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Sports associations operate on a complex playing field with numerous stakeholders. This calls for an accountant who is familiar with the rules of the game and who gets together with the client to find ways to elevate service to an even higher level, says sector specialist Laurens de Graaf. In his role as a senior manager accountancy, he supports various sports associations. ‘During an audit, I always challenge myself to come up with recommendations in the areas of structure, strategy, tax, compliance and internal control. I aim to list all of the control issues on no more than one A4 page, and the recommendations on at least one A4 page, so they can really take their planning and control to the next level.’

Chess on several boards

In doing so, Laurens always bears in mind that the management and directors are effectively playing chess on several boards simultaneously. Not only are they dealing with associations and members, they’re also cooperating with their own work organisation and government agencies. ‘It can be quite a challenge to keep everyone happy and to secure income from different sources. It’s great to be able to discuss these matters confidentially with someone outside of the association.’

Detailed knowledge of the industry

Lentink adds value by means of its extensive knowledge of the world of sports associations, as well as the specific issues of interest when it comes to tax and finances. ‘What’s in place with respect to the pro rata VAT scheme? Is the volunteers’ compensation set up properly? How can I handle barter transactions most effectively (especially with sponsorships)? Have I organised the work-related costs scheme in the best way possible for tax purposes? I like considering these issues,’ says Laurens.

Keen eye for structure, governance and compliance

This also applies to structure, governance and compliance issues. For everything ranging from a management or treasury charter to the Code of Good Sports Governance or the establishment of a financial committee from the Annual General Meeting, Lentink’s extensive sector knowledge enables us to consider your specific needs and provide targeted recommendations.

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