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Chemistry International
Vol. 24, No. 5
September 2002


Treasurer’s Column

Balancing Sources and Uses
What Is the Current Financial Position of IUPAC?
Who Provides the Funds?–Sources
Where Does the Money Go?–Uses
What are the Challenges Ahead?

Balancing Sources and Uses

Christoph F. Buxtorf
IUPAC Treasurer

As in the past (see CI, September 2001), I would like to discuss the financial situation of the Union and make some comments on the role of the Union’s finances in furthering its activities. The financial situation of the Union is good, our reserves are strong, and we have suffered minimally from the recent decline in the stock market due to the conservative approach taken by the Finance Committee in managing our investments. This allows us to continue to do the work for which the Union exists. The management of our finances is part of the strategic planning of the Union, matching our resources to our needs. If our activities are focused on the strategic goals, I believe the recognition of the value of IUPAC will increase substantially.

What Is the Current Financial Position of IUPAC?

A complete review of our financial position as well as the audited statement for 2001 can be found on the IUPAC Web site at <>.

Who Provides the Funds?–Sources

The financial resources of the Union come from three major sources: National Subscriptions paid by the National Adhering Organizations; income from publications, mainly Pure and Applied Chemistry; and investment income. The Finance Committee manages the reserves of the Union to preserve capital, not to maximize income. The main purpose of the Reserve Fund is to cushion the effect of changes in revenue or expenses from biennium to biennium. The Committee on Printed and Electronic Publications oversees the publication activities of the Union and is faced with maintaining the income to the Union from publications in the face of the declining number of subscribers to our journal, Pure and Applied Chemistry. This is a problem faced by all publishers of scientific journals.

The pie chart below shows the sources of the funds used by IUPAC on the top and the uses of the funds on the bottom. IUPAC spent more than it received in revenue in the biennium 2000—2001 and therefore used reserves to meet its needs. The wedge labeled National Subscriptions includes all income other than that from publications or reserves, but is almost entirely from National Subscriptions. The wedge labeled Publications and AMP (Affiliate Membership Program) is the net of income from the sale of the Union’s journal, books, and magazine and that from the AMP, less the expenses associated with those activities. This item is almost entirely income from subscriptions to our journal, Pure and Applied Chemistry.

Sources and uses of IUPAC funds, 2000-2001 biennium.


Where Does the Money Go?–Uses

The Union’s expenses can be put into three broad categories. The first is the allocation to Divisions and Standing Committees (STCs), including the Project Committee. The second is the cost of the General Assembly. The third is the cost of the support services provided by the Secretariat and the cost of other items such as the IUPAC Prize, ICSU dues, and support of conferences in developing countries. The support services of the Secretariat include management of the project system, disbursing funds, program support to the Divisions, and maintenance of the Web site. During the current and future biennia, the cost of the General Assembly will be much smaller, with those funds being diverted to the first sector in support of projects.

The level of National Subscriptions is set by the IUPAC Council and is influenced both by a desire to fund the necessary work of the Union and the difficulty some National Adhering Organizations have in paying their National Subscriptions, especially the smaller, less affluent NAOs. However, a number of the larger countries also have difficulty in funding their National Subscriptions. This concern led to the formation of a Working Party on National Subscriptions by the Council at Brisbane.

From discussions at Brisbane and in the meeting of the Working Party, it appeared that in addition to the financial impact, other issues were buried in the problems around National Subscriptions. The Working Party started their activities very quickly and closed with a meeting in February 2002, making several proposals to the Executive Committee and further to the Bureau. These will be discussed by the Bureau and recommendations made at the next Council meeting, Ottawa 2003. I have greatly appreciated the fine cooperation and open discussions of the Working Party.

What are the Challenges Ahead?

The future of IUPAC is dependent on our financial resources. The problems as outlined above show that there are some clouds ahead and we must make special efforts to assure our funding. We have heard some critical comments by different groups–in and outside of IUPAC.

It is extremely important that our customers perceive the value of IUPAC’s work.

We take those seriously and will keep an open dialog. One issue that became clear in our discussions is the lack of recognition of our work in the view of some of our partners and customers, NAOs, the chemical industry, and governments. In most countries, government and industry pay the National Subscription. It is extremely important that our customers perceive the value of IUPAC’s work.

Please actively convince IUPAC "Partners and Customers" in your country and in your industry that IUPAC’s contribution to "Advancing Worldwide Chemistry" is to the benefit of Mankind. When this message is appreciated, financial support for IUPAC will follow. Only on a strong income base can we provide activities that are in line with the IUPAC strategic plan.

The work of the treasurer was only possible with the great help of the executive director and the Finance Committee. We are always open to good thoughts and inputs

Dr. Christoph F. Buxtorf is the current treasurer of IUPAC. He is retired from Novartis Crop Protection where he was head of the Production and Technology Division and a member of the Executive Committee.


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