[WikiEN-l] Foundation audit

Florence Devouard Anthere9 at yahoo.com
Tue Feb 12 09:51:18 UTC 2008

Thomas Dalton wrote:
> On 11/02/2008, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>> On Feb 11, 2008 4:06 PM, Thomas Dalton <thomas.dalton at gmail.com> wrote:
>>> On 11/02/2008, Anthony <wikimail at inbox.org> wrote:
>>>> I don't have a problem with the statement.  I have a problem with
>>>> someone voting to approve a statement that they don't understand.
>>> Acknowledging that something is misleading is not the same as not
>>> understanding it.
>> No, it isn't.  But I've applied Hanlon's razor here.
> I don't see how anything Ant has done was either stupid or malicious...
>> The whole point of the financial statements is to clearly present the
>> facts.
> To people with a decent amount of financial knowledge, yes. To an
> accountant, it probably makes perfect sense to group certain things
> together, and that's why they do it. It clearly makes no sense to me,
> you or Ant, but we're not really the intended audience - that's why
> people employ accountants and brokers in order to deal with the
> details that they don't have the training to understand.

The FS on the audit document are presented with an accounting 
perspective. Not for the general audience. Their most important message is:

"In our opinion, the financial statements referred to above present 
fairly, in all material respects, the financial
position of Wikimedia Foundation, Inc. as of June 30, 2007 and 2006, and 
the changes in its net assets and its
cash flows for the years then ended, in conformity with accounting 
principles generally accepted in the United
States of America. "

The goal of an audit is not to provide breakdowns of each line. I know, 
and I regret that you were not provided with detailed breakdown or a 
budget during year 2006-2007. The fact that I regret the public was not 
provided this breakdown is totally irrelevant to the audit itself and 
does not preclude I mistakenly approved the audit.

Now, situation is changing and improving. In fall, Sue already provided 
the board with a more detailed budget, and provided a public first shot 
estimate of our expenses, with

Also, we have just announced the hiring of our new Chief Financial and 
Operating Officer (CFOO), and we are providing the necessary personnel 
support to manage all of our expenses, donations, and overall budgetary 
activity. Through 2008, more detailed administrative and cost management 
policies will be put into place as well, further improving our 
accountability to donors, Board, and to the entire volunteer and user 

Does that clarify things ?


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