Finances/Treasurer's Report for the December 2017 AGM


Treasurer's report for the December 2017 AGM

Please also consult:

2016 Business Year

All figures are rounded.

In 2016, we received £8,200 from individual memberships and £30,000 from corporate memberships. We had regular donations of £9,000 and in addition to that received £77,000 in donations from a server donation drive.

Our total income in 2016, without SOTM, was £124,000.

Our main expenditure in 2016 was for legal fees (£14,000), server operations (£12,000), insurance (£5,600), bank charges (£4,500), accountancy (£4,400), freelance administrative help (£3,900), travel and accommodation for board meetings (£3,200). We have written off or deprecated £48,000 in computer equipment - this is not money we actually spent, but it represents our servers losing value. The figure is higher than in previous years because we made a couple of value corrections. We have also written off £1,000 in bad debts - a corporate membership payment that was due from last year but never paid.

The high amount of legal fees is due to the LWG pursuing a number of trademark registrations, and is in keeping with the 2016 budget. The insurance figure is less than what was quoted in my "2016 preview" last year because a mistake was corrected by the insurance.

Our total expenses, without SOTM, were £92,000, leaving us a surplus of £32,000 in the books for 2016.

The State of the Map conference in Brussels in 2016 has spent £72,000, but earned £35,000 in ticket sales and £58,000 in sponsorships, resulting in an additional surplus of £21,000, or £17,000 after taxes. This number is a little lower than quoted in my "2016 preview" last year becasue a forgotten venue invoice was received in spring 2017. While State of the Map is not a separate legal entity, we are trying to keep this surplus "earmarked" for SotM purposes.

Our current assets - that's money either in our bank account or due to arrive there soon - have increased by £75,500 (from £117,500 to £193,000) over the course of 2016. This increase is larger than the surpluses mentioned above because the computer equipment depreciation isn't really money we are losing. We have invested £36,000 in hardware in 2016 (note that this money is not part of the "total expenses" figure listed above because buying servers isn't an expenditure, it's an investment) and we have written off the aforementioned £48,000, hence our fixed assets - computers - have decreased in value from £54,800 to £42,800.

2017 Business Year

The 2017 business year is not yet complete, and a full report will be published in April 2018. The data below is for the months January through October, and preliminary.

We have not run a funding drive in 2017.

The 2017 State of the Map in Aizu-Wakamatsu has spent £55,000 (half on scholarships, half on the rest of the conference), and earned £20,000 in ticket sales and £49,000 in sponsorships, likely yielding a £11,000 surplus after taxes. Our books show only £37,000 of sponshorship income and only £43,000 of expenses because some income and expense has been handled directly by the local team.

Income from individual membership in the first 10 months was £9,000, and corporate membership brought in £55,000.

In the first ten months, we had regular donations of £17,000, and one large £19,000 server donation that we'll be blogging about separately.

On the expense side, in the first ten months of 2017, we've spent £11,000 on hosting, £7,400 on freelance administrative help, £3,800 on legal fees, £3,300 on accounting, £2,200 on insurance, and £4,300 on an in-person board meeting in Amsterdam.

We've also spent roughly £40,000 on hardware in the first ten months.

Outlook and Remarks

We haven't run a donation drive this year but are planning to do that again in 2018. This year is likely going to end with "technical surplus" of around £40,000 but we'll also have invested about the same mount in hardware, so that our bank balance will only look slightly rosier than at the beginning of the year.

We are meanwhile holding over 75% of our current assets in the Euro currency and we regularly invoice corporate members in Euros. This isolates us from the rather unstable Pound Sterling. We are still legally required to do our financial reporting in GBP though, and this leads to a relatively large "fuzz factor" - the 2016 figures list £5,300 in exchange rate gains. This isn't really money we earn; we might send someone a corporate membership invoice for EUR 1,500 and put that in the books as £1,200, but when they pay one month later, the EUR 1,500 they give us are already worth £1,300 or so. This can occasionally also happen the other way round.

Over half of our current assets are with PayPal and not in the bank account which is something we're working to rectify; it has proven difficult to move Euros from PayPal to an UK Euro bank account without incurring a transfer fee.

Our current tax accountant is retiring at the end of the year and we have already signed a new contract and arranged for the handover. This will also mean switching from the "SAGE" bookkeeping system to more modern "Xero". I have unsuccessfully tried to get our finances audited by a volunteer auditor from the community, and the main reason for this was that it was difficult for outsiders to work with SAGE. The new "Xero" system will make it easier to access our books through a web interface and I'll re-start the volunteer auditor process for 2018.

The budget for 2018 has not yet been set up.