Mailinglist Archive: opensuse-foundation (71 mails)

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Re: [opensuse-foundation] Purpose of the Foundation; help refine the definition

On 1/27/2011 at 05:38 AM, in message <ihrp06$qe2$1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>, Per
Jessen <per@xxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
Basil Chupin wrote:

On 27/01/2011 21:18, Per Jessen wrote:
Basil Chupin wrote:

I have read what you wrote above which is really a repetition of
what that URL you provided also contains.

So, the intention is to use a spreadsheet to record any revenues and
to record expenses?
It's not such a bad idea - double-entry book-keeping software as that
from Banana Software ( is nothing more than a glorified

If it doesn't do a reconcilation with what's in the books and what is
shown on the bank statement then it is not worth a pinch of horse
manure - and therefore would be equivalent to a glorified spreadsheet.

It won't do any reconciliation automatically, no. Sounds like a job for
a book-keeper.

The point wasn't that it has to be a spreadsheet. The point is that we need to
keep this as simple as possible. We are a volunteer organization. Much
responsibility will fall upon the board treasurer and others.

Also we aren't talking about a large amount of $$. (Though I'd love you to
prove me wrong)
No employed people. No salaries, benefits, to track etc.
Simple transactions - at least that's what it looks like from the categories of
expenses that I'm aware of.

There is nothing stated anywhere where there has been any serious
thought given to keeping a proper control over the monies, coming in
or going out, and the accounts overall except for the very simplistic
statement that a spreadsheet with some (?) 6 categories would quite

Not surprisingly - we don't _know_ anything yet. We don't know which
kind of organisation, we don't know who will do it nor in which
jurisdiction, what it's really meant to do etc. I think it is fair to
presume that our organisation-to-be will be run along the lines of any
small business in a civilised country. A shoe-box is out of the
question for anything but petty cash.

Any cash payment should be made to the cashier who would also issue a
receipt on behalf of the organisation.

Again, there has been no mention of any procedures.

So why can't we assume it would be done in a normal fashion, adhering to
sound accountancy practices? They do differ from place to place too,
but a receipt in return for cash payment is pretty standard, I think.

Sounds like you both are volunteering to help write the proceedures! Make a
Yes I know that some of this is dependent upon other decisions first, but some
of it we can start on now - for example understanding what financial questions
we are going to want to track and report to the membership.

The external auditor is a requirement by law as a check on the
checking which the internal auditor is supposed to have been done over
the past financial year.

Uh, that depends on the local legislation. For instance, and under the
right circumstances, there is no such requirement for small
businesses/organisations in Switzerland.

And there will be cases when the revenue "you" may receive is
subject to tax. Somebody will be able to record on the spreadsheet
what part of such a payment is subject to tax and which part is not
and how much tax is to be paid on the taxable bit, right?

This sounds like income tax in which case it is applied annually to
whatever profits the organisation has made.

Well, not necessarily as simple as this, Per.

I take it that the Foundation will be called - that is,
a not for profit organisation and it's income in the form of
membership fees, grants, whatever, should not be subject to tax.

But even this is unknown because nobody has bothered to get legal
advice about how to structure this foundation.

However, this is not to say that the foundation cannot obtain an
income from selling something commercially, for example DVDs with
openSUSE on it, in which case this income would be taxable.

I speak from what I have had to deal with here locally but what it may
be where the foundation will be formed and registered I don't know.

But if you only have a spreadsheet to keep your "accounts", how would
you differentiate between non-tax income and taxable income and if it
taxable how much has to be paid every month/quarter/whatever
(depending on the tax regime of where the foundation is registered).

Sounds a bit like VAT? Where I live, we have four different VAT rates
(0%, 2.5%, 3.6% and 8.0%). For goods sold we apply one of them, just
as for goods bought. VAT is settled (with the government) quarterly.
My book-keeper looks up the spreadsheet, finds the "VAT paid" and "VAT
received" columns and determines who gets what.

I"m glad you recognize this point - Where we base the Foundation effects our
accounting process and balance sheet.

And this doesn't even recognise that the foundation will most likely
employ people and pay them wages and mandatory health insurance cover
and other security benefits and keep track of their holiday/sickness
days? All this by using a spreadsheet?

No, nobody suggested that the payroll and personnel records would be run
in the same spreadsheet. Use a second one for that.


Per Jessen, Zürich (2.6°C)

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