Finance Committee

Typical of most undertakings in AA, the Maryland General Service Area 29 Assembly strives to be self-supporting through the contributions of the AA groups within the Area. In our early years, the primary purpose of this support was to see that our Delegate’s expenses for the annual meeting of the General Service Conference were paid. Today, however, this is only the beginning. In addition to the more routine expenses of postage, phone calls, printing meeting minutes and the like, new costs have been generated over the years as the GSRs, Area officers and Area committee chairpersons have expanded the service role of the assembly to include active institutional work, useful public information, and cooperation with the professional community.

Guiding Principles

Guiding Principles

    • The Seventh Tradition supports our primary purpose, as set forth in the Fifth Tradition.
    • All officers and committees are endowed with the Third Concept “Right of Decision”.
    • Every service responsibility should be matched by an equal service authority with the scope of such authority well defined.1
    • Final authority rests with an informed group conscience.2
    • We are an organization of volunteers who understand that service is its own reward
    • Expenses incurred while conducting business at the request of the Area should be fully reimbursed, or duly noted for purposes of future budgets
    • The choice to be reimbursed should be left to the individual
    • The intent of the Area is to encourage anyone who is willing and able to perform service to do so by removing personal finances as a limiting factor
    • The Area budget should be set at adequate levels to cover expected expenses
    • According to Warranty Two our prudent financial policy is to have sufficient operating funds, plus an ample Reserve
  • In the spirit of the Seventh Tradition, the Maryland General Service Area 29 Assembly should be self-supporting in all its affairs

1From Concept X in The Twelve Concepts for World Service, page 43
2From Concept I in The Twelve Concepts for World Service, page 6
3From Concept XII in The Twelve Concepts for World Service, page 64
Reprinted with permission of A.A. World Services, Inc.
Reprinted from Area 29 Area Assembly Handbook, January 2015,, P. 51

Purpose

The purpose of the Finance Committee is to assist and help guide the Area Assembly in applying the Seventh Tradition of Alcoholics Anonymous to Maryland General Service business activities.
Reprinted from Area 29 Area Assembly Handbook, January 2015, P. 32.

The Budget

A financial budget is a planning tool used in the business world for hundreds of years. Its primary purpose is to plan or predict future amounts of income and expense over a given period, usually a year. Based on this type of plan, the Assembly delegates spending authority to our trusted servants in Maryland General Service. This eliminates the need for the Assembly to approve each detailed expenditure. This does not mean that once the budget is approved it can never be changed.

The Finance Committee is responsible for preparing the next year’s annual budget by soliciting input from all of the Area officers, committee chairpersons, and other trusted servants. This is done in the fall of each year and usually given to the DCMs at the final Area Committee of the year (usually held in September). This will allow the GSRs to have the information for discussion with their groups prior to the fifth Area Assembly of the year, when the budget voting will occur (usually held in December).

The Prudent Reserve

AA experience clearly shows that it is not a good idea for a group to accumulate large sums of moneys in excess of what is needed. The Area Assembly should set this reserve at an amount equal to approximately six (6) months of operating expenses.

The prudent reserve is held in cash accounts at local banks. The prudent reserve account is net of, and does not include, the Assembly’s inventories of A.A.W.S. or A.A. Grapevine literature. The prudent reserve account also does not include planning seed money for the annual Maryland State Convention or Fall Conference.
Reprinted from Area 29 Area Assembly Handbook, January 2015, P. 52.

Duties

The Chairperson of the Finance Committee:

    • Appointed by the Area Chairperson for a term of two years, beginning in January of the even-numbered years
    • Attends the Area Assembly and Area Committee meetings
    • Chairs Finance Committee meetings and reports back to the Area Assembly
    • Provides financial leadership to the Area
    • Assists the Treasurer in the performance of the Treasurer’s duties
    • Prepares financial guidelines to facilitate Area decision-making to eliminate the need for the Area Assembly to approve every detailed expenditure
    • Documents the financial policy and procedure decisions, including their rationale, for inclusion in the Area Assembly Handbook
    • Initiates changes in financial polices and procedures when necessary
    • Assists in the preparation, presentation and management of Area budgets
    • Selects qualified individuals to perform the annual tax filings of the financial records and communicates with the Treasurer and the CPA to ensure that all state and federal tax returns are filed on time
    • As requested, attends group, Intergroup, District or other Area A.A. events to share information, knowledge and archives materials of the A.A. fellowship
    • Prepares the annual Finance Committee budget request to be submitted to the Finance Committee in the fall of each year and is prepared with supporting documentation to answer any questions which may be asked during the budget approval process
    • May attend service functions or events as listed on page 53 of this Handbook and request reimbursement as provided in the Area 29 Budget for this committee and approved by the Area Assembly each year
    • Attends Regional Panel meetings where the topic applies to Finance
    • Is encouraged to write and submit service-related articles for the quarterly Maryland General Service Newsletter, the MARGENSER
  • Forms a working committee of A.A. members to assist in carrying out the performance of these responsibilities

Reprinted from Area 29 Area Assembly Handbook, January 2015, P. 32.

For further information contact the Finance Committee