Fiduciary Responsibility

Context Matters: Using Trends to Monitor the Financial Health of your Co-op

By Michael Healy When it comes to numbers and data, context matters. The context in which we place particular numbers helps us make meaning of those numbers, and this is particularly important when we are talking about financial data. Over many generations, managers and accountants have developed financial reporting tools [...]

Minimizing the Risk of Fraud

By Thane Joyal, Mark Goehring 173 July - August 2014 Loss prevention is a key piece of the retail grocery business. Co-op managers are aware of this at their level and manage against it every day, but everyone in the cooperative needs to pay attention to the possibility. Board members: don’t [...]

Unacceptable Monitoring Reports

Boards monitor policy to find out whether their expectations are being met.  A board needs to respond to an unacceptable monitoring report appropriately in order to fulfill its fiduciary responsibility to the co-op's owners. When the General Manager's monitoring doesn't meet the board's expectations the board needs to give clear [...]

Reporting During Expansion

Boards delegate to their GM the task of effectively managing the co-op’s operations, which requires a clear system of accountability to ensure the GM is doing this job well. How can a board and GM maintain this system of delegation and accountability during the more risky and busy time of [...]

Precautions and Protections: Summarizing legal responsibilities of cooperative boards

By Thane Joyal, Dave Swanson 153 March - April - 2011 As cooperative directors, it's important that we know our jobs. Some parts of that job are personal to us: we bring interests, skills, and perspectives that make our contributions unique. It's our responsibility to use those personal attributes to [...]

A Board’s Duty: Determining What is Reasonable

By Thane Joyal 138 September - October - 2008 The man in the wilderness asked of me, How many strawberries grow in the sea? I answered him as I thought good As many as red herrings grow in the wood. -Old Nursery rhyme When I talk to members of a [...]