[Linux-aus] Financial reporting

Russell Stuart russell-linuxaus at stuart.id.au
Fri Feb 25 19:13:12 EST 2011

On Fri, 2011-02-25 at 17:55 +1100, Peter Lieverdink wrote:
> Joshua did in fact present a treasurers report at the AGM. If you were
> unhappy with that, you should have spoken up. I counted zero "no"
> votes on the motion to accept that report.

Just for the record, I wasn't there because I was organising the PDNS at
the time.  Had I been there and realised the figures presented were not
the final figures and an SGM would required accept the final figures
when they became available, you would have more than a "no" vote, you
would have had at least one complaint from the floor.  It's been a pet
peeve of mine for some years now.

And again for the record, I think aj's request the treasurers report be
published before it is presented also has a lot of merit.  Right now we
ordinary LA members are asked to digest the report at the AGM as it is
read, and make sensible, well considered comments on it from the floor
if necessary then pass binding judgement on it.  It is an impossible
ask.   Particularly if you are an LA member who can't make the AGM.
Given we are an Australia wide community there are always going to be
some members in that position.  It would be much better if the reports
were published a fortnight or so before.  (A fortnight so if a bike shed
over it is desired, we can have that at our leisure on linux-aus, not at
the AGM.)

I am not asking for something I would not do myself.  At Humbug we do
publish the committee members reports before every committee meeting.
We have a rule that if the reports were not published, they are not
accepted at the meeting.

Don't take this as a jab at any particular committee, or committee
member.  I understand it is the way it is because this is how it has
always been done, probably because "everyone" does it this way.  But it
is possible to a better job of it.  Doing it this way doesn't create
work, it just changes when it is done.

So I have a request.  Would this year's LA committee consider committing
to doing it this way for the forthcoming SGM, and next years AGM?  It
would be an excellent precedent to set.

On Fri, 2011-02-25 at 17:55 +1100, Peter Lieverdink wrote:
> The reason LA doesn't generally present a neat and tidy end-of-year
> financial report at the AGM, is that the AGM is *always* in the middle
> of the one event that causes a lot of changes to the various bank
> accounts.

Yeah, well I don't find that easy to swallow.  No-one is expecting
reporting on the current LCA given the AGM is held in the middle of it.
I can well imagine sorting out the LCA accounts is what occupies the
bulk of the treasurers time for the remainder of the year.  If the
current treasurer is trying to present a full and accurate report of LCA
2011's accounts at the coming SGM someone is putting far too much
pressure on him.

The reason I don't find it easy to swallow is it can be made a
non-issue.  The fix is simple.  Make LCA a separate entity, with its own
ABN and bank accounts.  (I thought it was like that already.)  There is
no reason LCA has to have control over some of those accounts, meaning
LA can can effectively quarantine the income while leaving it in the LCA
entity if they want.

Seriously.  If LA is not doing this already it should change its
accounting practices as a matter of urgency.

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