Developing A System of Accounting for the Foundation
- Keep it a simple task.
- Track and report at a level that is of interest to the community.
The board develops and authorizes the set of procedures for how the Foundation manages its finances. The board treasurer will coordinate the board's responsibility for the accounting procedures.
Bookkeeping will be based on a cash-basis accounting system.
Tracking Categories (Accounts)
As you look at the accounting categories of non-profit organizations, the tracked categories of expenses differ based upon the questions they are answering.
Understanding at a high level, the openSUSE expenses of the past plus knowing what is of interest going forward helps identify the right categories.
Typically a small organization, such as this, will want to keep the number of categories down to 7-8 categories. To best identify the expense categories we need to understand the questions we want to most readily answer and track.
Income Tracking Categories
- Corporate Contributions
- Individual Contributions
- Interest Income
- Checking Interest
- Savings Interest
- Other Interest
- Other Income (T-Shirts, ...)
- Reimbursed Expenses
Expense Tracking Categories
- Equipment and Maintenance
- General Expenses
- Liability Insurance
- Board and Officer Insurance
- Advertising and Promotion
- Postage and Delivery
- Spiffs and Gifts
- Trade Shows / Event Sponsorships
- Professional Fees
- Accounting, Audit and Tax Svcs
- Legal Fees
- Travel Assistance
Assets Tracking Categories
- The Foundation will not maintain any credit based accounts (ie no credit cards)
Definition of Line Items
Travel Assistance: Line items would include the travel expenses for Ambassadors, Developers and others traveling on approved openSUSE
Marketing: Line items would include expenses incurred for the creation and/or purchase of conference handouts, Conference booth expenses, hackfest venue expenses, giveaways, DVDs/CDs,
Accounting Approval Process(es)
- Who has visibility into the expenses?
- Who maintains the financials
- Process for approving expenses
We need credit cards or a reliable way to get money.
- Need to eliminate the issue where people end up waiting for money for months and depending on the amount it can be really bad.
- Without an NPO we have to stick with cheap give-aways like buttons or
stickers because it will be hard to find somebody who can pay for the production of expensive things like mugs or baseball caps.
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