AANS Guidelines for Conduct of Activities and Fiscal Management of Sections and Committee Affairs

  • The American Association of Neurological Surgeons serves as the Spokesman for American neurosurgery. To accomplish this goal, the Board of Directors has functioned as the focal point for communication related to matters of interest and importance nationally to neurological surgery. Occasions may arise when The American Association of Neurological Surgeons' Board of Directors will ask one ore more State Neurosurgical Societies, Sections, or other bodies to act on its behalf. On such occasions, the Board of Directors will dispatch written and express authority for specific action to the elected leadership of such Societies and Sections. Such written requests will state the desired action and the necessary supporting documentation to facilitate understanding. If expenditures on the part of Socieites or Sections is anticipated, these will be specifically authorized, and advance payment or reimbursement will be aranged. In the absence of such specific and express authority, State Neurosurgical Societies, Sections, or other bodies may not speak or act on behalf of, or for, The American Association of Neurological Surgeons.

  • Because Sections and Committees are sub-groups of their two Parent Associations (AANS and CNS) and are not separate corporate entities, the Parent Association(s) can be held legally and fiscally accountable for any activities of these sub-groups, and for the manner in which they earn revenues, accumulate assets, and spend funds.

    The Joint Committees and Sections are not separately incorporated. Therefore, their assets, liabilities, and obligations are considered to be the assets, liabilities, and obligations of the AANS. In the case of the Joint Committees and Joint Sections, their assets, liabilities and obligations would be considered to be those of either of the parent organizations, depending on the perspective from which one is approaching the relationship. In any case, it is the responsibility of the AANS to ensure that the conduct of Joint Committees and Sections not be allowed to, in any separate way, prejudice the Association's tax-exempt status.

    None of these entities can be allowed to undertake substantial activities that are commercial or profit-making in nature. Similarly, the assets of the Sections cannot be allowed to inure to the benefits of any Individual members.

    Because of these and other factors, it is essential that Joint Committees and Sections report all their financial activities, clearly and understandably, to both of the parent organizations. Such reports should include properly formatted balance sheets and income statements.

    Additionally, the Joint Committees and Sections should obtain the concurrence of the AANS and the CNS before they enter into any substantial contracts or financial commitments, since those obligations would inure to the AANS (and possibly CNS) if the Joint Committee or Section should default thereon.

    Furthermore, if these Committee or Sections employ a person, it is quite likely that such person will be considered an employee of AANS.

    It is important that Sections and Committees remain cognizant of the impact their activities may have on the tax-exempt status of the Parent Associations.

    • The Sections or Committees should not undertake substantial activities that are commercial or profit making in nature. A tax-exempt entity may raise alimited amount of income through unrelated business income, and this income is taxable to the organization. However, the IRS will revoke the tax-exempt status of an organization if a substantial amount of its revenues are received in this manner.

    • The assets of the respective Sections or Committees cannot be used for the benefit of individual members. If the generation and distribution of revenue was seen as a device to channel the income from the Section's or Committee's activities to its members (or certain members), the not-for-profit status of the Parent Associations could be in serious jeopardy.

    • In connection with items 1 and 2 above, it is important:

      • That each sub-group consult the Parent(s) before undertaking potential income producing activities.

      • That all Sections and Committees at least annually report to the Parent Organizations their financial activities. These reports should include periodic "Balance Sheets" and "Revenue and Expense Statements".

      • That Sections should develop a method of auditing their own books.
  • There are several additional items of primary importance to prudent fiscal management:

    • It is essential that membership dues, registration fees, and other assessments should reflect the needs of the Section to support planned activities.

    • All assets of Sections or Committees should be maintained in secured accounts (federally insured institutions), with excess funds kept in interest bearing accounts.

    • It is equally important that financial records should be maintained and a budget prepared annually. An explanation of line items should be included with the budget wherever justified by the amount.