It has been an honour and a pleasure to serve as Finance Director this year. We have had another very successful year, and our finances are in tip top shape. However, the challenge of this sort of position is to prudently estimate the future and save and budget accordingly.

“May you live in interesting times” – this phrase is said to be an old Chinese curse, and unfortunately, as 2007 has worn on, it has become way too “interesting”. So, as Larry Herd and I, along with other members of the executive, develop next year’s budget, we will have to consider how revenues may be affected by softening industry conditions. We try to keep one to two years operating costs in reserve, so that we can be consistent in our programs from year to year. The year 2008 may be a year in which our careful savings from the last few banner years will allow us to continue on with great programs such as Outreach, and Education without pause.

In addition, we are just in the process of recommending a donation to the CSEG Foundation, to continue to build up its corpus, and its ability to do good work within its mandate. In essence, donating to the Foundation ensures that important education and scientific endeavours can go on, no matter what the industry conditions in a given year. Individuals can also donate to the Foundation, and are encouraged to do so! Thanks very much to those who have already helped to get this excellent initiative going, especially to those who were involved in its creation.

Also in the interests of “estimating” and planning for the future, there will be a planning retreat in January, where the executive and other members of the society’s committees will work through questions about the society’s priorities, future direction and focus. If you have ideas around the society’s future direction, please feel free to bend the ear of an executive member or committee chair and share your thoughts. The finance directors are also working on a couple of other financial initiatives, in the interests of continuous improvement. We would like to formalize our expense approvals process a bit more, and improve the documenting of subcommittee finances. A little more clarity and formality helps everyone, and protects both the society’s reputation, and the hard working volunteers who handle money and expenses on behalf of the society.

A very Merry Christmas (or Happy Holiday as the case may be) and a Happy New Year to everyone in the CSEG.



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