BSA Governance Information
BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA
Revised April 2017; April 2019; April 2023
TABLE OF CONTENTS
II.QUICKBOOKS ONLINE ACCOUNTING
VI. ANNUAL MEETING
VI. SECTION & SPECIAL FUNDS ACCOUNTS
BOTANICAL SOCIETY OF AMERICA (BSA)
The Botanical Society of America (BSA) is a "not-for-profit" membership society that exists to promote botany, the field of basic science dealing with the study and inquiry into the form, function, diversity, reproduction, evolution, and uses of plants and their interactions within the biosphere. We over 3,000 members from around the world we are one of the largest organizations supporting the botanical sciences.
We are a 501©(3) organization that was originally incorporated in Connecticut – TAX ID# 62-0671591. The BSA Executive Director is our agent for service in the state of Connecticut and files the incorporation renewal with the CT Secretary of State every 2 years. The administrative offices of the BSA are located in St. Louis, Missouri adjacent to the Missouri Botanical Gardens (MOBOT) and MOBOT provides the site and support services to the BSA. BSA staff are employees of MOBOT.
Sales tax – the BSA has no obligation to charge sales tax for internet sales. All internet sales across state lines are not subject to sales tax (as of now…).
As the BSA operates as a non-profit in Missouri, they have applied for and received an exemption so they don’t have to charge sales tax (which would normally apply to merchandise sales to Missouri residents). Their Tax Exempt# 18473598.
The BSA is registered as a non-profit organization with the Missouri Secretary of State.
The BSA has a fiscal year of October 1st to September 30th. Prior to 1999, the organization had a June fiscal year end but it was changed to encompass the Annual Meeting activity in July/August.
Missouri does not require a corporate or non-profit return filing so the Association only files an annual federal non-profit tax return, form 990. This form is available online at a national non-profit website located at: www.guidestar.org. As a non-profit , the Association is required to provide a current copy of their tax return to any person or organization that requests it (and the BSA can charge them a copy or mailing fee).
The BSA formerly had their administrative offices in Columbus, Ohio and they still have one employee who works from her home and administers the Annual Meeting for the BSA.
The Botanical Society of America publishes a magazine called the American Journal of Botany (AJB); an online subscription is included in each annual membership fee. Apart from members, institutional subscribers (clients) also purchase the journal.
The editorial office in St. Louis handles the editing & publishing of the AJB on a monthly basis; Pamela Diggle is the current editor.
The Editorial office is provided by the BSA has an immaterial amount of money invested in equipment.
The Plant Science Bulletin (BI) is another publication of the BSA printed quarterly & published by a volunteer committee who work with staff to prepare the files submitted to Sheridan Press for printing and distribution. The BSA PSB is online and freely available to all at - http://cms.botany.org/home/publications/plant-science-bulletin.html.
We also publish the online-only, open access journal Applications in Plant Science (APPS) through American Institute of Biological Sciences platform, BioOne. It can be found at - http://www.bioone.org/loi/apps.
In 2004 the BSA began the development of the online mentoring program for middle, high school called PlantingScience - https://www.plantingscience.org. It has supported over 20,000+ students in developing and conducting plant based research projects. PlantingScience is a National Science Foundation educational development supported project.
The BSA’s accounting records are kept online with Quickbooks. That site is located at https://login.quickbooks.com. Quickbooks/Intuit is responsible for the daily backup of this information at an off-site server.
Separate sign-ins are available for Wanda (St. Louis office), Johanne (working from home in Ohio), and Mary (off-site accountant).
All financial reporting is done through the online Quickbooks program.
See the attached appendix for the full chart of accounts
As part of the accounting, each Income and Expense transaction is also posted to a specific department, called Class, within Quickbooks. This allows the reporting of BSA results by the following classes:
1 – St. Louis
Income is generated from the following sources:
The AJB journal maintains a web site called the www.amjbot.org
ALL web sites and database support are maintained by the BSA.
The majority of the BSA membership renewals are now processed online via the www.botany.org web site.
The BSA does not store or otherwise retain transaction data such as credit card information in it's databases or other facilities. Access to transaction data located with the it's merchant services banking account is strictly limited to the Administration Officer.
The current database runs off of the BSA web site at http://botany.org and is maintained by BSA Information & Technology Director, Rob Brandt.
The database contains all current individual membership information since 2002, including section alliances, donations made to the BSA, papers written, and officer positions held. Prior membership information is available but no supplemental information on donations, etc. is available for past years.
To keep the database current, all outside deposit info (for Special interest accounts too) will be manually input into the Database so that those reports can be used as the Master control of all financial deposits to the BSA. What is not input into the database are miscellaneous receipts non-specific to a member, such as advertising revenue, editorial charges, etc.
The goal of the BSA is to have the majority of their individual memberships activity occur online. This includes joining, renewing, making donations, and maintinging current contact information.
Two staff members are involved with the mail opening and cash receipts.
COMMERCE BANK - Wanda opens mail, makes deposits, reconciles bank statement; Bill has online access and reviews frequently, makes cash transfers and reviews financial statements frequently.
MEETING ACCOUNT: Johanne makes all deposits and writes all checks; bank statements and cancelled checks are sent to Wanda who reviews the cancelled checks and reconciles the account.
ONLINE DUES PAYMENT – cash is directly deposited into Commerce Bank account.
It is the policy of the Society to seek out granting organizations which match our Mission and Objectives, Strategies and Programs, in order that we may most fully achieve the criteria and enhance the reputation of the Society. The Society fully complies with all granting agent policies and procedures and produces all required reports on time and to the detail requested.
Compliance – The Botanical Society of America will comply with all grant requirements and these must be referenced/included in all contracts/subcontracts, in specific we note the following for Federal Funding Agencies:
Botanical Society of America has four authorized users of the NSF Research.Gov (Online Grants Management for the NSF Community) as follows:
Executive Director – PI, SPO, AOR, INSTADMIN, VIEWRPTS
The BSA Board of Directors approves who will serve as Principal Investigators on NSF grants. The PI responsible for financial oversight will be a BSA staff person, unless approved otherwise by the BSA Board. The PIs and Executive Director prepare the budget and negotiate contracts in accordance with the terms of the award and BSA policies. The Board of Directors has delegated the authority to accept awards and award amendments to the Executive Director.
Finance Director also prepares and submits The National Science Foundation Program Income Worksheet and other financial reports as requested. Since our award is cash reimbursable, we have zero income to report.
Reports on reimbursed expenses are submitted by Finance Director to PI on a monthly basis. The PI, with assistance from the Finance Director, will prepare a report comparing cumulative reimbursed expenses (actual costs) on the grant with the grant budget at least twice per year. PI updates Executive Director and Finance Director on any budget changes and vendor progress on agreements and contracts as the project moves forward. PI shares information related to expenditure monitoring with Co-PIs on the project on an as-needed basis.
As part of the BSA operations, they host and put on an annual botanical conference which is where the bulk of the awards sponsored by the BSA are given out. This conference is at a new site each year.
Johanne Stogran, a BSA employee in Ohio, is our dedicated meeting administrator and coordinates the meeting activities year round.
The conference is held in July/August of each year and the BSA collects income from registration fees, sponsorships, advertising, and exhibitor booth rentals. Expenses include site selection expenses, registration & housing costs, promotion, field trip costs, honoraria, administration, etc.
There is a separate bank account that Johanne maintains at Bank One for all the Annual meeting collection of income and expense payments. Johanne maintains all the accounting activity in the master company online Quicbkooks file. The monthly bank statement and all bank correspondence are mailed directly to the BSA main office in St. Louis and the bank statement and cancelled checks are reviewed and reconciled there.
An additional $3 million of liability insurance was taken out with Traveller’s to cover this event. This will be paid annually along with our existing liability policy, but the cost is directly allocated to this event.
As part of being a general member of the BSA, there are special interest groups (i.e. ecology, paleobotany, etc) that each member can join (called Sections); some of these Sections require an additional fee be paid up front and these monies are allocated towards a specific cash fund for that section (although no separate bank accounts are kept). These funds are discretionary & to be used by the Sections as their bylaws allow – for association dues, awards and Annual Meeting related expenses.
In addition to monies they raise through dues, the sections are also allocated an annual sum (called an Allotment) that they can also spend in accordance with their bylaws.
Each section has both a Cash account (from dues raised and specific donations to that fund) and an Allotment account. Expenses for the sections are first paid out of the Allotment accounts and then out of the Cash account. Since no Sections are allowed to end the fiscal year in the red, any over spending of the Allotment account is covered by a transfer from the Cash account of each specific section.
To continue placing an emphasis on the annual meeting and to provide active Sections with more resources to support their activities, the Executive Council instilled a new method of allocation. The Allotment amounts used to be a fixed $700 per year per section but have been restructured to be in increments of $1,150 and $400, with each amount determined based on the Section’s activity at the last annual meeting.
$1,150 is allocated to disciplinary Sections organizing one or more full contributed paper sessions (approx 10-12 presentations). The remaining disciplinary and regional Sections shall be allocated $400. Since the activity of some Sections at the annual meeting is variable and dependent upon the presence of a co-convening society, the allocation may vary from year to year. In an effort to keep funding and participation synchronous, in those years when a co-convening society (e.g. but not limited to, Association for Tropical Biology, American Bryological and Lichenological Society, Phycological Society of America) meets with the BSA the allocation for the affiliated Section will be $1,150 for that fiscal year. If the co-convening society does not meet with the BSA in the following year, the allocation to the appropriate affiliated Section will return to the lower level. The Treasurer will notify sections of the their allocational status and available funds.
Based on BSA board discretion, the Allotment funds may either be carried over to use in future years or any unused funds are then taken back.
If an allotment is unused for two years, the funds will revert to the BSA, and the annual allocation will cease until the Section petitions the BSA Treasurer for an allocation by presenting a proposed activity and budget (invited speaker, social, symposium, etc.) for fund use. Allocational funds will not be transferred to any other sectional accounts or societies.
These funds are administered by the BSA Treasurer in accordance with policies established by the BSA Council and Executive Committee. Direct payments of awards and honoraria are made to the recipients. Officers of the Section or chairs of the award committees must provide the name of the award recipients, name and address of the awardee to the Treasurer prior to the 5pm on the day of the BSA banquet for the awardee to receive their award at that time. Expenses may be billed directly to the Treasurer with prior notification by a Section officer. All other expenditures are handled as reimbursements supported by receipts. All payments to non-society members should be submitted by a sectional officer.
For accounting purposes, these monies are never given directly to the Sections. Dues and donations are accounted for as part of the normal dues collection process and reported in the financial statements. Section expenses are submitted to the BSA office and paid from the general operating account.
Separate accounting is done outside of the online Quickbooks accounting for the BSA; a separate (not online) Quickbooks file is maintained to track the running balances of the various Section and Special Fundraising funds. Reporting is done to the Sections on a quarterly or as requested basis.
Special fundraising & award accounts – there are specific fundraising & award funds that have been setup through the years and they provide scholarships, awards and other benefits to both members and non-members (see attached list). Most of these awards are given out at the Annual Meeting in August.
The FAC has voted that both the Section and Special accounts (excluding Allotment accounts) that have a minimum average balance of $1,000 or greater during the year will be allocated their pro-rata share of any investment increases or decreases that occur during the year, including both realized and unrealized gains.
See the attached information from the web site with descriptions of each Special Interest Fund.
The following Special funds have specific directed donations that need tracking each year:
a) They receive a dedicated donation each year from Mellon Bank
a) Check the budget to see if any of the awards given were directed to come specifically from the Karling fund.
a) Pat Gensel, BSA Past President, has allocated the full royalty proceeds from her book, “Plants Invade the Land” to the Remy & Remy fund. Various royalty payments are received during the year from Columbia University