Ottawa Outdoor Club

Finances - Financial Report: Rob Burnfield - 2018 AGM


The Club is in good financial shape, with an end-of-year (September 30) cash balance of $12,343.39.

From a process perspective, we changed how we handle our finances.  We changed from cash-based accounting to accrual-based accounting.  The end result is the same, and it makes some aspects easier and provides for better tracking.  A little more work is required up front, but much less work is required at the end, and more information is available.

Income was lower than budgeted this past year, primarily due to lower-than-expected income from rental fees and non-member activity fees, and marginally due to lower-than-expected membership.

Expenses were lower than budgeted for a variety of reasons:

  • the advertising budget was not spent
  • insurance cost less than expected (details are in the report below)
  • both the end-of-summer barbecue and volunteer recognition dinner cost less than budgeted, although similar to the previous year, so their budgets have been decreased for the new year
  • we had one group travel outing this year (Mt. Tremblant) instead of the two budgeted.  Only one is planned for the new year
  • we spent less than budgeted on equipment-related expenses
  • we spent less than budgeted on training.  We had hoped to offer wilderness first-aid training, which didn't happen

We (the executive) have had a challenge over the past few years when developing the budget, in that the budgeted cash balance must be between 80% and 160% of the average of the previous three-years' actual income.  The end-of-year cash balance has been high for a number of years.  To bring it down, we have intentionally planned deficits.  In recent years, the Club added a variety of activities (bus trips, volunteer recognition dinner, free catered end-of-season BBQ, and training) that have been well-received and have helped bring down the cash balance.

As of this year, the budgeted cash balance is now easily within the range, so it's not as feasible to run deficits.  There is a desire to continue with the additional activities.  In addition, our insurance costs increased markedly a few years ago when we moved from $1,000,000 to the recommended $2,000,000 coverage for general liability.

As a result, we are now planning on a balanced budget.

We went through the overall budget carefully and set the budgets for the various expenses much closer to the actual past expenses, especially paying attention to the trends for the various items and what's happened over the past few years.  We have more people interested in helping with marketing and advertising this year, so we expect the advertising budget to be spent, unlike in recent years.

If we want to have a balanced budget, to cover the rest of the difference requires increasing fees and / or dropping activities.  There are a few possibilities:

  • increase the membership fee
  • apply the rental fees to everyone for canoeing.  Currently, only non-members pay canoe rental fees
  • increase the rental fees

Each has its advantages and disadvantages.  For example, increasing the membership fee may reduce the number of people choosing to become members.  If the non-member activity fee is not increased in conjunction with the membership fee, those who think that they'll attend only a limited number of outings may decide to not become a member.  If the non-member activity fee is increased at the same rate as the membership fee, it means that the fees will not be the easy multiple of $5 that they are now, and participants and leaders will struggle more to make change (as people sometimes do now for carpooling fees).  Adding canoe rental fees for everyone will provide more money, but possibly only to a certain limit.  At $5 / person / outing, they may be OK, but at $10 / person / outing, we may lose some people, especially for weekly activities and especially students who may have less money but whom we want to encourage to stay in the Club.

The budget presented here is presented as a starting point for a robust discussion at the AGM, where it can be changed.


Table 1:  Statement of Operations for the Year Ended 30 September 2018

Ottawa Outdoor Club Financial Reports
Statement of Operations for the Year Ended 30 September 2018
1 October 2017 to 30 September 2018 ($)
  2018 2017
Income $ 9,238.00 9,225.00
  Membership fees 9,052.00 8,802.00
    Membership registration 8,145.00 7,200.00
    Non-member activity fees 907.00 1,602.00
  Hospitality 45.00 0.00
    Annual Bar-B-Q (1) 45.00 0.00
  Rental fees 141.00 423.00
    Snowshoes 36.00  
    Canoes 105.00  
Expense $ 10,628,58 11,504.20
  Administration 1,019.06 976.95
    Bank fees 80.93 101.71
    PayPal fees 334.07 312.89
    Post Office Box 210.18 202.27
    Postage 211.32 202.39
    Office supplies 182.56 157.69
  Insurance (2) 4,069.44 4,272.48
  Publicity 185.28 233.12
    Web hosting 185.28 233.12
    Advertising 0.00 0.00
  Hospitality 1,493.65 1,527.53
    Recognition dinner 776.18 624.00
    Annual Bar-B-Q 717.47 903.53
  Group travel subsidies (3) 469.47 1,101.11
  Training & development 619.20 338.39
  Exec meetings & AGM 480.95 478.78
  Equipment & storage 2,291.53 2,575.84
    Rent for canoe storage 1,800.00 1,800.00
    Canoes and related supplies 488.68 0.00
    Miscellaneous - procurement & maintenance 2.85 775.84
Net Income   $ -1,390.58 -2,279.20


  1. There was a similar small amount of income for the annual BBQ in 2017, but it was included with one of the other categories.
  2. Less was spent on insurance this year because, during the previous year, we changed insurers for our general liability coverage to increase our general liability coverage from $1,000,000 to $2,000,000, the currently-recommended amount.  The new insurance policy, paid annually, started a few months later in 2016 than the previous policy, which had been extended to cover the OOC until the new policy was confirmed.  Thus, the payment was for about 15 months instead of 12 months.  We are now on a different 12-month cycle, one that starts later in the year than the previous cycle.
  3. In 2017, there were two trips:  one to Mt. Tremblant and one to Calabogie.  In 2018, there was only a trip to Mt. Tremblant.


The following pie chart shows the breakdown of expenses for the past year.

Table 2:  Balance Sheet at 30 September 2018

Assets as of 30 September 2018  
  Bank balance as of 30 September 2018 4,041.37
  PayPal balance as of 30 September 2018 8,302.02
  Outstanding expected revenue to be collected 0.00
  Cheques written for future-year expenses 0.00
  Total 12,343.39
Liabilities as of 30 September 2018  
  Total outstanding cheques 1,935.46
  Payment still to be made for expenses, & reimbursements from FY & earlier 87.00
  Income received for future year 0.00
  Retained earnings 10,320.93
  Total 12,343.39


  1. $US500.00 deposit for annual September trip to Rock and River in the Adirondacks.  This was initially paid by the OOC many years ago and has been rolled over in US funds at the end of each trip for the next year since then.  As a result, no exchange rate is attached to it, and it is tracked separately from the OOC's Canadian funds.  When this trip is terminated some year in the future, the deposit will be returned, and it will be converted into Canadian $, at which time that amount will be added to the balance.