We have collected information from several departments throughout the national office that provide services for fees from local councils. For budgeted items outside the BSA purview, we look to our friends at Kiplinger.

Refer to Planned Budgeting (No. 80-236) for a complete guide to the budget-building process. It is available on the Finance Impact Department website (www.scouting.org/financeimpact), then click on “Council Fiscal Management,” and then on the “Budget Building Materials” link.

The overall outlook for 2012 is for modest inflation as the recovery begins to bring demand for energy and commodities. The Consumer Price Index will climb about 2 percent, compared to the 3 percent increase in 2011. Wholesale prices will go up 3 percent, down from the 6 percent increase in 2011.

Benefit costs
Reimbursement for business use of personal vehicle
Insurance rate for accident and sickness
Wage base for Social Security taxes
General liability insurance
National information system fee
National service fee
Payroll processing
Energy costs
Trucking costs
Postage rates
Commercial insurance
Office rent
Office cost
Cellphone service
Center for Professional Development training fees
Finance Impact Department training fees
Suggested budget-building timeline

Benefit costs—The annual benefits enrollment period is October 31 through November 11, 2011. A summary of 2012 benefit changes was distributed to Scout executives in July and contains information that will assist you with the budget preparation. For a copy of that memo, please contact Jim Brown, Benefit Director of Human Resources, Innovation and Research at 972-580-2560. The annual benefit enrollment bulletin describing changes for 2012 will be provided to all employees in early October.

During annual enrollment, employees can log on to the BSA’s benefits website (www.bsabenefits.mercerhrs.com), or call 800-444-4416 to review their benefits and make changes.

Reimbursement for business use of a personal vehicle—The IRS standard mileage reimbursement remains at $0.555 per mile. The BSA recommendation provides employees with a stable monthly reimbursement to allow for personal budgeting by providing a flat rate per month, plus an amount per mile based on their average driving habits in the assignment. For example, $607.50 per month, plus $0.15 per mile, based on an employee driving an average of 1,500 business miles per month would reimburse at the IRS rate for 1,500 miles, or $832.50. Employees driving more than or fewer than the average business miles per month may be subject to an unreimbursed business expense or over-reimbursement, resulting in a personal tax liability to be added to the W-2 based on IRS rules. The council is responsible for being familiar with IRS rules and calculating and applying taxable gross and appropriate taxes so the W-2 will reflect any taxable obligation that may occur.

We are aware that some councils have moved to reimbursing on the standard IRS rate based on actual business miles driven. This practice ensures that a taxable event will not occur for the employee, but can cause some cash flow challenges in months when fewer miles are driven and the employee's car payment must still be made. In this case, councils should encourage employees to plan ahead and save cash from heavy driving months to fill in lean months.

The insurance rate for council accident and sickness is $0.70 per person/traditional and LFL/Exploring. The LFL curriculum-based program rate is $0.58 per person. Camper’s accident and sickness is $0.37 per camper per day. ACE American Insurance, administered by Health Special Risk Inc., will pay medical benefits not paid by other insurance, up to $15,000 accidental medical benefit or $7,500 for sickness benefit. The Risk Management Team is a resource that can help you with insurance needs.

The wage base for Social Security taxes is expected to increase to $110,100 for 2012. This increase follows an unprecedented two-year freeze on the wage-base index. Tax rates will remain at 7.65 percent for employers and employees. The final number will be announced in October or November.

General liability insurance experience rate remains in the $0.97 to $1.29 range. Your experience rate will be based on your council claim history for 2008, 2009, and 2010. Your 2012 premium is calculated as experience rate x membership (average traditional and Exploring youth and adult membership for Q4-2009 and Q1, Q2, and Q3-2010). You should have recently received your experience rate from the Risk Management Team.

The national information system fee will remain the same in 2012.

The national service fee for 2012 will remain at 3.5 percent of the 2010 professional salaries (account 7002) and clerical employee salaries (account 7003), up to the maximum of $40,000. If you exceeded the $40,000 ceiling for 2011, your 2012 fee will be increased by the percentage increase of your 2010 salaries over 2009 salaries, up to a 10 percent maximum. Example: Your 2011 fee was $40,000; your salaries increased by 6.2 percent in 2010. Therefore, your 2012 fee will be $40,000 plus 6.2 percent, for a total of $42,480.

Payroll processing―Councils converted from the old BSA-supplied software to IOI Pay services have been receiving assistance for the cost of that service during 2011. This contribution will not continue in 2012; therefore, payroll-processing costs need to be included in the 2012 budget.

Councils using another outside provider for payroll have been relieved from paying a “per process” fee to IOI, which has been picked up by the National Council during 2011. That expense will be levied on councils by IOI beginning January 2012. You should expect a $10 a month cost from IOI.

Councils using IOI Pay services should not see an increase in per check charge or minimums for processing in 2012. There will be a slight increase in the W-2 fee (from $2.75 for each W-2 to $2.85 each).

There will be new fees for two situations that councils can control and avoid:

  • If a new employee is added and has direct deposit but there is not enough time for a “pre-note” test, councils will be charged $8 each time there is a returned direct deposit if the council has waived the pre-note process. If the council does the pre-note process, then no additional fee is charged.
  • Councils with a large camp staff can choose to receive help from IOI in loading the employee data at $1 per employee, with a $25 minimum. IOI will provide a standard template to assist with loading of camp staff, and it may be used to avoid any additional charges.

Councils using other payroll processing services should contact the vendor for information about changes in the 2012 fees and charges.

Energy costs―Thanks to expected lower crude oil, prices will soften a bit at the beginning of 2012 but will move up by midyear. Gasoline prices should peak about $3.50 a gallon during the summer. Natural gas should be stable with a range between $4.10 and $4.75 a gallon, depending on the season. Heating oil should hover around $3.50 per gallon. Propane will average around $2.70 per gallon. Expect electricity rates to stay about the same as 2011.

Trucking costs are expected to rise about 6 percent following a 6.3 percent rise in 2011.

Postage rates will be on the rise again, up to 4 percent. Overnight packages will be up 5 to 6 percent.

Airfare will climb about 6 percent, not including fuel surcharges, checked luggage, and other fees. Rental cars should remain the same as 2011, hotels will be adding on surcharges and will be less likely to negotiate amenities. You should budget about 2 percent more for meals.

Commercial insurance rates may rise as much as 5 percent due to big property losses this year. Workers' compensation rates should remain flat.

Office rent will be on the rise about 2.5 percent.

Office costs are expected to stay under control, depending on the category: PCs—down 15 percent, servers—down 10 percent, even tablet computers will be discounted.

Cellphone service rates are expected to remain flat unless you frequently download large files.

Center for Professional Development Training Fees
All sessions include travel unless otherwise noted.

LFL Certification


LFL, L2, and L3 (Sea Base)

$450 plus travel



PD-L1 Transition



$600 plus travel

PD-L2 (Sea Base and Philmont)

$470 plus travel



PM-Series in regions

$800 plus travel

PM-Series at Sea Base and Philmont

$670 plus travel

Specialized courses

Call CPD for details

Finance Impact Department Training Fees

Fiscal Management I, II, III

Travel, lodging, and meals (additional fee for course held at Philmont)

Fundamentals of Major Gifts (Philmont and Sea Base)

Travel, lodging, and meals (additional fee for course held at Philmont)

Local Council Fundraising Campaigns

Travel and lodging (additional fee for course held at Philmont)

National Development and Fiscal Management Symposium

$300–$400 plus travel and lodging

Senior Development Roundtable (by invitation only)

$100 plus travel and lodging

Senior Fiscal Management Roundtable (by invitation only)
$100 plus travel and lodging

Suggested 2012 Budget-Building Timeline
September 2011

  • Scout executive distributes budget-planning reports by cost center, the Finance Impact Department 2012 Budget-Building Bulletin, and other support materials, including the planned budgeting workbook, to appropriate volunteers and staff at the budget-building conference.
  • Local council staff and designated finance volunteers develop 2012 annual campaign plan.
  • The 2012 fundraising goals are reviewed and approved by the district and council Key 3.

October 2011

  • Council committees and staff work on 2012 budget draft.
  • The 2012 fundraising goals and plan are approved at October executive board meeting.
  • Draft 2012 budgets are submitted to council service center for data entry no later than October 31.

November 2011

  • Scout executive reviews draft budget with key volunteers and designated staff.
  • Adjustments are made to ensure a balanced budget to addresses key council goals, strategic plan, and cash flow needs.
  • Council finance committee or other appropriate officers review and approve budget.
  • The 2012 proposed budget is sent out at least a week prior to the council’s executive board meeting.

November/December 2011

  • The 2012 budget is approved at the executive board meeting. (December should be a backup month.)
  • All 2012 council budgets must be approved by executive boards no later than December 31, 2011.

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