From CFO Marina Cook
With the departure of John Manning, our Property Manager, I am covering the role for a period and my first observation is that Centres don’t find it easy to know where and how to claim property funding, and how the property funds are spent.
So, like all good accountants, I figured I would put in a process in place.
Who to contact? In the first instance, contact your local property coordinator, or in SSI, your Regional Manager.
They will collect all your claims and queries, many of which they will deal with directly. If more support or information is needed, they will be brought up at our weekly team meeting.
How we will spend the property funds.
For the 20/21 financial year we have budgeted a larger pool of money for property – our aim is that 60 per cent will be allocated for more reactive purposes and a portion, about 40 per cent, will be withheld for strategic projects and capital.
Each month, the property team will come together and allocate roughly $50,000 of funds based on the submissions made. These submissions will all be considered, and the best use of funds allocated. The decisions will be made as a team, not by one individual and all parts of the country will be equally considered. Sadly, we simply do not have the funds to cover every project, so if yours is not accepted or a smaller percentage granted than was requested, it will be because another Centre was deemed to need that funding more urgently or to be in a more difficult position to be able to contribute towards needed costs. This will not be a money saving exercise; we just have to be realistic and unfortunately, every project we accept is usually at the cost of another project we don’t.
If your project is very large it will be considered from the remaining portion of funding and may need higher approval from the General Manager or the Board.
The process above is designed to speed up the property approval process, get more visibility and shared decision making.
Of course, emergency works will not need to wait for the monthly review and will be approved on a case-by -case basis.
By the time you read this, we will have crossed year end, so please start reconciling, running depreciation and getting those finance packs complete. We had a 97 per cent response rate last year – let’s see if we can do even better this time around!
For more information, check our website.