Finances/2014/Treasurer report-2014-09-02

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Treasurer report, Sept. 4, 2014

Kirsten Comandich


Account balances:

  • FirstTech: $21,422.92
  • PayPal: $24.22
  • Prepaid Visa debit card: $29.11
  • Accounts payable: none
  • Accounts receivable: TriMet (Technology Assoc. of Oregon): $5,000 [emailed Bibiana Jul 28]


  • Fixed a billing problem with Rackspace this morning.
  • Do we need to downgrade our Hootsuite account now that OSB is over? No, keep it for now, it'll be useful for WhereCamp.

Bookkeeper meeting in May

I met with Erin at SMJones May 8th, 2014. My notes in preparation for that meeting are at Finances/2014/Bookkeeper notes-2014-05-08.

She said that it made sense for us to do our own accounting instead of using their services, as we are one of the smallest clients that they have.


  • The Syndicate can do these ourselves instead of having SMJones do them. But Erin says she can help train us.
  • The forms are kind of expensive, so if we send them the info, they can print them for us.
  • I asked our CPA Sang, and they can help us with this as well.

Specific advice on doing our own accounting

  • Erin does workshops on how to do your own accounting. [I think I missed the one she mentioned but perhaps she'll do one again.]
  • Recommends that we use cash-based accounting instead of accrual-based. She says you'd need to be an accountant to do accrual-based. Cash is much easier. Accrual-based accounting makes more sense if we were a bigger organization. (On the other hand, Xero defaults to accrual-based accounting, although it can do either. TODO: see what Sang recommends.)
  • They don't work with people who do their own accounting, but she says feel free to call her with questions. The meeting I had with her was at no charge.
  • I had a question about checks that have been written but not cashed - she says in cash accounting you record the check when you write it, not when it gets cashed.
  • To keep things simple, don't do the indirect cost pools that they do in the reports.
  • Recommends *not* creating invoices in Xero, because it's easy to screw up accrual-based accounting. However, I find it useful to have them there, so I'll consult with Sang on this.

Our data

  • They use Quicken for writing checks. She can get me a backup of that data (a QIF file).
  • The rest of our data (used for making our reports) is in a Sage accounting system which is not compatible with any system we have. It can't really be exported for us. I don't think this is a big problem as we have the reports for those years, plus the bank statements and spreadsheets that are reasonably close to the final reports. Also I have imported all of our 2013 data into Xero.

Current bookkeeper status

Cara sent us the final reports for 2013 last week, they are in Dropbox: Syndicate/Accounting/Bookkeeper/2013/20131231Financialsrevised08252014.stump.pdf

TODO: pick up from SMJones:

  • the Quicken data of our old checks
  • They will give us a release of all of our documents (a big box of paperwork):
    • the rest of our blank checks
    • copies of all the W9s they have stored for us (used to make 1099s)


Our 2014 accounts are being tracked in Xero and are up to date.

To get a good overview of all of our accounts, go here:

  • I can do a how-to session on Xero for board members sometime.
  • I've given Sang, our CPA, access to our Xero account. I've been emailing him this week about getting advice on creating our own reports & budgets.
  • I'd like a better way to do budgeting without using Google spreadsheets, instead tying into the Xero data, but their budget capabilities are lacking. Going to see what Sang can recommend for this.


  • mailed in Federal 990 for 2013 which was due (extended deadline) August 15th.
  • TODO: mail in the Oregon CT-12 which is due (extended) Nov 15th. It is filled in & I need to update a couple numbers.
  • I recommend we have Sang do our 990 & CT-12 next year. It's possible to do ourselves but I found it very time consuming and it would be worth it to pay them to do it.

OS Bridge

OS Bridge was financially successful, the budget is here:

See the Charts tab for colorful charts.

Numbers are final except for:

  • volunteer party expenses
  • future meeting food expenses
  • waiting on TriMet sponsor payment
  • StickerMule never contributed toward the stickers as they'd said they would, not sure if they will.