Revels Behind The Scenes | Finance
Money makes the world go round and Revels’17 is no different. Money decides the grandeur and scale of the fest, and the department of Finance is responsible for doing just that. They handle, account for and allot funds to various departments and this year around, they even changed their strategy. We at MTTN sat down with Kavin, the Category Head, and organisers, Uddipta and Anand to find out what goes on behind the scenes.
To start off, what is the Finance Department?
Finance is the backbone of Revels because we handle the money. All the money generated by the fest is accounted for by us. We are here to verify information and make sure that everything goes as planned. The finance department is also responsible for the selling of the Revels T-shirts. Besides, we make sure that we nobody scams us, which has happened before.
How has the department evolved over the years?
Earlier, mistakes were common because we would have to catalogue everything manually. This year, we introduced an online portal which is a collaboration between Finance, Operations, System Admin and Info-Desk. Here, everything from T-shirt sales to the issuance of delegate cards was recorded. We have the exact count of everything and this information is then passed on to the Student Council. Now, errors are less likely to happen.
Tell us about the organisational structure of your team.
Firstly, we have 18 volunteers who mainly help with setting up of stalls and other manual work. They are headed by 11 organisers who maintain the database and handle cash flow.
Coordinators and cat-heads do the same administrative work but the cat-head acts as the point of contact. The other difference is that coordinators can participate in events while cat-heads can’t.
How do recruitments work? Also, how do you train first-year volunteers to be a part of this department?
Finance recruitments happen for the organisers, not the volunteers. In the initial stages of recruitments, we make sure they understand the difficulty of the job. We make it clear that they will have to compensate if they are careless while handling money. We then ask the selected organisers to scout for volunteers and train them. The catheads and coordinators do not have any say in the selection process of the volunteers.
The volunteers need to be good with numbers and at handling cash since the latter is done manually. Here again, if they mess up, they will have to reimburse the cash.
How difficult is accounting? Being from a science background, how do you manage it?
Irresponsibility isn’t an option. Sloppy accounting will only lead to loss of money. For example, if you sell 50 shirts, but record the number of shirts sold as 55, you will be held liable to pay for the extra five shirts.
We don’t account conventionally; we don’t follow particular procedures. To us, it’s just addition, subtraction, and basic mathematics. We practice accuracy and these accounts are checked multiple times- by us and the Student Council.
How do you allot money to different departments?
That depends on the events that are handled by those departments. PnP (Printing and Publicity) takes up the most amount of money. We do not handle ProShow; they handle their own accounting. We used to do it earlier, but not anymore.
Is there an emergency fund in place?
We are the emergency fund. (laughs) There is no plan B. If anything goes wrong, it’s on us.
As said to by Bhavna Subramanian for MTTN
Photographer: Jassil Jamaludhin