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have an accountant help us set up our books #350
Reticketed from #308.
Bringing over from #390 (comment):
This was referenced
Jan 28, 2016
The escrow shouldn't be on the income statement, it should get its own column/report: gratipay/finances#8.
The fee buffer also shouldn't be on the income statement: gratipay/finances#9.
It's fine to roll our own accounting system based on Ledger and GitHub. The U.S. Government certifies the accounting systems of its contractors, and it has certified spreadsheet-based systems before. GitHub's change management through commit history and PR commenting and workflow is "audit-friendly." "As long as it balances," we're fine. In addition to the balance sheet and income statement, the other reports we're likely to need are cash flow, account detail, and eventually aging reports.
We should always include an amount in the line items in our dat files; we shouldn't depend on ledger's implicit balancing of transactions. "Otherwise this is a good ledger."
Retained earnings (or accumulated deficit, for a loss) is for past years' activity. We should be posting income and expenses against
CPAs provide three services related to books:
Wilke provides an estimate but bills hourly. Audits run 2-3x the time/cost of a review. To perform a review/audit, they need the balance sheet/income statement, and source data (it's okay that we don't have source data for Samurai because the amounts were small—"not material"). We can schedule a review/audit anytime during the year. Tax season is obviously busiest, easier to schedule other times of year. Driven by the demands of those requiring the reporting (regulated entities may have 90 or 120 days after close of year).
We adopted a policy for when to allow editing files; README update in gratipay/finances#11.
The $1.50 payout could've been a loan from Chad to Gratipay if it had been repaid immediately. Since it wasn't, an owner investment is fine.
In general, @kaguillera and I had the impression that Peter was pleased with what he saw. "This is an excellent month-closing process," he said of our PR approach. "[T]his is a good ledger," of our dat files. "These annotations here [referring to comments in the dat file] will be valuable not only for outside auditors, but for you internally when you go back and look at this a year from now." "What I like about GitHub is that it gives you a nice audit trail, something that QuickBooks only recently added."