Annual Account Reconciliation procedures
Once a year members reconcile accounts and reimburse each other for lost and damaged materials. Lost items are defined as items checked out to a Summit patron with a due date that falls in the AAR accounting year, April 1 through March 31. For damaged items: report items since last report, through March 31.
Reporting period for 2013 only: April 1, 2012 through Mar. 31, 2013.
To avoid separate payments to every other member, Alliance staff will calculate the net difference and inform the members how much is owed to the other members.
Overview of AAR process
Full instructions are provided below, including links to more detail. See procedures.
- List of missing (and damaged) items
- Members prepare a list of overdue items based on data from local system and NRE. Search for the items at your institution, remove found items, and send revised list to Alliance.
- Members may report any irreparably damaged items in a separate list.
Alliance consolidates the lists into a single list in call number order, for all members to search.
- Members search the entire list for missing items, and report more found items to Alliance (their own, or other members' items mistakenly shelved).
- Alliance updates the master list and updates info on the web.
Members work out the problems and agree what's really missing, report to Alliance.
- Final list
Alliance makes final adjustments to the list (more items found, returned, etc.) and posts it on the web. This list will be used for invoicing.
- Borrowing sites do patron record work, patron billing, clear patron records.
- Owning sites complete item record work
- Alliance prepares a report, to be used as a bill, for each institution owing money to other institutions ("net" owed).
- Institutions make payments
FAQ and special situations
Claims returned: Patron claims item returned
"Claims Returned" should not be used for Summit Borrowing. If it has been used accidentally, include these items with list for AAR. Regardless of whether the patron's library holds the patron responsible and bills the patron, the item hasn't been returned to the owning site, so compensation is due.
Repairable: Don't include on the AAR List. Consortium agreement: Do not keep records for repairing items damaged through Summit Borrowing because the effort of record keeping and billing outweighs the charges. In a spirit of cooperation, the cost is absorbed at the owning library.
Non-Repairable: Include on the AAR List. For irreparable damages that leave the item no longer usable, the item will be billed at the standard replacement rate and administrative fee.
Due date in NRE versus local system
Include an item on the list if the due date in either system is within the AAR period, April 1
through March 31. Nearly always the
due date will fall within the period in both systems. In rare
circumstances, it may be "just over the line." Example: owning site
checks out a sound recording for short loan in local system with a due
date March 20, but ships on NRE using regular (long) loan, so NRE Due
Date is April 25. This item, if lost, qualifies for the AAR period since
it was due before April 1.
Lost by patron or patron's (borrowing) library: Include on the AAR list. (Do not include items lost by on-site "adopted" Visiting Patrons.)
Never received at borrowing site: Will be included in AAR list for searching, for record cleanup, and then excluded from the list for billing. See policy on Fines, Fees, and Reimbursement.
Lost by the courier: Do not include on the AAR list. If a library is certain an item was lost in transit, a claim should be submitted to the courier.
Returned after AAR
No refunds or credits to institutions
Refunds to patrons: local decision
Returned after patron billing
Each site has its own policy addressing whether to issue
credit to patrons returning materials after billing; i.e. how long
after billing is it possible to issue a refund.
Return the item to the owning site, regardless of whether the owning
site has already replaced the item; retention decisions are the
responsibility of the owning site.
Returned Too Long (RTL)
Items that are checked out during the AAR accounting year and are still in the NRE work queue Returned >2 weeks are to be listed as a liability at the patron's site, that is, lost and compensation due to owning site.
Invoicing and Payment
Alliance serves as a bank for its members during the AAR invoicing process, billing members for the net amount owed. "Using Alliance as a 'bank' members would send a single payment to Alliance for everything they owe; Alliance would process consolidated reimbursements to the individual members. Result: one check in from each, one check out to each, instead of each member writing checks to several or many other members."
Current charge for lost and damaged items