- Who is to review and approve expenses? Our current process lists three different options: FAmSCo, credit card holders and the FPL. We also have some regional communities handling their budget, although this was never really ratified or documented.
- What can these people actually approve? We already agreed on limits but then Herlo found it counterproductive.
- Tracking of the decision making process: Depending on who made a decision, it is hard or impossible to follow the decision making process.
- Unclear process for premier events: The budget for FUDCons and FADs is owned by the "budget owner", but it is unclear who the budget owners are. While this is not necessarily a problem for FUDCons where we have a big team of organizers and the FPL usually is one of them, it is a problem for FADs which are often handled by just a single person. There is no control whatsoever and organizers themselves have a hard time requesting budget because nobody knows where the money is to come from.
- Transition from CommArch to OSAS: Most documentation is obsolete.
- Lack of documentation: Depending on the outcome of all this, we need to update our documentation.
- Unresponsive budget owners or credit card holders: People often have to wait too long until they get reimbursed.
- Community credit card limits are too low: Having to wait for a reimbursement often is not caused by an unresponsive card owner but by the limit being too low. Here in EMEA we are often out of money and have to wait for for the next month or quarter.
- Credit card holders cannot make bank transfers. If I produce swag, I have to pay the bill and wait for reimbursements. Why not have the credit card owner pay directly?
- No advance payments: For some people, it is simply impossible to pay something in advance and wait for reimbursements.
- PayPal only: The only way I can get reimbursed it PayPal and this leads to some problems
- PayPal does not work for many countries
- There is no way to make the sender pay the fee, so contributors will always loose money.
- if one receives too much money, PayPal assumes one is trading something and wants to see some paper work. My account was suspended 3 times already.
- Some countries are having serious problems with money transfers. Sometimes Western Union is the only way.
- Cumbersome POs: For everything above USD 2000 we need a PO but issuing one is hardly documented: Cost centers and all that, even inside RH people often don't have a clue.
- No reliable reporting: We spend money but we have no clue where or on what we spent it.
- No overview for FAmSCo: Even though budget is managed by FAmSCo and will continue to be so on a global level, FAmSCo hardly has an overview of the spendings, especially of the community credit cards as the reports go to RH accounting and are not available for us.
- No common reporting: Some credit card holders report with great level of details, others don't. It's a problem of transparency vs. privacy (at least one card owner thinks so, personally I don't).
- No planing: Because of the problems mentioned earlier we have no reliable numbers to divide the budget among the regions and throughout the year.
What we have agreed on so far
- We want to move budget away form FAmSCo to the local communities and the others.
- We want regional communities to handle their own budget.
- Regions should be able to define their own rules for approval.
- This means we need one budget wrangler per region
- Review and approval of expenses should happen in the regional trac instances.
- For accounting and planing, we need one global trac instance, probably the draftbudget one.
- The tickets in the central budget trac should only hold the budget relevant info and a link to the regional trac ticket with further info.
- In order to not screw up things, the budget, only some people should have access to the central budget trac: OSAS, FAmSCo, regional budget wranglers and credit card holders.
Suggestions how to move on
- Make sure we have identified all problems.
- Once we have a complete overview of the problems, move it to the wiki.
- Try to prioritize and break everything down into smaller chunks.
- Work in small groups of 2-3 ppl to address the individual problems. E.g. as Ruth and Robyn are the ones to work with the budget most, they are to define what the central trac should look like.
- Have regular meetings to review the progress (or the lack thereof).