[Noisebridge-board] budget and fixed assets

Noisebridge Treasurer treasurer at noisebridge.net
Mon Jan 3 20:29:59 UTC 2011

That's a pretty ambitious agenda there. Noisebridge has a non-standard
approach to investors. I encourage you to find out a bit more about
how we've dealt with that in the past before making assumptions about

Right now I'm focusing on the basic financials we should have been
tracking as a non-profit, namely dues and donations. Now that we've
made some progress on tracking dues, I'll be focusing for the next
couple months on auditing our donations records and sending tax
receipts to donors.

If there are specific small expenditures that you think Noisebridge
should be making, you should do something about it now. There's no
need to wait for detailed information on fixed assets or budgeting. I
think you will find that funding is not the main factor that
determines actionability at Noisebridge.

As far as tracking fixed assets go, that's not something we've done
historically and as you propose it, it would be a very large
undertaking. As I said, I have other bookkeeping priorities right now,
but if you want to start the ball rolling on tracking fixed assets, I
suggest talking to our secretary, Seth, who coordinates our insurance,
as well as some of the members who have been involved in the 501c3
process like Mitch or Jake. You can reach them and others via the
board list which I've cc-ed.


On Sat, Jan 1, 2011 at 20:48, Patrick Keys <citizenkeys at gmail.com> wrote:
> Thank you for your prompt response.  Mainly, my personal concern is that I
> like Noisebridge and I'd like to see expansion.  There's simply no way to
> plan or organize without reliable financials.
> Right now, the limitations of the financials prevent doing anything other
> than paying fundamental bills.  It would be nice to get a real budget in
> place so that Noisebridge can have some discretionary funds. There are all
> sorts of small expenses that could make Noisebridge more enjoyable for
> everybody if we just knew we had the extra money for them.
> Another very important financial matter is accounting for assets. That's the
> purpose of the balance sheet.  Anything at Noisebridge worth $500 or more is
> basically an asset.  Noisebridge has all sorts of tangible valuable fixed
> assets (furniture, expensive electronic equipment, workshop tools, etc.).
>  Those assets absolutely need to be accounted for, with asset tags and a
> spreadsheet of serial numbers for insurance purposes.
> One purpose of tracking assets is being able to show to potential investors
> that all that donated money adds up to something real. Another purpose of
> tracking assets is to attract more of them. Noisebridge only seeks money
> contributions right now.  But Noisebridge could (and should) also be
> attracting donations in the form of additional assets that add value to the
> space (more furniture, more valuable electronic equipment, more valuable
> workshop tools, etc.).
> Patrick
> On 1/1/2011 1:19 PM, Noisebridge Treasurer wrote:
>> Noisebridge currently uses xero.com for bookkeeping. There have been
>> several threads on Noisebridge-discuss over the last few months about
>> our finances and bookkeeping, and I would encourage you to search for
>> any threads that include "treasurer at noisebridge.net" as a sender. The
>> thread about accounting software and bookkeeping systems is entitled
>> "accounting software / websites" if you'd like to search for it
>> specifically. This has come up again recently, and we will be talking
>> about it in a Tuesday meeting soon.
>> Just to give you some background, our previous treasurer did not keep
>> track of expected income or dues non-payment, so I've been
>> implementing that in the xero system since I took over as treasurer in
>> October. We have also contacted all of the members who had stopped
>> paying dues. As this information is incorporated, treasury reports
>> have been getting a bit more detailed. Last week was the first week
>> that I was able to provide a profit&  loss report that reflects
>> accurate income numbers for dues and donations. We're still sorting
>> out a record-keeping protocol for t-shirt sales and beverage income,
>> which I hope will begin to show trends within a month or so.
>> Since the last treasurer didn't keep very detailed books, there's no
>> current protocol for how much reporting is expected. Typically the
>> wiki only includes the bank balance. I plan to make more detailed
>> treasurer's reports in the membership meeting and to be prepared to
>> provide additional detail if requested and just see what people want.
>> If there are specific reports you think we should be paying attention
>> to, I encourage you to bring it up in a meeting. I should be able to
>> provide them.
>> -Kelly
>> On Fri, Dec 31, 2010 at 01:26, Patrick Keys<citizenkeys at gmail.com>  wrote:
>>> to whomever gets mail for treasurer at noisebridge.net:
>>> does noisebridge have a set of official books for bookkeeping purposes?
>>> if not, I have about a decade of bookkeeping experience.  if nothing
>>> else,
>>> noisebridge should at least a balance sheet and an income statement.
>>>  ideally, there should be a complete chart of accounts that includes
>>> accounts receivable and accounts payable.  having complete financials
>>> would
>>> not only let noisebridge budget, but also let noisebridge allocate money
>>> for
>>> improvements and new things.
>>> my point is that i'd like to volunteer spending a day to setup the books
>>> if
>>> there's no set of books.
>>> Patrick

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