This page is for planning out the DebConf budgeting processes, and coming up with procedures for improving it. Despite the name, the page is itended to deal with long-term money management and payments, not just budgeting.
- Since debconf uses other debian accounts all over the place, keeping track of actual expenses is more difficult. It contributes to all the DebConf money merging with Debian money after each year,
- DebConf should look to integrating with whatever accounting system Debian may have set up. Or should we set up our own?
- What level of control do we want?
- Per-conference budgeting: net impact on Debian budget?
- Year to year tracking of exact cash amounts per-account (considering interest and things like that?)?
- Areas to work on:
- Tracking money year-to-year and figuring out what account(s) it is in
- Tracking actual payments on-site
- Improving in-advance budgeting.
- We *need* someone to track what we need to be paid and chasing it all down. Examples: attendee payments, promised sponsorship, . People say they will pay things but there's no one checking to make sure it happens. I think one person dedicated to keeping money records would be useful.
- Separate shell organizations for each year (provided that they are easy to make) have various advantages:
- Shield Debian/organizers from liability
- Prevent Debian in general from being liable for DebConf debts
- Prevent other SPI/FFIS member organizations from being liable for DebConf debts.
- Requiring a DebConf's books to be closed and surplus returned to Debian has a useful side effect: requires that all accounts be settled and numbers known in a determinate time frame. But with enough
- Separate accounting for DC and D means there is less flexibility
- Sometimes DebConf wants money not just in the shell organization in the country, but for example SPI can easily send payments to Mexico for t-shirts.
- In some countries it is not desired|feasible to close an account and transfer the money to Debian in another country - is this debconf's or debian's job to track?
- We might want different arrangements in the conference period for different categories of money: e.g. money spent on the conference facilities vs. money used to reimburse attendees' trave expenses.
 Current status
 Software in the Public Interest
- Debian's main legal presence, USA based.
- DebConf falls under the Debian umbrella here. DebConf funds are kept in Debian accounts.
- Based in Germany
- Debconf FIXME is/isn't FIXME a member project separate from Debian.
- Separate tallies for DebConf9/DebConf10/Debian
 DebConf 7 Ltd. (UK)
- Was used as a legal protection for DebConf7: protected the organisers/Debian/SPI (and thus other SPI projects, not just Debian) from potential liabilities if something went wrong. In some countries, such as the UK or US, it's very easy to set up a limited company like this.
- No longer exists.
 Debian UK society
- Has been used to transfer money to/from the UK -- details?
- DC10 sponsors-table lists some UK money as having gone to Debian UK
- Budget still lists DC8 surplus as existing in Argentina,
not sure where this is though.
- Remaining DC8 surplus has been used to offset the DC10 travel reimbursement for Argentinians (i.e. there is no surplus anymore) Schultmc 14:19, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
- Possibly still DebConf money in Brazil, used for travel sponsorship there, due to difficulty of taking money back out
 Fully separate accounts
- Where possible, DC and D maintain separate accounts
- This is in name only, since DC is a D team, the money is really D money. It's just that since DC has a far higher budget than all of the rest of D combined, this is a useful accounting system.
 Separate accounts only for the DebConf cycle
- If expenses come up before the separate accounting system for DC-N is set up, then they'll be paid from D money and this history needs documenting.
- We get explicit "from debian" and "to debian" at the start/end of each cycle
 Same physical accounts as debian, but specific DebConf accounting setup
- requires keeping multiple sets of books (debconf + the legal organization's books, whoever receives money needs to update two things)
- accounting setup can be kept from year to year
- to debian/from debian transfers are easy. Can use debian as a buffer to borrow in one country and spend in another.
 Proposal A
- 2011: look at past budgets and figure out the current DebConf/Debian equity (how much net surplus or deficit DebConf has had over the years).
- At the start of a DebConf cycle, Debian and DebConf decide on the surplus from previous years. Debian allocates this surplus to DebConf. The transfer will probably be just a virtual thing without any real money transfer. It is specified how much is allocated from SPI/FFIS as the surplus. The equity DebConf is taking is announced on debian-project and debconf-team.
- DebConf goes on, keeping records of what is spent from each account.
- If money needs to be transferred, it can either be a real transfer, or DebConf can negotiate with Debian to exchange some number of USD at SPI for some number of EUR at FFIS.
- After DebConf, all accounts are settled as rapidly as possible. The longest lasting account payable is travel sponsorship. We require that travel sponsorship reimbursement forms are turned in within two (or one?) months so that there is a time limit on closing the books.
- All surplus money is released back to Debian, and the new equity is announced on debian-project and debconf-team. Travel sponsorship money is returned to FFIS/SPI/etc in a bulk payment with a list of payees and left to SPI/FFIS to reimburse. Thus, the surpluses are returned to each organization as two amounts: Money for travel reimbursements and DebConf surplus. This allows DebConf books to be closed before all travel reimbursement is deposited to attendees, since that sometimes takes a while.
- It is the DebConf teams's job to make sure budgets are closed and DebConf equity is returned to Debian. However, knowing how people are tired after DebConf, the DPL is expected to prod the DebConf team to get this done quickly.
- SPI/FFIS handle travel reimbursements. If attendees don't claim the money from SPI/FFIS, it's either donated to Debian or added to DebConf equity.
- Any unexpected expenses after DebConfN's books are closed are paid through DebConf's equity, if needed, or else the books can be adjusted.
- A running total of DebConf equity is kept somewhere public. It could be this wiki since it's the least forgettable place we have.