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IDEA has $400K in cash reserves

A search of the Australian Charities and Not-For-Profits Commission records shows that The Imaging and Digital Entertainment Association (IDEA), which has been effectively inactive for the past four years, remains financially viable, with just under $400K in ‘cash and cash equivalents’ at the end of the 2018/19 financial year.

IDEA members
IDEA once boasted a membership of virtually every photographic distributor in Australia. There are now just the members above (less Next Media which has sold its photo magazines) and an executive consisting of James Murray (Nikon); Robert Gatto (Kayell); Ryan Williams (Leica); and Clem Kennedy (CR Kennedy).

In its Annual Information Statement for 2017 (July 2016- June 2017), IDEA describes its Charitable Activities as: We provided free advertising and promotion via weekly newsletter of all seminars, workshops and exhibitions pertaining to the photographic industry

– And indicated it had no plans to ‘change or introduce any [new] activities in the 2018 period.’

In 2018 it described its Charitable Activities as: ‘…A weekly newsletter was distributed advising free seminars, workshops and exhibitions Australia wide. Copyright issues explained and sales tax on private imports.’ – And added some new activity intended for 2019: ‘In addition to weekly newsletters, additional workshops and educational seminar will be conducted in association with major awards event.’

However it would appear those workshops and seminars never eventuated, as there were no associated costs in the 2019 Annual Information  Statement. (And we can’t see any record of them in the Australian publication of record, Inside Imaging!)

In fact, in 2019 IDEA spent very little, with no employee expenses and no grants or donations made. The only expense recorded is $18,282 in ‘Other Expenses/Payments’. On the other side of the ledger, IDEA earned $10,950 in Revenue on Investments (presumably bank interest on cash deposits) and $4000 on Revenue for Providing Goods or Services (membership fees). So for the year it lost a modest $3332, with Net Assets (mainly cash) at June 30 last year of $398K.

Overall, IDEA’s asset base has slipped from $473K at the end of June, 2016 to $398K at the end of June, 2019.

It’s worth noting for the record that the last of the consumer/trade shows, held in Melbourne in 2015, turned a profit of around $125K.

Activities in 2019 are listed as ‘the weekly newsletter continued to be distributed advising free seminars, workshops and exhibitions Australia-wide . If issues arose on copyright issues or sales tax on private imports were explained.’

– And flagged new activity for this financial year: ‘The charity [IDEA] also intends to provide sponsorships for additional education – seminars, workshops etc – to attract end-users that currently use Smartphone devices and to encourage them to use or increase their usage of conventional cameras, (both still and motion), imagining aids and devices screens, projection, lenses, lights, PC’s and software), printing devices, storage devices.

Inside Imaging is unaware of any initiatives from IDEA in the last six months of 2019 and of course this year the Coronavirus shutdown has precluded the kind of physical seminars and workshops IDEA had intended. Robert Gatto, vice-president, Professional, indicated that IDEA had intended to sponsor educational events organised by member photo companies, but they had to be cancelled.

The Grapevine e-newsletter, which is alluded to as the primary charitable activity in the statements from IDEA re-published above, seems to have stopped on or around October last year.

We were unsuccessful in obtaining any input to this story from IDEA president, James Murray.





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