The combined financial statements for the NJCPA and affiliates (NJCPA Education Foundation and NJCPA Scholarship Fund) for the year ended May 31, 2018, have been published.
Unrestricted revenues increased more than 5 percent when compared to the previous fiscal year, mainly due to elevated revenues from educational programs, while royalty and advertising revenues also rose above prior-year levels. Investment returns, although still positive, were lower than the prior year, as higher interest rates and the prospect of tariff /trade wars pulled the markets back from highs seen early in 2018.
Membership dues for 2018 remained flat at $3.6 million, or 1.5 percent below budget, despite a small increase in rates (1.5 percent to 2.2 percent for most categories), as there were more retirees during the year than anticipated as well as a slight shortfall in the generation of new members. Overall membership rose to 15,000 total members at the end of fiscal 2018 compared to 14,900 total members at the end of fiscal 2017, as more student members continue to be added, the result of free student membership that began being offered in the prior fiscal year. Retention of Fellow members increased slightly from 93.6 percent in 2017 to 93.8 percent in 2018, while overall member retention remained flat at 90.6 percent.
Investments returned 7.5 percent for the year, and royalties and commissions revenue was 40 percent higher than budget, as the revenue-share amounts from partners were higher than expected. As a result of the increased revenues and cost reductions in printing and meetings expenses, NJCPA’s net assets increased approximately $248,000 (including unrealized gains of $137,000) compared to a budgeted decrease of $288,000, and an increase of $206,000 in the prior year.
The NJCPA Education Foundation completed the year (which included the close of the triennial reporting cycle) with a positive change in net assets of $319,000 compared to a budgeted negative change in net assets of $24,000 and a negative change in net assets of $85,000 in the prior year. The end of the triennial helped drive attendance at educational programming, as did the addition of programs that addressed changes resulting from the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act, resulting in a $494,000 increase in program revenue versus the prior year. Margins on programming increased, and educational programming served over 23,000 registrants and delivered just under 115,000 credit hours of CPE, 11 percent more credit hours than the prior year.
Investments returned just under 7 percent in the fiscal year. Contributions to the NJCPA Scholarship Fund for the fiscal year ended May 31, 2018, were approximately 1 percent below budget, primarily due to timing, as awards and related contributions from one chapter were not finalized until after fiscal year-end. The Fund saw a small decrease in the number of members contributing as well as a slight drop in the average contribution. While managing these small decreases, the Fund awarded approximately $417,000 in state and local scholarships to 70 applicants and made payments on prior-year awards for another 78 students. The Fund’s investment portfolio returned 7.4 percent for the year, beating its benchmark and providing total investment income, net of fees, of $177,700, which was $124,000 over budget. These portfolio returns were primarily the driver in net assets increasing approximately $38,000 versus a budgeted decrease of $87,000.