Aberdeen based orchestras of fiddles and accordions that practice, perform and preserve traditional Scottish music.

Annual Report and Financial Statements for the Year ended 28 February 2012

Finances, Investment and Reserves Policy


The review below and the attached financial statements show the current finances of the Society. The highlights are:

  • a total surplus (including investment gains) for the year of £2,469 (2011: total deficit of £829);
  • fixed asset purchases of £1,358, including a new digital stage piano;
  • the committee approved a revised investment policy and selected a Common Investment Fund to hold long term funds including endowed funds;
  • the general fund has net cash resources1 at 28 February 2012 of £15,107;

Summary of income and expenditure and other gains/losses info symbol


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Significant changes in income less expenditure and other gains/losses: £
Net deficit for year to 28 February 2011 (829)
Increase in donations income +3,658
Increase in donations expenditure (1,000)
Reduction in subsidy on Tours & trips +1,048
Increase in Governance costs (316)
Net impact of other changes in income, expenditure and other gains (92)
Net surplus for year to 28 February 2012 +2,469

The results for the year include a number of one-off income and expenditure items. The committee consider the recurring income and expenditure of the Society to be broadly balanced.

Analysis of income categories which have corresponding expenditure


Concert income and expenditure varies based on the number of events and whether the Society is the promoter of the event, or receives an appearance fee from the promoter. Due to the May 2011 Fiddlers' Spectacular the Society did not promote an equivalent to the Scottish Music Evening, which was held in the previous financial year, though we did promote the Reel & Rowie Coffee Morning this year. Audience numbers for the Spectacular were low and we received only a small appearance fee

In addition other commercial concert bookings were lower, mainly due to council cutbacks. In addition to the differences in concerts promoted, prior year concert expenditure included a fiddle workshop with no equivalent in the current year. Instruments depreciation is higher this year following the purchase of a new stage piano. Overall the surplus from Concerts & competitions was £318 lower.

There were no tours or trips undertaken during the financial year resulting in nil income and expenditure, the Shetland Festival trip in October 2010 and associated travel cost subsidy of £1,048 was included in the previous financial year.

Fundraising income and expenditure is lower as last financial year included a raffle held at the Scottish Music Evening concert, with no equivalent in the current year. In addition there were fewer CD sales in the year and a further reduction in the value of the stocks was booked. This was partly offset by increased income from easyfundraising associated with members' online shopping. Overall the surplus from fundraising was £113 lower.

Social events income and expenditure is higher as a result of the increased attendance at the annual Christmas Ceilidh party and the inclusion of a Race Night as an additional event in the current year. The deficit on Social events has reduced £62.

Income categories & other gains which don't have corresponding expenditure


Expenditure categories which don't have corresponding income


Donations income has increased £3,658 due to one-off donations including the Charities Online Financial Reporting Award prize of £3,000 plus an associated subscription, as well as a donation from ConocoPhillips for £500. As noted in our achievements there were slightly fewer non-commercial performances, though some of those we performed at resulted in higher than average donations

Members subscriptions this year are £161 higher primarily due to the receipt of several late subscriptions in relation to the previous 2010/11 membership year.

Investment income is higher by £55. Through selecting a new deposit account provider and increasing the amounts on fixed term deposit the average interest rate achieved for the year has increased. In addition our bank balances have been higher through the year compared to last year, and the revised investment policy on long term funds including endowed funds also increased investment income.

Rehearsal premises costs are slightly higher by £92. The increase would have been more due to higher rent charges, but this was offset by a small reduction in the length of each weekly let for the adult orchestra. The premises are let from Aberdeen City Council and their current policy is to increase rent charges annually in line with inflation.

Donation expenditure consists of a £1,000 donation to CLAN (Cancer Link Aberdeen & North), an Aberdeen based cancer support charity, which was agreed at the AGM in May 2010 and for which a designated fund was in place. There was no corresponding donation expenditure in the prior year.

Admin and other costs are £131 lower as last year included additional depreciation charges associated with the disposal of a photocopier. In addition expenses claimed by committee members allocated to Admin and other costs are lower this year.

Governance costs are higher by £316 primarily due to travel costs for attending the Charities Online Financial Reporting Award ceremony and the inclusion of the value of a donated subscription that formed part of the award prize.

Balance sheet items


The net cash resources of the General fund is £15,107 an increase of £2,346. This reflects the £3,292 surplus on the General fund for the year (after adjusting for non-cash items and other movements in current assets and current liabilities) less fixed asset purchases of £1,358. Fixed asset purchases include a new portable stage piano which offers better sound quality and increased volume without additional amplification.

During the year Standard Life Cash Savings ceased offering fixed rate deposit products. The committee reviewed alternative fixed rate deposit providers and selected Julian Hodge Bank. After considering the available cash resources and forward plans the amount held on fixed term deposit was increased to £6,000 to take advantage of the higher interest rates available.

Debtors and creditors balances includes, respectively, prepayments of production costs and deferred income from advance ticket sales associated with the Scottish Music Evening planned for April 2012.

Contributions from volunteers

The members of the orchestra volunteer their time through weekly rehearsals, attending concerts and assisting with fundraising efforts.


A revised investment policy was approved by the committee in March 2011 as follows:

  • Short to medium term funds are likely to be spent within the next five years. The funds will be invested in high interest deposit accounts which may be of a fixed term nature. The aim of such investments is to achieve the best available income returns, whilst minimising risk to capital and ensuring the cashflow requirements of the Society are met.
  • Long term funds, including the endowment funds, are not required to be spent within the next five years. They will be invested in collective investment schemes which seek income and long-term capital growth from a broadly diversified portfolio of assets including equities and fixed interest securities.

In applying the above policy the committee has agreed to invest long term funds, including the Iain Fraser Award Endowment Fund, in the Alpha Common Investment Fund for Income & Reserves managed by Sarasin Investment Funds Ltd. The fund is a charity in its own right and offers the benefits of pooled investments to other charities.

Through a single investment the fund provides a diversified portfolio with a broad spread of asset classes across several countries and professional investment management at low cost.

The selected fund is conservative with an emphasis on capital preservation and generating a high income. It typically holds 80% of the portfolio in fixed interest bonds and cash, with the balance held in equities and other investments.

Although the Society does not have any ethical constraints as part of its own investment policy the selected fund does operate an ethical investment policy, including a restriction on investing in tobacco companies. Sarasin have stated in their view this does not have a detrimental impact on returns.

The fund manager has established a composite performance benchmark based on published UK and global indices including gilts (60%), shares (20%), corporate bonds (15%) and cash deposits (5%).

The capital value of the fund has increased (after charges) by 2.2% since purchase in April 2011. Due to purchase timing only three of the fund’s quarterly dividends are included within the financial year. The target income yield is approximately 4.25%.

The change in investment policy has enabled a 43% increase in the Iain Fraser Prize paid in the year. A further increase is anticipated for the next prize award as the funds will have benefited from a full year of dividend income.

Information on the current allocation of the fund by both investment asset type and geography is published on the Society's website under the About Us / Policies / Investments section.


The Society holds endowed, restricted and unrestricted funds (the attached financial statements detail these funds). Unrestricted funds are held:

  • to provide funds which can be designated to specific projects such as concerts and competitions in the UK or abroad. Such events may arise at relatively short notice;
  • to cover ongoing costs in relation to the running of the Society including rent of rehearsal premises, performing at concerts or competitions, and administration costs.

The amount and timing of certain sources of income is variable in nature. Expenditure, particularly relating to concerts, may be committed in advance of knowing total income from an event. The committee therefore considers it prudent to hold unrestricted reserves in the form of net current assets excluding stocks of £7,500.

This is considered sufficient to cover:

  • two years’ costs of rehearsal premises and administration costs - approximately £2,500 per annum;
  • potential deficits on concerts that the Society organises itself – equivalent to the production and marketing costs, excluding any ticket or other income, estimated as £1,000;
  • replacement instruments or administrative fixed assets, estimated at £500;
  • funds which can be designated for a single specific concert or competition event in the UK, based on prior events estimated at £1,000.

The net current assets excluding stocks of the unrestricted general purposes fund reported in the attached financial statements total £15,107 and therefore are considered to be above the level of reserves required for the ongoing needs of the Society. The committee continues to consider additional activities related to the Society’s objectives to which the excess reserves may be applied including:

  • other concert events in which the Society may participate, so funds may be specifically designated;
  • audience development projects and related activities.

In addition a designated fund has been established for a replacement stage piano. It is intended to increase the fund by £150 per year, plus associated interest income, over a 10 year period ending in 2021, by which time the current stage piano is expected to be at the end of its useful life.

The level of reserves are reviewed by the committee regularly throughout the year. The minimum level of reserves for the ongoing needs of the Society is reviewed by the committee on an annual basis.

Other reference and admin details

Bankers - current accounts:

CAF Bank, 25 Kings Hill Avenue, Kings Hill, West Malling, Kent, ME19 4JQ
Bank of Scotland, 54 John Street, Aberdeen, AB25 1LL

Bankers - deposit accounts:

Julian Hodge Bank, 29 Windsor Place, Cardiff, CF10 3BZ
Scottish Widows Bank, 67 Morrison Street, Edinburgh, EH3 8YJ  

The Alpha CIF Income & Reserves investment manager is  :

Sarasin Investment Funds Ltd, 100 St Paul's Churchyard, London, EC4M 8BU

The Independent Examiner is:

Graeme Reid, Williamson & Dunn Chartered Accountants
3 West Craibstone Street, Bon-Accord Square, Aberdeen, AB11 6YW

Basis of Preparation

This report has been prepared in accordance with the Statement of Recommended Practice: Accounting and Reporting by Charities (issued in March 2005), The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006.

Approved by the committee and signed for and on their behalf by:

B Priestley, Secretary
29 April 2012

Statement of committee members’ responsibilities as trustees

Law applicable to charities in Scotland requires the trustees to prepare financial statements for each financial year which give a true and fair view of the charity’s financial activities during the year and of its financial position at the end of the year. In preparing financial statements giving a true and fair view, the trustees should follow best practice and:

  • select suitable accounting policies and then apply them consistently;
  • make judgements and estimates that are reasonable and prudent;
  • prepare the financial statements on a going concern basis unless it is inappropriate to presume the charity will continue in operation.

The trustees are responsible for keeping accounting records which disclose with reasonable accuracy the financial position of the charity and which enable them to ensure that the financial statements comply with The Charities and Trustee Investment (Scotland) Act 2005 and the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006. They are also responsible for safeguarding the assets of the charity and hence for taking reasonable steps for the prevention and detection of fraud and other irregularities.

Footnote 1: Calculated as cash and bank balances after adding debtors balances and deducting creditors balances.


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