Re: [Wikimedia-l] Accounting software for thematic orgs

2015-02-15 Thread Pine W
Hi Treasurers and other finance people,

I realize that we had this discussion some months ago about accounting
software. I just wanted to follow up by letting you know that Cascadia
decided to go with Xero as we start. Your advice was helpful and I greatly
appreciate it.

I hope to meet many of you at the Wikimedia Conference in Germany this year.

Regards,

Pine
(now Executive Director for Cascadia Wikimedians User Group)
On Aug 20, 2014 4:12 AM, Richard Symonds richard.symo...@wikimedia.org.uk
wrote:

 Hi Pine,

 I started off doing the accounts at WMUK several years ago and looked at a
 fair few different systems, including open source.

 Initially we used Gnucash, I believe, but because no-one else used it -
 including our auditors - it was not very useful when we needed to create
 year end accounts. I also considered CiviCRM after viewing a talk from the
 Swedish chapter in 2012. However, the talk was not encouraging - CiviCRM
 needs a *lot *of work to be useable as an accounting system. I would not
 therefore recommend Gnucash or CiviCRM or any other open source system: you
 will find it almost impossible to find an accountant who uses them, and
 also almost impossible to find a CiviCRM developer who is also an
 accountant! Your auditors will not know how to use the data and will not
 have the programs to access it, so in the end you will have to pay extra
 for the free software.

 In short: open source programs are good for small charity accounts, but the
 moment you start hiring staff (of any sort), or have fixed assets or
 non-cash donations, the system does not scale and as a result you will
 incur large overheads trying to get it to work. You might run into a
 problem with CiviCRM if you need to generate invoices for a conference you
 run in three or four years time - will your system be able to handle it, or
 will you need to upgrade everything at much greater cost?

 We also looked at Quickbooks, Sage, and a few others. In the end, we picked
 Sage - not because it was cheap, or because it was ethical - but because it
 is the UK standard and practically all UK accountants know how to use it.
 It has a huge support network, and it is scalable from a self-employed
 person up to an organisation with many thousands of employees. Sage is not
 used much in the USA though, so Quickbooks may be a better idea for you.

 My advice to you would be:

- Plan for the future - ten year's time. Your solution needs to be
scalable with little fuss.
- Use something that has a proven track record - don't got for anything
like a startup, because you need it supported in future and you can't
 take
the risk.
- Cloud-based is good, but the Treasurer really needs to understand
what's happening - things should go through him where possible.
- Don't be afraid to spend money if money needs to be spent.
- Don't be afraid to ask the WMF directly for their advice. They know
their stuff and it'd be good if your accounts were run on a similar
 system
to theirs - cheaper in the long run, and you've got someone to turn to
 if
it all breaks.

 I hope this helps! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any more
 specific questions.





 Richard Symonds
 Wikimedia UK
 0207 065 0992

 Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
 Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
 Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
 United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
 movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
 operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

 *Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
 over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*


 On 20 August 2014 10:57, Manuel Schneider manuel.schnei...@wikimedia.ch
 wrote:

  Hi Pine,
 
  you may want to evaluate CiviCRM.
  It is not perfect but supports accounting (rather than just recording
  donations as before) about a year.
  The advantage of CiviCRM is the fact that it integrates membership
  management, mailings, donors management and that it can be used
  centrally by all the committee members.
 
  The setup and customization is not so easy with CiviCRM but there are
  plenty of people in the movement who gathered some experience with that.
 
  /Manuel
 
  --
  Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
  Lausanne, +41 (21) 34066-22 - www.wikimedia.ch
 
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Accounting software for thematic orgs

2014-08-20 Thread Craig Franklin
Hi Pine,

When I was treasurer of WMAU we invested in Xero (mentioned in that
article).  Our primary motivators were allowing all the committee members
to be able to examine the books or enter receipts at any time, as most of
us were separated by hundreds of kilometres.  It worked very well for us,
and chopped away a lot of the overhead and risk of maintaining everything
on our private Wiki and in Excel spreadsheets and the like.

Cheers,
Craig Franklin




On 20 August 2014 14:54, Pine W wiki.p...@gmail.com wrote:

 Hi all,

 There are online small business accounting software packages. Do any
 thematic orgs have experience with them? Any recommendations? I am thinking
 about proposing Quickbooks Online for the Cascadia user group, but as this
 Forbes article says, there are competitors:

 http://www.forbes.com/sites/quickerbettertech/2014/01/06/why-your-company-may-dump-quickbooks-this-year/

 Thanks,

 Pine
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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Accounting software for thematic orgs

2014-08-20 Thread Manuel Schneider
Hi Pine,

you may want to evaluate CiviCRM.
It is not perfect but supports accounting (rather than just recording
donations as before) about a year.
The advantage of CiviCRM is the fact that it integrates membership
management, mailings, donors management and that it can be used
centrally by all the committee members.

The setup and customization is not so easy with CiviCRM but there are
plenty of people in the movement who gathered some experience with that.

/Manuel

-- 
Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
Lausanne, +41 (21) 34066-22 - www.wikimedia.ch

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Re: [Wikimedia-l] Accounting software for thematic orgs

2014-08-20 Thread Richard Symonds
Hi Pine,

I started off doing the accounts at WMUK several years ago and looked at a
fair few different systems, including open source.

Initially we used Gnucash, I believe, but because no-one else used it -
including our auditors - it was not very useful when we needed to create
year end accounts. I also considered CiviCRM after viewing a talk from the
Swedish chapter in 2012. However, the talk was not encouraging - CiviCRM
needs a *lot *of work to be useable as an accounting system. I would not
therefore recommend Gnucash or CiviCRM or any other open source system: you
will find it almost impossible to find an accountant who uses them, and
also almost impossible to find a CiviCRM developer who is also an
accountant! Your auditors will not know how to use the data and will not
have the programs to access it, so in the end you will have to pay extra
for the free software.

In short: open source programs are good for small charity accounts, but the
moment you start hiring staff (of any sort), or have fixed assets or
non-cash donations, the system does not scale and as a result you will
incur large overheads trying to get it to work. You might run into a
problem with CiviCRM if you need to generate invoices for a conference you
run in three or four years time - will your system be able to handle it, or
will you need to upgrade everything at much greater cost?

We also looked at Quickbooks, Sage, and a few others. In the end, we picked
Sage - not because it was cheap, or because it was ethical - but because it
is the UK standard and practically all UK accountants know how to use it.
It has a huge support network, and it is scalable from a self-employed
person up to an organisation with many thousands of employees. Sage is not
used much in the USA though, so Quickbooks may be a better idea for you.

My advice to you would be:

   - Plan for the future - ten year's time. Your solution needs to be
   scalable with little fuss.
   - Use something that has a proven track record - don't got for anything
   like a startup, because you need it supported in future and you can't take
   the risk.
   - Cloud-based is good, but the Treasurer really needs to understand
   what's happening - things should go through him where possible.
   - Don't be afraid to spend money if money needs to be spent.
   - Don't be afraid to ask the WMF directly for their advice. They know
   their stuff and it'd be good if your accounts were run on a similar system
   to theirs - cheaper in the long run, and you've got someone to turn to if
   it all breaks.

I hope this helps! Feel free to drop me an email if you have any more
specific questions.





Richard Symonds
Wikimedia UK
0207 065 0992

Wikimedia UK is a Company Limited by Guarantee registered in England and
Wales, Registered No. 6741827. Registered Charity No.1144513. Registered
Office 4th Floor, Development House, 56-64 Leonard Street, London EC2A 4LT.
United Kingdom. Wikimedia UK is the UK chapter of a global Wikimedia
movement. The Wikimedia projects are run by the Wikimedia Foundation (who
operate Wikipedia, amongst other projects).

*Wikimedia UK is an independent non-profit charity with no legal control
over Wikipedia nor responsibility for its contents.*


On 20 August 2014 10:57, Manuel Schneider manuel.schnei...@wikimedia.ch
wrote:

 Hi Pine,

 you may want to evaluate CiviCRM.
 It is not perfect but supports accounting (rather than just recording
 donations as before) about a year.
 The advantage of CiviCRM is the fact that it integrates membership
 management, mailings, donors management and that it can be used
 centrally by all the committee members.

 The setup and customization is not so easy with CiviCRM but there are
 plenty of people in the movement who gathered some experience with that.

 /Manuel

 --
 Wikimedia CH - Verein zur Förderung Freien Wissens
 Lausanne, +41 (21) 34066-22 - www.wikimedia.ch

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