Audited financial statement
AIGA publishes its audited financial statement as a commitment to transparency and accountability in governance, as soon as the statement is accepted by the national board of directors.
What is the audit process?
The audit is conducted by an independent auditor, Friedman LLP, a regional firm in the New York metropolitan area with a strong not-for-profit practice that has been auditing AIGA’s books for the past five years. The board regularly re-evaluates the engagement of its audit firm to assure it remains objective and independent in its evaluation of management.
AIGA’s fiscal year concludes on September 30 each year. The draft audit is normally completed in late December. The auditors report their findings to the Treasurer, who serves on the board of directors, and review the audit with him/her. The financial statements are then reviewed by the executive committee of the national board before being submitted to the full board for acceptance, at which point it is considered final.
What do the financial statements say?
The financial statements include standard accounting presentations of AIGA’s financial position at a single point in time, September 30. The notes that begin on page 9 provide a review of the activities that drive financial performance and condition.
There are a few additional notes that are probably useful in reading the statements. For more than two decades, AIGA has planned for cyclical income; years in which the biennial design conference occurs typically have higher revenues than in alternate years. This means planning for some years with net revenues and others with net losses, since the approach has been to level out services so that they, too, do not rise and fall every year. Our policy has been to manage through up and down cycles, rather than dramatically increase and reduce services in years with alternating performance, with the resultant impact on member experience and loyalty that would impede longer-term growth.
Since each conference occurs in October, the amount of deferred revenue and prepaid expenses varies greatly from year to year, based on which conference is happening just a few weeks later.
What is AIGA’s financial condition?
AIGA is fundamentally sound financially. As with most associations and many small businesses, it is under-capitalized and faces weakened market conditions, although this does not impact its continuing operations.
The financial condition is a natural outcome of a number of policy and strategy principles that the national board has followed over the past several years:
AIGA should be inclusive, not exclusive.
Chapters are doing remarkable work today and AIGA, at the national level, should give high priority to chapter support.
AIGA should become a platform for member engagement in design, the community of design and society.
AIGA should allocate its resources to maximize its flexibility and should invest in services and experiences that will stimulate growth for AIGA.
AIGA should use its available resources, even during periods of economic weakness, to strengthen services for the long haul rather than reducing service, so that it will be appealing enough to grow as we emerge from down cycles.
Chapters and members are trusted to create much of the AIGA experience, complemented by national activities that benefit from a single professional voice or coordination of chapters' and members' activities