[Sur] [SLOBS] [IAEP] [SLOB] meeting reminder and some open issues to discuss

Adam Holt holt en laptop.org
Vie Mayo 6 14:25:02 EDT 2016

On Fri, May 6, 2016 at 10:35 AM, Karen Sandler <karen en sfconservancy.org>

> On 2016-05-06 12:06, Adam Holt wrote:
> s/he tries to do that, SFConservancy has explained to me that they
>> often take a month-or-so to get all receipts entered into their
>> system, so the Financial Manager cannot in fact get hard information
>> about January.  My understanding from SFConservancy is that on
>> February 10th, we could only get hard info on December's financials,
>> and even then there's no absolute guarantee, as receipts come in very
>> late at times.
I meant to clarify above that SFConservancy has no possible way provide SL
fully complete/accurate financial info when receipts are sometimes
submitted ~90 days late?  What Karen says below, exactly!

In short, the current/proposed Financial Manager job description (
needs more tuning of its operational mechanics month-by-month and
quarter-by-quarter, for the reasons Karen laid out.

If in the end SL will benefit from 10+ hours-per-month of professional
financial consulting/reporting every month, we cannot make an underpaid
Financial Manager and others' lives impossible, by imposing more accounting
burdens than is in fact possible within 10
hours-per-month-or-whatever-is-recommended, such that nothing happens in
the end (back to square one worst case) if we ask for too much.

PS on a more positive note (!) can someone help me publish SFConservancy's
latest travel/expense/reimbursement guidelines and requirements directly
off of https://wiki.sugarlabs.org/go/Finance#For_funding_travel ?  Is there
a public link somewhere already, or can we make one now, if someone has
this/these document(s) handy?

On the one hand it sounds ridiculous, in the age where most of us
>> obtain live bank statements online, that we cannot get confirmed
>> up-to-date financials until 2 months later!  But what other options
>> are there?  Should we accept known-imprecise financial reporting in
>> exchange for recency?
> It's great you're contemplating hiring a financial manager - increased
> engagement from SL in its finances might solve some of the problems from
> third-parties that are the root cause of delays in update to the books (we
> cannot help the fact that travelers sometimes take a long time to ask for
> reimbursement, for example). As Adam indicates, any faster financial info
> would surely be less precise. As we hear in reports from others, we're the
> fastest at getting our financial data up to date in the entire industry. We
> keep books for almost 40 projects that have many transactions, and we're
> doing it with only a staff of 3 who have a lot of other work too.  A
> financial manager will be able to track the few transactions that haven't
> processed in the interim so you have the granularilty when you need it.
> More realistically, it's worth reiterating that building an annual budget
> is really what you should focus on. We will track spending against it on an
> ongoing basis. You currently have a balance of over $80k that has not
> changed in some time - are you contemplating undergoing expenses in a 2 or
> 3 month period that would need exact amounts on a daily basis? For example,
> our own books (which are much bigger) are updated at the same rate as SL's
> and it works great for us as we build our budget and monitor income
> throughout the year. A Financial manager could also save us time and
> heartache by vetting travel reimbursement requests against the travel
> policy.
> Given the holistic discussion, it's also worth saying that while I (along
> with everyone else at Conservancy) am a huge supporter of SLs and would be
> happy for you to stay with us, we take a loss on our fiscal sponsorship
> work for you. On average, you give back to us $36/week for *all* the
> services we provide to you. That's less than $2000 per year when we must
> pay our auditors $12k alone.
> As always you should definitely feel free to look for another nonprofit
> home. We deliberately designed our termination provisions to be very easy
> to leave. As I said, we're unaware of anyone doing it faster (and we hear
> that most are far slower in updating books) but we'd have no problem
> helping you to transition to another org.
> I don't always follow this list closely, but I'm happy to set up a call or
> IRC chat any time.
> karen
> Karen M. Sandler
> Executive Director, Software Freedom Conservancy
> __________
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