[Osmf-talk] Treasurer's Report for the 2018 AGM

Frederik Ramm frederik at remote.org
Wed Dec 12 10:57:32 UTC 2018


On 12.12.2018 10:51, Andy Allan wrote:
> I'm glad to see that we've moved to an online accounting system
> (namely Xero) - something you know I've been looking forward to for a
> few years! Do you have any information about how the system is being
> used for helping our working groups manage their expenditure? For
> example, we could use Xero's "tracking categories" to assign line
> items to each working group, and produce monthly reports to each
> working group on year-to-date spending. 

We're already using a couple of categories - OWG, LWG, Board, SotM - but
things do still get mis-filed occasionally and I have a feeling that our
categories are not ideal yet. For example, LWG would like to distinguish
between trademark related stuff and other stuff. I'm not sure how well
Xero will fare if we add too many categories, or if it can do
sub-categories. Happy to hear your advice on this (maybe off-list). The
hope is that we can eventually even add budgeting to Xero.

> Beyond that, I'd be interested to hear your view on large balances.
> The balance sheet suggests that we've got over 100k GBP in our PayPal
> balances, but personally that makes me nervous. PayPal has a history
> of freezing accounts with Kafkaesque procedures to recover access, and
> I'd be happy to see these routinely drained into regular bank
> accounts.

Yes. I've moved EUR 60k from PayPal to Barclays in 2018 until now and am
continuing to do that at a rate of EUR 5-10k per month. It is a slightly
convoluted procedure if you want to avoid any fees - doing it the
"standard" way involves double currency exchange fees.

The GBP and USD balances in PayPal I'm not so worried about.

The problem with the PayPal EUR balance is that most of the conference
ticket income goes to PayPal and we hardly ever pay for anything through

> The other large balances we hold are with Barclays. Admittedly a much
> smaller risk that losing access to PayPal, it's worth noting that only
> the first £85,000 GBP is covered by the FSCS guarantee. Is this a
> concern to the OSMF?

It's not something that we have ever thought about. Is the FSCS
guarantee even valid for non-natural persons?

> Of course, maybe the best approach to OSMF having large cash balances
> is for members to come up with good ideas on what we should spend the
> money on - so OSM gets the benefits sooner, rather than later.

Yes. It is prudent to have some reserves for a potential catastrophic
server failure, SotM mishap, protracted legal battle, or for some
high-rolling corporate members deciding they don't like us any more, but
I think that the financial situation we are in now is stable enough.


Frederik Ramm  ##  eMail frederik at remote.org  ##  N49°00'09" E008°23'33"

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