Letter from the President | April 2013

The things that happen that the USAFL Community might not know about but are critical...

The off-season has many tasks that occur in the background that are critical to league operations. I feel these are important to highlight as the Executive Board invests our focus on these items. Some of them may seem small, yet very important and do take time. A few of these items we are currently working on (in no particular order) include:

  • Annual tax return – with our 3rd party accounting firm Clark Shaffer Hackett, we submit an annual tax return to the federal government. This helps maintain our 501(c)3 status, and as a non-profit, is probably the most critical task each year. 
  • Consolidating bank accounts – formally, the USAFL had two bank accounts. We have closed one account, consolidated all monies, and updated the signatories to three people (President, Treasurer, and Secretary). 
  • Renewing league insurance policy – critical to all clubs and registered members, the league provides a general liability insurance to cover accidents. For example, in a recent SCAFL game, a ball was kicked to a neighboring house and broke the window. It is for this type of incident the league maintains a policy and reinforces why all players need to be registered. If the incident involved a non-registered player, it is possible the insurance company could deny the claim, leaving both club and league exposed.
  • Non-profit best practices – we are currently working on best practices of a non-profit. These include standard documents (Articles of Incorporation, By Laws, IRS Letter of Determination, Conflict of Interest and Whistle Blower policies) and policies and procedures that in the case of an IRS audit, must be produced. Many of these policies have never been created or implemented. 
  • USAFL Constitution review – the current document was created in 1999, and many of the clauses are outdated. The Executive Board has created a Constitution Review Committee that will review the current document and propose an updated version, to be voted on at the Annual General Meeting (AGM) 2013. No changes can be made without a club vote at the AGM. 

Why are these activities important? I believe for two main reasons:

#1 An IRS Audit – in the case of an audit, the IRS will request Original application for 501(c)(3) status, articles of incorporation, bylaws, and any amendments, IRS letter granting tax-exempt status, minutes of all board meetings and committees to help the IRS determine whether the organization had "sufficient and adequate internal controls" and to "determine the extent of board oversight", brochures, newsletters, and any advertising from the organization, and financial records including, chart of accounts, general ledger, working trial balance, cash receipts and cash disbursements journal, canceled checks, invoices, bank statements, credit card statements, expense reports, three years of Form 990s, contracts, copies of all 990s, W-2, W-4, and any other federal documents, description of membership benefits, and, detail of any fundraiser fees and event schedules. 

#2 Setting the stage for growth – The USAFL is in a great position to move forward, and I want to ensure we have a solid building block for growth. This includes a continuation of the financial oversight supplied by former treasurer Adam Coleman and current treasurer Keith Nelson. As a non-profit organization, our policies and procedures should adhere to best-practices. If a company wants to sponsor or donate large sums of money to a group, they will investigate the organization. This means the league needs to be extremely transparent in how we are organized, the policies we have enacted, and prove without a doubt the donation is worthy.

In short, we need our ducks in a row. 

As always, thank you to your commitment in growing Australian football in the US. I welcome feedback, questions, or thoughts. Shoot me an email at president@usafl.com.

Andy Vanica, President


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