PR Society of America has reported an operating loss of $18,719 for the first half after reporting an operating profit of $403,048 for the first quarter.
The indication is that the operating loss in Q2 was $421,767 because the Q1 profit was wiped out and a loss was piled on top of that.
The Society, whose 2013 treasurer is Blake Lewis of Dallas, does not break out the quarter in posting the first half on its website, forcing members to do their own arithmetic if they want to find out what happened in the quarter.
Not breaking out the quarter is a shoddy financial reporting trick unworthy of the "world's largest association" of PR people.
The H1 report is on the PRSA website and as usual there is no accompanying text or explanation.
Society officers and staff traditionally do not discuss the financial results nor answer press questions about them.
A call and an e-mail have been sent to Lewis, who ran against Kathy Barbour of Baptist Health South Florida for chair-elect in 2014 but was defeated. Lewis instead was nominated as secretary.
$30 Dues Hike Does Not Halt Slide
The $30 dues increase in 2011 to $255 has failed to erase the red ink in the Society’s financial report.
Dues income for H1 was $3,022,230, a gain of $114,945 from dues of $2,907,285 in 2012.
Dues for Q2 were $1,222,584 vs. $1,216,439 in 2012, a gain of $6,145.
The Society has been offering at various periods for many months free chapter dues, free section dues and at times a waiver of the $65 initiation fee for new members.
New and current members also get free access to webinars which previously cost $150 each.
Total membership, which was 20,266 on 2000, is currently “21,000” according to the Society website, indicating almost no growth in 12 years.
Revenues for the half were $5,493,255, a gain of $249,305.
However, expenses rose to $5,511,974 from $5,273,744, a gain of $238,230.
There was an operating loss of $29,794 in the first half of 2012.
Investments Show Gains
A profit of $66,924 on investments was reported for H1 2013 vs. a profit of $119,465 in H1 in 2012.
The Society as of Dec. 31, 2012 had common stocks worth $1,389,723 and corporate bonds and preferred stock worth $1,012,160, according to the 2012 audit.
The H1 financial report says "investments" as of June 30, 2013 totaled $3,951,882 vs. $3,900,840 on Dec. 31, 2012.
The Society, in violation of common accounting practice, books dues as cash although a year of service is owed upon receipt of the dues. Medical, legal and accounting groups defer about half of their dues income.
Deferred PRSA dues are listed as $323,205 when half of dues income of $3,022,230 would add about $1.5 million to that figure. The $323,205 represents cost of servicing the monthly Tactics and quarterly Strategist publications of the Society.
It has an extra $459,787 in cash because it didn’t pay the first year’s rent at 33 Maiden lane. This “accrued rent expenses” is called a "highly unusual" entry by accountants.
Payroll Steady at $2.7M
Salaries and fringes for the half were $2,757,580 which is about even with the $2,767,309 reported for the same half in 2012.
Rent, utilities and maintenance rose to $432,736 from $373,469.
Fourth biggest expense, after $673,352 on supplies, is "professional fees," which rose 46% to $337,408 from $230,881, a gain of $106,527.
This could be from hiring consultant Laura Freebairn-Smith of Hamden, Conn., who is working on a program to rekindle interest in the Society’s accreditation program. The number of new Society APRs in the past ten years is less than half of the new APRs that were created in the previous ten years.
The organization has never had outside PR counsel although it has spent $558,264 on legal counsel in the latest eight years.
It is withholding publication of the 2012 IRS Form 990 report which would disclose legal costs for 2012 and the pay packages of the eight Society staffers who earn more than $100,000 yearly. Original deadline for submitting the 990 was May 15. This report has been withheld from the last three Assemblies.
A New York member, (apparently) falsely accused of giving this website the Society financials, has had his web privileges removed. No one at h.q. or in the elected national leadership or in the New York chapter leadership respond to his pleas for a fair hearing or even return his calls