Shortly after being selected to serve as Treasurer of Open Source Matters, I presented my vision for managing the financial interests of the Joomla project. This short presentation (PDF) was delivered at the 2013 Leadership Summit in November in Boston.
The main point of the presentation was to solicit feedback from all the leadership teams regarding things that were working well when it came to the project’s accounting practices, and of course things that needed improvement. The main takeaways from this part of the summit were as follows:
- The financial health of the project remains strong
- Financial reporting per leadership team is not currently possible
- The Chart of Accounts is not intuitive
- Financial status reports need simplification
To address these issues, it became clear that a complete restructure of the project’s Chart of Accounts was required. Critically, the new Chart of Accounts would need to be implemented at the same time as the 2014 budget.
This was further complicated by the timing of the Christmas holidays and the busy season that often follows.
Coincidentally, a colleague who has experience in such things recommended the Unified Chart of Accounts (UCOA) for nonprofit organizations.
After some research and conversations with our accountants, I decided this was a good choice for the Joomla project.
However, this did not solve our issues with reporting on a per-team basis.
The Joomla project uses Quickbooks as our accounting software. In addition to supporting a Chart of Accounts to organize transactions into the common financial categories (i.e. income, expenses, payables, receivables, etc…), Quickbooks “Classes” can be used to organize transactions into any categories you want. Importantly, we have full control over what those categories are.
To solve the reporting problem, I decided to use Leadership Teams as classes: CLT, PLT, OSM and INF (for Infrastructure, or expenses shared among the teams), as well as some other common classes like Events.
Feed Source: Leadership Blog
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