Following the unprecedented situation generated by COVID19 and the closure of the school, the APEEE has had to take unprecedented decisions from a financial point of view and we would like to explain the circumstances surrounding this decision.
You will find below the presentation as well as the accounting details presented by the treasurer and the APEEE director at the Board meeting of 28/05/2020 where the reimbursement procedure for services not provided during the containment period was voted on.
Accounting details: https://apeeebru4.bitrix24.com/~e21vv
Minutes Board Meeting: https://www.bru4.eu/wp-content/uploads/2020/08/CA_28052020.pdf
Following the school’s decision to restart in-situ classes, we have reinstated the transport service, which means that the transport figures no longer reflect the current reality. We will then communicate the complete data including the resumption from 8 to 30 June 2020 regarding our transport service.
As you can see in slide 2 of the presentation, the APEEE has endeavoured to reduce operating costs by making use of the various provisions of the Belgian social legislation while being able to restart its services as quickly as possible if necessary. We have thus reduced our operating costs from 620,000€/month to 109,000€/month on average.
The COVID19 crisis occurred when some parents had already paid for subscriptions to the various services up to the end of the school year, which means that the APEEE was going to end the year with a profit of 1.3 million euros as can be seen in slide 3 of the presentation.
In addition, as of 28/05/2020 we had 2 million euros in the bank, of which 576,000 euros represent the social liabilities that we are legally obliged to keep as reserves.
More details on the social liabilities here >
The accountant, the director and the APEEE treasurer have therefore modelled two options with their respective financial impacts on these data.
- Option 1:
Argument: We are an AISBL (international non-profit association) and our goal is not to make a profit at the end of the year. We have therefore, through the vote of the General Assembly, accepted deficit budgets some years. We must therefore keep going in this direction and reimburse the paying members (self-payer and/or PMO) to reach a zero profit at the end of the year on our transport, canteen and extracurricular services. To do so, we keep the necessary funds to cover our fixed costs (Fixed costs are the costs we must pay whether we have any income. More details here > and we reimburse the rest to the parents and the PMO (Payment Master Office – the organisation that pays transport for European official’s children).
Financial impact: We reimburse 1.3 million euros to parents and PMO, the estimated profit at the end of the year will be 0€ and the minimum available cash in the bank excluding social liabilities will be 631.000€.
- Option 2:
Argument: Part of our business is to provide professional services to our members, which means that we apply business-like methods in many respects. We therefore have to reimburse parents and the PMO for services not provided as a commercial company would. We have a reserve set up over the years to cover our social liabilities and to reimburse parents and the PMO for services not provided.
Financial impact: We reimburse 1.9 million euros to parents and PMO, the estimated deficit at the end of the year will be – 600.000€ and the minimum cash available in the bank excluding social liabilities will be 31.000€.
Result of the vote
Option 1: 16 votes
Option 2: 2 votes
1) Next year’s situation remains very uncertain concerning the resumption of the school in-situ and the APEEE staff is busy preparing the different possible scenarios. We already know that if the APEEE services are resumed we will have additional costs due to the increased social distancing and hygiene measures.
2) According to some parents we have been informed that the canteen rules stipulate in point 5.1 the reimbursement of services not provided.
“5.1. Reimbursement – The APEEE will reimburse the unused subscription for students that leave the school during the school year or those that must cancel their subscription for valid medical reasons (see section 3. Enrolment). In cases where the student has missed at least three consecutive weeks due to illness the APEEE will reimburse the charges for meals not taken dating from one week after having received notification and on provision of a medical certificate.”
We consider that this section of the rules applies to individual cases and not to a collective case such as the COVID19 pandemic that we are currently facing.
3) Some parents are surprised that the fixed costs represent an important part of the extracurricular service and as such they received very little reimbursement. The extracurricular costs are mainly human resource costs (employees or service providers). We have reduced these costs to a minimum, but the fixed costs continue to represent an important part of the prices paid by the parents because we voluntarily keep the prices for this service low throughout the year.
on behalf of the Board