AMS Board of Directors holds open meeting to discuss & review budget

Figures from the 2014-15 fiscal year presented at Corporate Special General Meeting

Reports of audited financials and the Board of Directors Annual Report for 2014-15 was presented last Tuesday at the board’s fall Corporate Special General Meeting (CSPM).

Members of the AMS were invited to review the audited financials of the AMS corporate services. Michael Blair, chairman of the AMS Board of Directors, moderated the event.

During the meeting, Kyle Beaudry, AMS vice president (operations), presented the AMS Consolidated Budget and Restricted Funds Schedule. Both documents were reviewed and approved by the AMS Board of Directors.

Presentations by the three Service Directors — the Hospitality & Safety Services Director, the Media Services Director and the Retail Services Director — showed that the financial performance of the AMS services were satisfactory with room for improvement.

Hospitality reports that Common Ground and QP fared better than counterparts

Stephanie Harper, director of Hospitality & Safety, reported that AMS TAPS services — which include The Underground and Queen’s Pub (QP) — have shown signs of improvement from past years. TAPS Services have almost halved their net contribution deficit from 2013-2014 to 2014-2015, but still ran a net deficit of $73,241 last year.

Harper said there has been a lot of focus on revitalizing The Underground. These efforts include changes to prices, the introduction of the QPOP! Music Festival and a satellite wine bar.

To ensure better results for the 2015-16 year, Hospitality Services aim to theme Saturdays at the Underground, extend hours at QP and find ways to improve the overall customer experience at both establishments.

Common Ground (CoGro) and The Brew were successful with a net surplus of $25,382. However, Harper said there has been a special focus on growing The Brew’s own brand recognition. The surplus was largely due to CoGro’s success. Harper said The Brew was significantly less successful than CoGro, adding that The Brew’s profit margins were lower than CoGro.

Retail Services reports hit from online textbooks

The former Retail Services Director, Tyler Lively — who now serves as Academic Affairs Commissioner — said the Printing and Copy Center (P&CC) and Tricolour Outlet both suffered from the growing prevalence of online textbooks.

Lively attributed the P&CC’s $13,281 deficit to the decline in course pack sales. The P&CC has now outlined goals to market its services to student conferences on campus and increase its focus on product quality.

The Tricolour Outlet ran a net surplus of $55,000, despite a decrease in used textbook sales. Lively said the success can be attributed by a new clothing line and a rejuvenated store interior.

Media Services looks to strength infrastructure and brands among deficits

Emma Fuller, Director of Media Services, informed AMS members that The Journal, despite efforts to improve efficiency and operation spending control, had a net deficit of $33,951 last year. Moving forward, Media Services will work with The Journal Advisory Board to assess ways to make the newspaper more efficient and accessible for students.

The 2015-16 will be the first fiscal year for Studio Q, as it was created at the end of last year. The service is an amalgamation of three previously separate AMS services — QTV, Yearbook & Design Services and Convocation Services. The major goal for Studio Q this year is to establish a brand identity as a visual media provider for the Queen’s community.

Relationship with auditor

Members of the corporation passed a motion to appoint the KPMG LLP financial firm as auditor of AMS Inc. for the 2015-16 fiscal year. During an audit, a third party conducts an objective evaluation of an organization’s financial reports and reporting systems to verify that the organization — in this case, the AMS — is in accordance with specified criteria.

AMS seeks to comply with the standards of a not-for-profit organization, which means budgeting to make a profit within one per cent above or below zero.

KPMG Senior Manager Brent Hoffman will be working with AMS to conduct the upcoming audit. KPMG LLP also served as the auditor of AMS Inc. for the 2014-15 fiscal year.

KPMG LLP conducted the audit for the 2014-15 smoothly and deemed that the AMS financial results met the Canadian accounting standards for not-for-profit organizations.

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