BISA Reserves Policy
BISA has maintained a reserves policy that focussed on the possibility of failure of the annual conference for some years now. However, with the introduction of insurance against such failure, the association is now able to adopt a more detailed reserves policy; one that has two aspects.
Firstly, BISA still needs to consider conference eventualities. Although the association is insured against complete failure, consideration still needs to be taken of circumstances in which the conference receipts do not fully cover costs resulting in a significant short fall. The conference is designed to be break even, and of course there are eventualities that might mean that, in a particular year, our calculations go wrong. In fact over the past ten years, this has happened only once - the conference in Warwick, which saw a loss of £13,000. And there are rigorous measures in place to mitigate the dangers of loss. However, the association should have a worst case plan in place, and that worst case plan is to maintain £20,000 in reserves to offset the largest loss that we can foresee (this would be around 20% of total activity not taking place).
Secondly, the association needs to consider the complete failure of our other largest source of income - that from Cambridge University Press (CUP) for the journal and book series. In the unlikely event that CUP completely fails, BISA would be unable to operate. In the event of the worst case arising, the association would want to be in a position to be able to continue for 12 months, during which time a new publisher would be sought. This would include maintaining the BISA National Office (£50,000); all research activities (working groups and prizes, £20,000); all Trustees meetings and sub committees including publications, as the route to secure other publishers (£20,000).
Taken together, this means that the full reserves that BISA should hold is £110,000.