ECF Accounting

Debate directly related to English Chess Federation matters.
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Roger de Coverly
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ECF Accounting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 21, 2012 10:28 am

For the report of the Finance Committee see

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... mittee.doc

It supports the comments made by Alex McF and the Streatham blog about the somewhat cowboy nature of the back office reporting of the 2011 British. It's not very complimentary about the secrecy surrounding the legal action against FIDE either.


(edit) Perhaps I could add that the paper recommends the ECF spends more on accounting. The fees recommended haven't been increased, so it isn't evident how this will be paid for.(/edit)

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:19 am

From this I am left to assume that the Accounts for the 2011 British Chess Championships are still not finalised.

It would have been at least courteous if someone in the ECF had thought that I should have been made aware of this fact. I did only ask about it a fortnight ago.

I assume the statement ups the potential VAT 'loss' from £2000 to £2700 - money which could be well have been spent on this year's event.

It doesn't clarify the income tax position, though.

I hate to ask this but when was the Finance Director made aware of the situation? I would hope that other Directors were not 'sitting on' this info. Were the managers' concerns ignored until a certain Anteater went public via his blog.

As the Manager of the event I have been kept in the dark about progress in this area. The usual ECF mushroom principle applied.

The brief statement does however reflect very badly on the President's handling of the sponsorship money and his accounting procedures. As well as handing him the sponsorship money on a plate, Mr Keene should have also supplied De Mooi with an accountant!

After such an attack by the Finance Director (both over the British and the FIDE court case) is De Mooi's position within the ECF tenable?
Last edited by Alex McFarlane on Fri Mar 23, 2012 8:11 am, edited 1 time in total.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:30 am

Roger de Coverly wrote:the somewhat cowboy nature of the back office reporting of the 2011 British
For clarification, David Welch raised these concerns at an early date. I have every faith that the partial accounts submitted by David were as accurate as possible. The 'back office' referred to by Roger refers in its entirety to the (in)actions of one person, CJ De Mooi, who from the Finance Director's comments has still not accounted for £15600 which passed through the ECF accounts.

Alex Holowczak
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex Holowczak » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:49 am

Alex McFarlane wrote:After such an attack by the Finance Director (both over the British and the FIDE court case) is De Mooi's position within the ECF tenable?
This is not the report of the Finance Director. It is the report of the Chairman of the Finance Committee, which is a different person altogether, with a very different job specification.

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:52 am

Alex McFarlane wrote: The 'back office' referred to by Roger refers in its entirety to the (in)actions of one person, CJ De Mooi, who from the Finance Director's comments has still not accounted for £15600 which passed through the ECF accounts.
I don't believe it's a report by the Finance Director, rather a report by the Finance Committee or its Chairman. The Committee, like the parallel one for Governance is, or should be, independent of the Board. Indeed it is critical of the accounting process and thus indirectly of the Finance Director. The alleged shortfall on Congress Game Fee may have been nothing more than the effect of a late Easter. In an ideal world, the Finance Director would have stepped in and given a ruling 11 months ago as to how the sponsorship income for the British was to be handled.

Whilst respecting the desire of the ECF to have a small Board, it does demonstrate the weakness of the approach. Arguably the management of the British Championships is a sufficiently high profile activity for the ECF, that the manager should be part of, or have direct access to the Board. The manager(s) would then have been able to express their unease on the accounting practices at Board level instead of having to do it indirectly through social and other media.

Personal Service Companies have been in the news recently. As a media person, it's quite likely that CJ has such a Company and that whilst that Company's turnover is usually exclusively CJ's earnings, it may have retained assets. Is it then possible that CJ's sponsorship of the British was not CJ in person, but the retained earnings of the Company? This can have tax advantages for CJ and the Company over direct patronage.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 11:57 am

Thank you Alex H for pointing out my error.

I should have realised that Mike Truran would have had the guts to say what was required rather than the Finance Director. However, hopefully the latter will agree with the sentiments expressed.

When will we have the accounts for the British? Andrew Farthing has ignored my latest request in this respect, not even an acknowledgement. Can you perhaps give an indication of the expected timescale? My cynical guess would be sometime after the Finance Council Meeting.

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Carl Hibbard
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Carl Hibbard » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:06 pm

Roger de Coverly wrote:For the report of the Finance Committee see

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... mittee.doc
I am surprised that has become a public document, is there a need to archive it before it vanishes :roll:
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Kevin Thurlow
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Kevin Thurlow » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:09 pm

An impressive document - shows how the job should be done.
"Kevin was the arbiter and was very patient. " Nick Grey

Roger de Coverly
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Roger de Coverly » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:15 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote: I am surprised that has become a public document, is there a need to archive it before it vanishes :roll:
I think it's a report to the ECF Council which makes it semi-public. The Council meetings produce a lot of pre-meeting material, the ECF usually prefers to host the stuff on the website rather than email or mail it. Unless sworn to secrecy, which was asked for at one stage during the Holloid negotiations, I don't think members of Council receiving material are under any obligation to confidentiality.

But it will be interesting to see if the material remains.

Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:16 pm

I suspect the finance council meeting just got a whole lot more interesting.

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:43 pm

I was intending to go and raise much of this anyway but it is nicer that it is coming from a higher authority than me!!

Because of the lack of info regarding Board Meetings we don't know which members, if any, were trying to raise these matters.

I don't necessarily agree that the Manager of British should be a Board position but I am surprised that I was never invited to attend parts of Board Meetings to discuss various matters, especially since the attendance of the appropriate Director was irregular at least in terms of time.

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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by John Upham » Wed Mar 21, 2012 12:51 pm

I look forward with interest to SGs detailed analysis of this hard-hitting document. The April meeting has suddenly become more attractive than usual!

Can someone kindly remind this place when and where it will be?
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Sean Hewitt
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Sean Hewitt » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:00 pm

John Upham wrote:I look forward with interest to SGs detailed analysis of this hard-hitting document. The April meeting has suddenly become more attractive than usual!

Can someone kindly remind this place when and where it will be?
It's London (somewhere, I haven't seen where yet) on 14th April. I believe the Director of Marketing will be selling ringside seats :lol:

Alex McFarlane
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Alex McFarlane » Wed Mar 21, 2012 1:03 pm

This year’s Finance Council Meeting takes place in the Euston Square Hotel, 152-156 North Gower Street, London NW1 2LU Tel: 020 7388 0099 on the 14th April 2012 starting at 1.30pm

I would advertise my intention to be there but that probably would mean the absence of De Mooi. Will he be brave enough to turn up? Anyone willing to offer odds on his non-attendance?

Andrew Farthing
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Re: ECF Accounting

Post by Andrew Farthing » Wed Mar 21, 2012 2:18 pm

Carl Hibbard wrote:
Roger de Coverly wrote:For the report of the Finance Committee see

http://www.englishchess.org.uk/wp-conte ... mittee.doc
I am surprised that has become a public document, is there a need to archive it before it vanishes :roll:
Such cynicism!

As Mike Truran states in the opening sentence of the paper, his report was prepared in conjunction with me and John Philpott, Chairman of the Governance Committee. The Board approved (with no votes against) its publication in full and unaltered. In my own report, also available on the ECF website with the other Finance Council papers, I confirmed my commitment to implement the report's recommendations.

The report shows that we got some things wrong and need to make changes to avoid a recurrence. The ECF would be foolish to ignore or hide such a constructive contribution to achieving positive improvements and we won't.

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