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Reports and Disscussion


CodeDelphi
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I have a group that likes to approve their monthly Treasurer report, which is just a statement of the current amount and any income or expenses. I was under the impression it didn't require a motion to be approved and just needed to be filed. I was told that they allow questions and discussion on the report, that is why it requires a motion.

My question, does asking questions and allowing for discussion count as action taken? Is that what is meant by action taken? If it doesn't are questions and discussion allowed without the report having to be accepted? Here is where I am getting my information:

(1) If the report contains only a statement of fact or opinion for the information of the assembly, the
reporting member makes no motion for its disposal, as there is no necessity for action on the report. But
if any action is taken, the proper motion, which should be made by some one else, is to "accept the
report," which has the effect of endorsing the statement and making the assembly assume responsibility
for it.

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On 9/3/2021 at 8:55 PM, Bruce Lages said:

There is no reason for the assembly to vote to approve the treasurer's report just because it generated questions and/or discussion.

I agree. And there is a very good reason for not doing so. Namely that until the treasurer's records are audited, the assembly cannot know that the report is accurate.

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On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I have a group that likes to approve their monthly Treasurer report, which is just a statement of the current amount and any income or expenses.

The group has incorrect preferences.

On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I was under the impression it didn't require a motion to be approved and just needed to be filed.

Correct.

On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I was told that they allow questions and discussion on the report, that is why it requires a motion.

That is incorrect.

On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

My question, does asking questions and allowing for discussion count as action taken? Is that what is meant by action taken?

No. "Action" is a term of art in RONR. It means a decision by the assembly, as by adopting a main motion. 

On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

If it doesn't are questions and discussion allowed without the report having to be accepted?

Yes.

On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

But
if any action is taken, the proper motion, which should be made by some one else, is to "accept the
report," which has the effect of endorsing the statement and making the assembly assume responsibility
for it.

I don't have the book in front of me, but in addition to general information about reports, there is specific information in RONR about the treasurer's report, in memory serves. (I also can't say where this comes from without consulting my book.)

Don't think of this as saying "if we took action, now we have to accept the report." Instead, think of it as saying "if you're going to do anything, it should be accepting the report."

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On 9/3/2021 at 6:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I was under the impression it didn't require a motion to be approved and just needed to be filed.

Yes, this is correct. I would go further and say that not only is a motion to approve it not required, such a motion should not be adopted. Especially for a treasurer's report.

Adopting the report implies that the assembly agrees that all of the figures contained within the report are correct. That is somewhat problematic if that later turns out not to be the case. As a result, no action should be taken on treasurer's reports for information only, except the annual report, which is submitted for audit, and the report of the auditors is approved.

On 9/3/2021 at 6:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I was told that they allow questions and discussion on the report, that is why it requires a motion.

Even in the event the organization allows questions and discussion on the report, no motion in regard to the report should be made or adopted.

On 9/3/2021 at 6:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

My question, does asking questions and allowing for discussion count as action taken?

No. "Action taken" would mean adopting a motion in regard to the report.

On 9/3/2021 at 6:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

If it doesn't are questions and discussion allowed without the report having to be accepted?

RONR would permit questions on the report, but not discussion. Even in the event the assembly chooses to permit discussion on the report, however, no motion to accept the report is required or appropriate.

On 9/4/2021 at 6:38 AM, Joshua Katz said:

I don't have the book in front of me, but in addition to general information about reports, there is specific information in RONR about the treasurer's report, in memory serves. (I also can't say where this comes from without consulting my book.)

"No action of acceptance by the assembly is required - or proper - on a financial report of the treasurer unless it is of sufficient importance, as an annual report, to be referred to auditors. In the latter case it is the auditors' report the assembly accepts." RONR (12th ed.) 48:24

Edited by Josh Martin
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On 9/3/2021 at 7:35 PM, CodeDelphi said:

I have a group that likes to approve their monthly Treasurer report, which is just a statement of the current amount and any income or expenses. I was under the impression it didn't require a motion to be approved and just needed to be filed. I was told that they allow questions and discussion on the report, that is why it requires a motion.

My question, does asking questions and allowing for discussion count as action taken? Is that what is meant by action taken? If it doesn't are questions and discussion allowed without the report having to be accepted? Here is where I am getting my information:

(1) If the report contains only a statement of fact or opinion for the information of the assembly, the
reporting member makes no motion for its disposal, as there is no necessity for action on the report. But
if any action is taken, the proper motion, which should be made by some one else, is to "accept the
report," which has the effect of endorsing the statement and making the assembly assume responsibility
for it.

You don't seem to have identified where you got that passage from.  It's not from RONR.  And it's bad advice.

Edited by Gary Novosielski
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