. Cost control, process improvement and the employment freeze have contributed to this significant reduction in deficit. But more promising is the lift in levy revenue that shows our Centres are growing a trend we would like to see continue.

Reminder to be a good authoriser

As we enter another financial end of the year, I just want to put out a reminder to all our members, not just the treasurers who have a role that makes them a bank authoriser, to please always check before you authorise. Ask what the payment is for, and never sign a blank cheque.

For all Centre members, just a reminder that if you are concerned about the financial information that is being provided to your team, you are welcome to call or email me (Marina) at [email protected] for a confidential chat and review of the accounts on your behalf at any time

Property Approvals this month

This month our property team approved property projects for 16 Centres at a total cost of $62,400. We will continue to approve projects on the second Wednesday of each month as this process we are finding gives our team a great ability to compare the needs of many Centres at once and best prioritise the limited funding available. For some Centres this does mean that less than the amount requested may be approved as sometimes we find that a Centre could contribute more than the minimum 20 per cent and by doing so we are then able to allocate funds to two or three Centres at 30-50 per cent rather than 80 per cent to one Centre and rejecting the others completely.

Telecommunications – changes and the costs involved

There have been many questions and some controversy over the recent decision to change our Telecom supplier, with some suggestions of this being a cost saving exercise.  In fact, that is what it is, because we had to cut costs as the communications bill has grown year on year in a way that cannot be sustained within the current levy structure.

In 2017/18, the first full year Playcentre Aotearoa paid the Telecom’s bill,  the cost was $272,000 (2.5 per cent levy), by the 2019/20 year that number had grown by 88 per cent to $513,000 (4.7 per cent levy)  and projections were for this to reach $600k (5.5 per cent levy) in the year ahead.

With that in mind, it felt like the right time to look at our packages and whether we were getting the best deal – as well as looking at whether we could provide a service that didn’t require a 3 per cent levy increase for our already stretched Centres.

We went out to several parties to negotiate, and all providers recommended the same product using the mobile phones to hotspot from. From there we negotiated between them until we got the best possible price and service provider.

Ngā mihi nui