The Financial Health of Our Organizations: AMTA

This marks the second year I have reported on the financial health of the non-profit organizations that represent the massage profession. I am not an accountant or a financial expert. The information reported here comes directly from Form 990 as filed with the IRS; non-profits are obligated to make their tax reports public knowledge, and these can be easily accessed on Guidestar.

Last year I reported that the American Massage Therapy Association had taken a hard hit from the recession. The AMTA has gone through some major changes this year, not the least of which was the sudden departure of Elizabeth Lucas, the former Executive Director. Lucas’ compensation accounts for a big chunk of change on the filing, $279, 438 to be exact, almost $6000 less than last year. Shelly Johnson, the former Assistant Executive Director who is currently Interim Executive Director, actually received $14,000 more in 2009 than she did the previous year. I personally support Shelly for moving permanently into Lucas’ vacated position; I do have to say, however, that I thought Lucas was overcompensated and I hope that the next ED, whomever it is, will not be getting more money than the governor of most states, which was formerly the situation. Compensation overall increased by $144,004. Since the membership dues collected went down by over $150,000, and the total revenues have declined by $459,000 since the previous year, I have to wonder why we’re paying out more money to provide services for less people.

The balance sheet shows accounts payable of almost $3.5 million and accounts receivable of only $241K. READ MORE….

1 comment for “The Financial Health of Our Organizations: AMTA

  1. AMTA National Office
    November 16, 2010 at 10:27 AM

    Laura,
     
    AMTA believes in being transparent with our members and the profession.  So, we are happy you and others take the time to examine our financial report.  
     
    With that in mind, we’d like to correct some information you presented, to ensure your readers understand the facts of AMTA’s finances.  It seems some of the information in our 990 may have been misunderstood.
     
    First and foremost, it’s important to note that our net assets did not in fact decline.  They actually went up by $4.8 million (from $4.6 to $9.4 million dollars) with strong investment gains.
     
    We too look at staff compensation.  We value the employees we entrust to carry out AMTA’s vision and plans, and recognize they represent an expense.  In fact, every staff position is compared on a regular basis to published benchmarks for comparably-sized non-profit organizations and the new ED’s compensation will be determined by the same method.  This will guarantee AMTA’s ED will be compensated in a range equal to others working for associations in the Chicago area.  Please note that the salary reference in the most recent 990 includes all benefits costs. As we are sure everyone who has employees knows, benefits costs continue to increase.
     
    You mentioned the small number of accounts receivable, and that is correct.  The receivables are not where our core membership revenue flows through, so that number is a small portion of our reporting and mostly reflects some of our non-dues revenue activities.  The more significant number is the $1.4 million increase in cash and short term securities which reflects solid liquidity.
     
    To clarify the details of the accounts payable, as reported in the 990 a large portion of that reflects the insurance reserve we hold for our membership.  The remainder is funds we hold for our chapters, various accrued expenses, and then general accounts payable which are inline with previous years.
     
    Certainly we all remain cautious during these tough economic times, and due to a rebounding of the market and well-thought-out control of expenses, while vigilantly protecting the benefits offered to our membership, AMTA remains in a healthy financial position to keep investing in our members and the profession. 
     
    We remain committed to doing so transparently, as noted by the timely filing of our 990 for public review.  This is something we take very seriously as a non-profit professional association.
     
    If you or anyone else ever has a question about how AMTA does its work or our finances, please feel free to contact us.

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