What kinds of things does the board do as a group?

Board members as a group:

  • Hire a competent manager, outline the duties and authority of the position, and formally review his/her performance.
  • Develop and adopt long-range business strategies.
  • Adopt broad, general policies to guide the manager. It is the manager’s job, rather than that of the board, to make the detailed decisions on how to implement the board’s policies. Once established, the board needs to monitor and review policies annually and make changes when necessary. Board members make policy decisions; they do not assume responsibilities that are part of day-to-day operations.
  • Review written monthly financial reports and operating statements to be informed of both favorable and adverse trends.
  • Review the operating budget for each upcoming fiscal year. The budget should estimate the expected volume and gross income, expenses, and net income expected. This constitutes necessary forward planning on the part of the board and management.
  • Employ a qualified auditor to make an annual independent audit to determine the accuracy of financial records and evaluate the effectiveness of policies and budget. The audit provides insight into the effect of past decisions and the need for new ones and is the primary method the board uses to report the financial condition of the co-op to its members.
  • With the aid of the manager, plan and conduct the annual meeting.
  • Determine the patronage refund allocation, weighing legal requirements against the need for reinvesting refunds to provide money to retire old equities and still meet current capital needs.
  • Obtain competent legal counsel.
  • Keep a record of the board’s actions.