Finances/Notes on the 2014 business year

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When the OSM Foundation was created, its financial year started on the 1st of September. Therefore every profit and loss table and every balance sheet would always cover the period from 1st September in one year to 31st August in the next year.

While this is totally ok financially, it is difficult for many people to follow; when we said "the OSMF has spent this much on hardware in 2013" what we really meant was "in the 2013 business year which started on 1st September 2012 and ended on 31st August 2013".

This was especially strange with our State of the Map conference, which even though it happened once a year, could sometimes fall into the same business year as the previous year's conference or vice versa, so that there were business years with two conferences and business years with none. This makes it very hard to compare one year's figures to those of another year.

We therefore decided to extend the 2014 business year to run for 16 months instead of 12, ending not on the 31st August but on the 31st December 2014, and from then on, our business years will be full calendar years.