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From the President | Lily Wang
 Recent Actions on Financial Stewardship
In the 2015 Acoustical Society of America (ASA) Strategic Leadership Plan for the Future (see, one
of the four primary goals specifically addresses financial stewardship: “ASA engages in wise, strategic stewardship to ensure sufficient resources to deliver maximum value both now and in the future.” As with the other goals, a task force was formed to work with the ASA leadership to develop strategies toward safeguarding this goal. A number of changes impacting ASA finances have subsequently been implemented over the past few years, and I’d like to summarize those for you in this, my second president’s column.
The current state of ASA finances is very strong, with a healthy amount of assets in reserve that continues to grow. A portion of those assets are held in restricted funds, overseen by the Acoustical Society Foundation Board. An overview of the assets, revenues, and expenses of the ASA was last provided by David Feit in the fall 2017 issue of Acoustics Today (see David has been the ASA Treasurer since 2001, and the Society owes him a great deal of appreciation for his careful and steady guidance of ASA finances during these many years.
After lengthy discussions that began during the development of the Strategic Leadership for the Future Plan, it became clear that the ASA would be better equipped to meet anticipated financial challenges on the horizon if the Society added organizational capacity related to financial oversight. In 2015, only two administrative committees, the Audit Committee and the Investments Committee, dealt with ASA finances.
One of the first recommendations to be implemented out of the strategic plan was the formation of a Finance Committee that has a charge to make recommendations to the Executive Council on long-term financial decisions. The inaugural Finance Committee, chaired by former ASA President Anthony Atchley, began meeting regularly in 2016 and presented further recommendations to the Executive Council, including the following: (1) restructure the treasurer’s position from one concerned heavily with administrative tasks to one focused more on policy and
oversight; (2) hire an outsourced financial management firm to assist with handling the more administrative tasks; and (3) streamline financial reporting and forecasting to assist the Executive Council and other committees with being able to understand Society finances more efficiently.
The Executive Council has moved forward on all of these recommendations. At the 175th ASA meeting in Minneapolis, MN, in spring 2018, a vote was taken of the membership on a motion to change the Society’s Bylaws. One of the most significant changes was to restructure the role of the ASA treasurer from an appointed position to an elected position with a three-year term of office and the option for one additional three-year term. That motion passed with a clear majority, and so for the first time in spring 2019, the ASA membership will be asked to vote for an elected treasurer every three years.
The new elected treasurer will play a major role in strategic oversight of ASA finances, beginning immediately after the spring 2019 meeting in Louisville, KY. In preparation for that, the bookkeeping and other accounting details are being transitioned to a financial management company, Kiwi Partners. I want to thank ASA headquarters and Jon Bara from Kiwi Partners for the extensive time they have put into making this a smooth transition. Much of that work has also been focused on improving the presentation and forecasting of financial data so that the volunteer leadership of ASA can more efficiently understand the state of ASA finances at a high level.
From a quick review of ASA finances and as David Feit pointed out in the article mentioned above, The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America (JASA) has been, and continues to be, the major source of revenue for the Society. The ASA Executive Council has for many years been vigilant on trying to understand and assess how recent and potentially rapid changes in the world of scholarly publishing may impact JASA and subsequently our Society’s financial situation. ASA Editor in Chief James Lynch and the ASA Publications Office have been carefully monitoring the situation and taking steps to highlight and improve the strength of our journal (see One recent action is that the ASA has entered into a five-year publishing partnership with the American Institute of Physics Publishing (AIPP) beginning in 2019. The terms of the partnership have been
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