Richard Gallagher wrote:
exactly are you suggesting? That Maveric149
should be the treasurer or he should be some sort
No. The treasurer is a board position. But the board
is empowered to
delegate activity to identified persons or to
Mav would be financial officer, and report to the
That clears it up a bit. Your original message did
not go into much detail as to what exactly the role
was. Personally I didn't see that there would be
financial work to do. So it did seem to me to be a
bit redunant have both a treasurer and a financial
But then again I am not familiar with intimate
of the foundations financial dealings. Would you be
able to further describe this financial officer role
and how it differs treasurer?
If Mav were on the board, I guess there would be
perhaps no financial officer for a while. But I
suppose he would have got some help from other people
In the current situation, neither Angel or I are
expert on financial matters. I would also add that
there is a lot to do, and no way we can do everything
alone. So, it is probably best that we focus on what
we may do best and are most interested in doing, while
delegating to other people the other issues. There are
plenty of motivated participants ready to give a hand,
why would we deny them doing this if they can probably
do it better than us ?
That does not mean we are not interested, nor
completely clueless. I had some training in accounting
while a student, in agricultural business. And I
practiced a bit.
There are few things as neat as classifying a cow,
which may be bought as a young (hence an expense),
then sold for her tender meat (become a revenu), or
switch to become a tool (producing milk), or become a
tool which produce a future tool (giving birth to
future cows), or end up as bad meat. Every couple of
months, cows change categories :-)
Good grief, they can even die and disappear from the
accounts for free, or be burned because of a bad
disease (so, actually cost you money). Does not make
it easy to calculate amortization....
Anyway. The treasurer will look more at the big
picture, while the financial officer will more focus
on giving detailed and clear report, which will allow
the board to take informed decisions. It is also the
duty of the officer to warn the treasurer when money
is running out unexpectedly.
This is an example of what the officer will provide
(is already...) :
The officer should also keep track of all details, so
as to be ready in case of an audit. He may also help
in setting up a comprehensive budget, according to
directions given by the board (or make suggestions,
which may be supported by the board, then developped
by the officer). It is then the board role to ensure
the officer have all the necessary information.
Example : I suggested to JeLuF a few days ago to set a
page where developer team would try to indicate the
needs in terms of hardware :
The treasurer might ensure that this page is kept up
to date, perhaps ask someone to take the
responsability for it to be exact. This information
will be precious for the officer to set the budget.
Another example is organisation of the due system. The
treasurer might organise it, set the policy about it,
then have it approved by the community and the board.
Once the fee system policy is ready, the officer can
organise the budget using the estimation of membership
After the due system has been implemented by a
developer team and is in working order, the officer
will be responsible of making detailed report month
after month about income from fees. Or about the way
the fees are used.
It may also take care of managing membership :-)
The treasurer might decide with the board, that some
of the detailed information should be displayed on the
wikimediafoundation website, for transparency and
information to members. He will then rely on the
treasurer to provide relevant gathered data to offer
to public scrutiny :-)
Of course, the officer might need help and counselling
to do all this, hence the financial committee is much
In short, the treasurer will try to look at the big
picture and make sure the officer can get all what is
needed. The officer will try to ensure that everything
is done properly and legally, and will give feedback
on the general situation. The treasurer should check
Suggestions are always welcome. Budget should be a
common effort, with participation of all those
involved in *spending* the money, and all those
involved in *gathering* it.
I mostly think the relationship between the treasurer
and the officer will be a symbiotic relationship. Both
need and complete the other one.
This aside from legal considerations of
responsability, where Michael could probably give more
I believe it is important to get a set accounts
including a balance sheet and statement of income
expenditure. Then have them audited by a
accountant. Because often when applying for
they will request an audited set of accounts.
Might you explain what you are thinking of, when you
chartered accountant" ?
A chartered accountant is an accountant who is a
member of institute of accountants for their
Seeing as Wikimedia is US based I probably should
used the US equivalent term which is certified
accountant. The thing is anyone can call themselves
an accountant, while to call yourself a
chartered/certified accountant you have to have
some exams and have a certain amount of work
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