13 society accounts deemed “unsatisfactory”

newsThe accounts of the College Historical Society and Dublin University Pharmaceutical Students Association (DUPSA) were among those deemed unsatisfactory by the Central Societies Committee (CSC) last year, Trinity News has learned.

In reports presented to the CSC term general meeting (TGM) held on 30th September, Enactus, Fashion, Botany, Sign Language, Scandinavian, Visual Arts, Archaeological, Amnesty, Russian, Microbiological and Arabesque were also are listed as societies whose accounts were deemed non-satisfactory for the 2013/14 financial year.

Treasurer of the CSC, Andrew Burrows, explained in a report that accounts “which have not been submitted at this stage are late, and have automatically been deemed non-satisfactory. Other reasons for accounts having been deemed non-satisfactory include unexplained cheques and the over-use of cash transactions.”

“Of course, there are situations in which using cash is the only option,” he added. “If this happens, it is essential that you keep the receipt for the transaction. In general though, I urge you to use cheques instead.”

Burrows warned that any society with non-satisfactory accounts for two consecutive years may face possible termination.

Auditor of the Hist, Michael Coleman, told Trinity News that the society’s poor financial records were “entirely an accounting issue relating to last year’s Treasurer.” He said the Hist committee is “currently working closely with CSC to ensure that our accounts this year will be absolutely perfect” and claimed that “there have been no issues so far.”

“This was entirely an accounting issue, and does not affect us financially; we certainly have enough money to run day to day, send teams to debating competitions and run events, budget cuts notwithstanding,” he added.

While the society has no headline sponsor this year, Coleman told said that the society is “still searching for one,” and is “quite confident” of securing one in the near future. “We have enough money to run things normally even without sponsorship,” he insisted.

Chair of DUPSA, Dominic Redmond, told Trinity News that, although the accounts of the society were deemed unsatisfactory, “there was no accusation of any wrongdoing and it was just an honest mistake where people didn’t keep receipts for all expenditure.”

Redmond said that DUPSA “fully appreciate the need for all societies to be fiscally responsible,” given the 5% cut in funding to the College’s capitated bodies, including the CSC.

“Ensuring the financial security of DUPSA for the future is a top priority for this year’s committee,” he said. “To this end, we have adopted a number of measures such as ensuring that all payments are fully recorded and easily traceable for everyone concerned.”

At the same meeting, the CSC also decided not to renew its membership of the Board of Irish College Societies (BICS). Chair of CSC, Éanna Drury, criticised the board’s organisation of its annual awards as “less than satisfactory, with the majority of the work falling upon a small group of dedicated committee members.” “We do not think our membership was of benefit to Trinity’s societies,” he added.

In an email last year, the CSC told students that it has “no confidence as to the integrity of the Board or that the actual Awards will not be a stressful mess and costly one at that.”

The CSC decided against participation in the 2014 awards in Belfast’s Titanic Centre.

Photo: Attie Papas