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NITAAI-Veda.nyf > All Scriptures By Acharyas > Book Distribution > Book Distribution Glories > Sankirtana Management > Bookkeeping


Every temple is responsible for paying the BBT immediately after books are received and sold. In some BBT areas, temples are responsible to pay within thirty to sixty days after receiv­ing books. If a temple does not pay its bill on time, it acquires what is known as a bad debt, or a debt not covered by a stock of books. Temples must keep inventories, and then they can pay the BBT properly. When books are taken out of the ware house , the number of book should be noted in alog book, and then it should be ascertained later that the books are paid for by the distributors who took them.One has to keep the book distribution results and papers properly, for they are the most important records in the temple treasury. All the income is made through sankirtana. Therefore the temple president should always know what is happening in the sankirtana department. A proper account of the sankirtana results should be done each week. On the basis of that accounting, the BBT must be paid each week or at least twice a month. For example, if a devotee has distributed one hundred Bhagavad-gltas and two hundred Bhagavatams, the accountant should record that result and multiply the prices of the books times the number of books sold. He does this for all the book distributors and calculates the amount that has to be paid to the BBT that week. Sometimes books get lost or damaged, or the sankirtana devotees give an improper account of the numbers of books they sold. That is why the inventory is important. One knows how many books were received from the BBT and how many were sold on sankirtana. The number of books in the ware­house should be the same number as the number of books received minus the number of books distributed. In fact, that is rarely the situation because of loss and damage or devo­tees not counting properly, so the temple has to periodically pay the BBT for the missing books. That is best done once a month; otherwise one falls too far behind.


No temple president can be said to be doing his job unless he pays his BBT bills regularly and on time. Not paying the BBT regularly is sufficient grounds for removal ot a temple president, according to Shrila Prabhupada. Going into debt with the BBT is easy to do: simply don't pay the BBT for a few weeks, and then the temple is in debt. Canakya Pandita said that three things must be extinguished immediately, otherwise they will destroy one—fire, debt, and disease. Debt is considered as dangerous as fire. Debts to the BBT can ruin a temple. The BBT is Shrila Prabhupada's heart, and the laksml is his blood. When a temple is in debt to the BBT, it is sucking prabhupada’s blood. The temple president must carefully determine whether he has the money for the expenditures being made. If one does nnr have the monev bp cannot spend it' Thi« ic q «imr>!p vet extremely important and often overlooked point, because, at least in the West, it is easy to get bank loans or credit cards and to manipulate financing and other things. This type of spending leads to carelessness. One can spend much more than he makes, if he is not careful, and soon he will find himself bankrupt. Debt greatly burdens the temple devotees. They lose spiritual enthusiasm if the temple is in debt, and the management has to push them to collect more. Devo­tees should be able to feel confident that the managers will prevent the temple from going into debt. When they see debts increasing, they lose faith in the management. Therefore the temple president should make it his firct rule never to spend money that he does not have and go into debt for any reason. This will keep the temple financially strong and the devotees happy. Such devotees may not have many material things in the temple, but at least they will not have debts, so they can be spiritually satisfied.