The yearly deficits show the highest losses in 2008/09 with a €726,000 shortfall in 2008/09, over 250% higher than the previous year’s loss of €281,000. Students’ Union President Rachel Breslin regarding these figures, stated: “I will ask for a more detailed breakdown of the particular years and why there was a fluctuation, but it could even be the way that payments were made, because there were a lot of late payments from other years so perhaps there was a larger cash influx in 2009 that was used to push out expenditure from 2008 or before, because that did happen quite frequently. There were no startling differences between years or between administrations.”
The accounts for the Students’ Union Shop between 2007 and 2012 were released alongside the main Union figures, showing a huge shift in the money generated over the period. While a profit of €88,000 was generated in 08/09, the next year saw a loss of €282,000. When questioned about possible reasons for the dramatic losses, Breslin described the figures as “puzzling” but claimed that year did not see “any administrative or management changes” that may account for it.
There will however be an investigation launched by the Union into the reasons for the losses of both the shops and the Union as a whole. “I think that does fall down on me. I have seen those figures and there was nothing which stood out. In 2011, you have the issue with the Ball [which made a large loss] and there was a higher overall spend but there wasn’t anything that stuck out particularly extenuating … when you break it down year by year you miss out on the detail that there was a continual presence here and a continual mismanagement that remained constant.”
The budget for the following year, including detailed accounts for the three months ending September 30th 2012 were also released, showing a surplus of €123,508 for the period. Breslin explained: “We’re spending a lot less now. A lot of that is because we physically don’t have the money in our accounts to spend more but it does show a very different ethos in the Students’ Union that we’re trying to spend as little as we can… I don’t expect our spending habits to change really at all once the loan does come through.”
The accounts will be finalised on Thursday once auditors Grant Thornton sign them off, and more detailed figures will be released at Union council on October 25th.