The Florida Bar

Financial management critical in taxing times

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August 26, 2020

Budgets and finances are important factors in managing a membership organization and are especially important during a crisis. On Aug. 25, voluntary bar leaders got a good lesson in the mechanics of keeping an association in check when it comes to financial procedures, accountability, fiscal responsibility and money management. Three panelist representing non-staffed, staffed and specialty bars shared their experiences to assure a balanced budget is maintained. Ultimately, each association’s budgeting process differs depending on its structure, but regardless there are important tax and regulatory reporting deadlines that must be met annually. The panelists also reviewed the additional challenges of business disruptions this year with less revenue and fewer events and activities spawned by a public health crisis. Organizations have pivoted from in-person to virtual meetings and some have pro-rated membership dues creating gaps in income and cash-flow. In some cases, membership dues structures have been realigned as well as sponsorship and other non-dues receipts. If  you missed the webinar, you can view the recording here. Other helpful resources on managing association finances are also posted on the COVID Resources for Voluntary Bars web page.

A special thanks to Jane Muir, President of the Dade County Bar Association; Brendalyn Edwards, Immediate Past President, Gwen S. Cherry Black Women Lawyers Assn.; Craig Shoup, Executive Director, Jacksonville Bar Association for their expertise and for sharing their experiences. The webinar was moderated by Mandi Clay, President of the Hillsborough County Women Lawyers Association.