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From the President
Good Fiscal News for APA
Psychiatric News
Volume 45 Number 9 page 3-3

As I have informed you in earlier columns, APA has faced some difficult economic challenges this past year and a half. APA's revenue comes primarily from three sources: membership dues, meetings, and publishing. In 2009, APA witnessed an approximate shortfall of $8 million in revenues, from roughly $60 million to $52 million.

Although we had budgeted for some reduction in revenues from 2008, we had not anticipated the precipitous decline that occurred during 2009. As early as March 2009, we had indicators that revenues were dropping and immediately began to take steps to reduce spending. Despite these efforts, by the end of the third quarter, the revenue shortfall pointed to an anticipated loss of $1 million for the year, and the Board of Trustees approved using reserves to cover it. There was little choice: there already had been considerable cuts in spending, and we needed to keep key operations functioning.

We have just posted the preliminary results of APA's financial status as of the end of 2009 (see our annual report at <www.psych.org/MainMenu/Newsroom/AnnualReports.aspx>). Even with the lowered revenues, the hard choices we made were effective—we finished the year with a surplus of $1.4 million.

What accounted for the striking turnaround? For one, the Institute on Psychiatric Services was more successful than in previous years. Second, a key annual expense we need to cover is the staff benefit program—and the potential amount is determined on the last day of the year. The cost of this program was offset by a very positive performance in the stock market, and our reserves earned more than expected because of the stock market performance. For another, there was a bit of an uptick in ad revenue and a decrease in paper costs for APA's major publications at year's end that were not expected. Last, our overall expenses were lower than anticipated.

Although it is a great relief to us that this was the case, the staff and the Board of Trustees have expended considerable effort to see whether we could have better anticipated the lower figure. There may be a temptation for people to jump in and say let us restore some of the items that we cut. Clearly we cannot do that without going into the red since our revenues are still way down in terms of advertising. Just take a look at the lack of pharmaceutical ads in this issue of Psychiatric News. APA's budgeted and actual expenses for 2010 need to be managed carefully. We will have a better sense of where we stand after the 2010 annual meeting in New Orleans. I urge all of you to attend the meeting—it has many truly superb sessions covering a wide range of scientific and clinical topics.

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As you may know, APA is a 501(c)(6) not-for-profit organization and has three 501(c)(3) business affiliates—American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. (APPI), American Psychiatric Institute for Research and Education (APIRE), and American Psychiatric Foundation (APF). This structure is highly complex, expensive to run, and at times very inefficient. We must file many more tax returns and have multiple separate audits than a simpler structure would require. In addition, it is not optimal in terms of aligning revenues with expenses.

In the past year and a half, we have been working hard on a consolidation of the three affiliates and transferring the publishing business to APA. The resulting structure will be a stronger one for the Association and will allow us to meet our various missions more efficiently. The leadership and boards of all four entities have been extremely diligent and collaborative in this effort, and I hope that we can soon announce what the final structure will be and how the organization's various missions will be addressed.

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Dr. Jim Krajeski has announced that he will be stepping down from his position as editor in chief of Psychiatric News at the end of the annual meeting after a dozen years of outstanding leadership. Dr. Carolyn Robinowitz will assume the editorship duties on an interim basis for up to one year. We are indebted to Jim for his superb stewardship of Psychiatric News and to Carolyn for spelling him on his breaks over the past year. Jim will spell Carolyn over the next year on several issues.

The means of professional communication are changing rapidly, and we have appointed a task force led by Dr. Jeff Borenstein, chair of APA's Council on Communications, to help guide us on the future role of Psychiatric News in APA's communication efforts. Our goal is to ensure that Psychiatric News is delivering the information you want in the formats (print and electronic) that are most useful to you. We anticipate asking for your feedback and recommendations as the process moves forward. blacksquare

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