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An audit this spring of WestfordCAT’s finances, showed “there was nothing new and nothing changed during 2020 in the operation of the station.” The statement was made by Certified Public Accountant Jayne A. Andrews of Anstiss and Company, a CPA firm in Lowell.
WestfordCAT staff members recorded the meeting in which Anstiss provided an overview of her audit.
“Everything was reported in the proper accounting period,” Andrews said. “All in all you had a 12 percent increase in total assets which is pretty good for the year. You had a positive change in net assets.”
From the station’s capital budget, Executive Director Sarah Fletcher recently purchased and had built a $20K podcasting room inside the TV station. Purchasing new equipment is a necessary part of running the operation, according to Andrews. WestfordCAT receives an annual $10,000 grant from the cable providers for the exclusive purpose of purchasing new and upgrading equipment.
“Your operational cash increased by $105K, specifically due to operations, whereas in the prior year, you had an increase of only $27K. So that’s a positive swing,” Andrews said.
A little more than a year ago, the station was facing lay-offs due to declining revenues. The tiny powerhouse with only six employees at the time, was challenged by declining subscriptions to Comcast and Verizon services, as viewers shifted to Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime.
“We had leadership that wanted to cut costs (cut staff) as a way to a positive cash flow; now we have a board along with committee members that actively fundraise and are seeking solutions for long-term sustainability,” Fletcher said.
Fletcher, Board President Kristi Bates, member Cathy Ricketson and members of a
fundraising task force, began fundraising efforts that have added to the cash flow.
“…We did cost cutting as well, Fletcher said, noting that the forgiveness of a Paycheck Protection Program Loan by the Small Business Administration made a significant difference in financial fundraising.
“We had a very positive cash flow for the year, but each quarter we face declining franchise fees, so fundraising efforts are ongoing to maintain our services to the community.” Fletcher said.
To watch the entire audit presentation, visit WestfordCAT.org.