AMS Corporate General Meeting discusses financial positioning of the Society

Auditors comment on $97, 572 in uncorrected misstatements 

Lori Huber spoke to student leaders at AMS CGM. 

At the Corporate General Meeting (CGM), stakeholders discussed the financial health and position of the corporate and government sides of the AMS. 

The CGM was held in the Rose Innovation Hub in Mitchell Hall on Dec. 1, where AMS Assembly members and the public attended. At CGM, audited statements prepared by the accounting firm KPMG were approved in conjunction with presentations from AMS Board of Directors and Vice President (Operations).

The Society’s annual report was also approved during the meeting.

KPMG’s lead auditor, Lori Huber, made a statement at the meeting. She said the AMS’s financial audits ending April. 30, 2022 had “healthy” results, particularly given the impacts of COVID-19. Assembly authorised KPMG to be the auditors for the next fiscal year. 

In the audit findings report, auditors commented on an uncorrected misstatement of $97, 572 in credit. Misstatements can arise from fraud or human error. In the case of this audit, KPMG and Chair of the AMS Board of Directors Laura Devenny made it clear there was no evidence of fraud at the AMS. 

A total of $408,334 in misstatements was corrected by the AMS, according to documentation enclosed in KPMG’s audit finding report.   

READ MORE: Looking inside the AMS services budget

Auditors made a few recommendations to AMS management, noted in the audit report. Namely, there was a recommendation the AMS Board of Directors monitor finances to ensure the AMS can continue operating as a non-profit organization that isn’t fully taxable.

In the audit report, five credit card transactions were audited, with two transactions including no supporting documentation or receipts. Auditors recommend the AMS place tighter controls on reimbursements.

Devenny spoke after Huber about the work across the AMS and the role of the Board of Directors. 

She gave an overview to Assembly members about the different types of committees, such as the strategic planning, audit, governance, investment, personnel, and finance and risk committees.   

Vice-President (Operations) Tina Hu presented the AMS’s consolidated budget. She said the budget is the backbone of the Society’s strategy and goal planning.  

Hu said the AMS is seeing a 2.5 per cent increase in enrolment from last year which accounts for an increase in student activity fee revenue. The goal of the AMS is to break even across all branches while providing students with relevant job opportunities, according to Hu. 

READ MORE: AMS changes pay-grid for service staff starting Oct. 1

With the global rise in costs and inflation, Hu said expense lines have grown to accommodate for this in budgets. Along with this, a minimum wage increase was budgeted across the AMS, and the Society is operating with no plans of COVID-19 closures. 

In speaking to budget deficits, Hu said the amounts are quite appropriate given the return to on-campus operations, and the offsetting of surplus from other parts of the organization. 

“Our current financial statements have lower expenses and higher revenue, which means bigger actual surplus, which means a lower total deficit in our total operations,” Hu said at CGM.

“We have conservative predictions for the revenue streams we’re predicting and an increase in expenses for cost of goods to inflation.” 

Following review of the auditor’s reports and budget, the next order of business was the approval of the annual report, which was approved unanimously by Assembly.

ResSoc President Emily Yueng asked whether the annual report contained any mention of the AMS’s focus on first year students on campus. 

“I don’t believe there was any mention of that [...] That’s something I really want to focus on—collaboration with an understanding of the AMS’ younger members,” Devenny said at CGM. 

Notable in the annual report, the year ending in 2022 showed the AMS with an excess of $933,790 in revenue over expenses. This value is divided into restricted and operating funds. Assets increased by $895,254 between 2021 and 2022, with the value of liabilities slightly decreasing. 

READ MORE: AMS Board of Directors approves employee-facing policies

On an internal relations level, the annual report said previous AMS executive RTZ’s term saw the AMS implementing HR Downloads across the organization, and mandating bystander intervention and the Gender Based Violence Certificate for all senior management staff.  

The annual report said the AMS Board of Directors was successful in approving restructuring proposals, creating new positions for staff. This was combined with an increase in the financial compensation for all three AMS executives.  

In his presentation, Luca Difranceso, chair of the AMS board of directors personal committee, added the Board identified gaps in the old employee policy. According to him, the one old employee policy will be broken down into 25 individual policies—available for the new executive to be elected in February. 

In-terms of organizational risk, Chair of the Finance and Risk committee Chris Metzler said the AMS is working on implementing new policies for risk reporting along with work redeveloping the current risk matrix—a tool used by companies to evaluate potential damage to normal operations of the organization.

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