Talk:Expenses 2012-2013

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Thank you for putting together this page.Would it be possible to get a column added showing what budget each expense came out of? it is not always clear if something is an administration expense or if it can be directly attributed to a programme. Thanks. --Tango (talk) 16:49, 26 September 2012 (UTC)

Not for some time I think. That's a lot of work, which Richard won't be able to do at the moment. Johnbod (talk) 03:49, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
It is a little concerning that the charity's accounts aren't set up in such a way as to make running off these kinds of reports easy. --Tango (talk) 11:06, 27 September 2012 (UTC)
I've not yet had time to design the report to run off ;-) Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 14:37, 1 October 2012 (UTC)
Can I repeat my request of a few months ago? I believe the accounts are in better shape now, so hopefully it is possible to add that budget column. --Tango (talk) 12:25, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Updated figures for 2012/13

Any problems or questions, let me know! Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 17:53, 28 February 2013 (UTC)

I'm just wondering about the total figure for JD's expenses. These were intended to be all his expenses since he was employed in 2011, and yet his expenses as a full time employee are ¼ of mine as a volunteer trustee. I'm not sure that makes sense. As an example, didn't Jon go to some conferences, like the one in Berlin and the one in Washington? Thanks -- (talk) 23:31, 28 February 2013 (UTC)
What you see up at present is the bulk of the costs from some of the larger budgets. I haven't gone through the smaller budgets, like the staff travel budget, yet, but I intend to - but checking the entire general ledger is a lot of work, as I need to sort them, remove the irrelevant ones (and modify some to be understandable), add them to an Excel sheet, and then change the entire sheet into a series of wikitables. These will be all the expenses for the 2012-13 Financial Year, as the records for 2011 aren't good enough to pull all of the expenses from without considerable expenditure of staff time. This shouldn't be too much of a problem I hope. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 11:07, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Okay, just to make sure nobody misreads what these tables represent, it would make sense to qualify the figures, either by saying what period they are valid for, or to say in what way they are provisional information. Thanks -- (talk) 11:30, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
The period is already clarified ("This is a list of expenses incurred by staff and trustees during the financial year from 2012-13"). I've changed the last sentence to clarify that they are provisional. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 17:03, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Wikimania per diems

Can someone explain how the Wikimania per diems worked? A lot of meals were provided by the conference (all lunches were and several dinners). I can't remember if breakfast was included in the ho(s)tel rates or not, but if it wasn't then presumably it was added to the bill and paid directly by the chapter. So what were people spending their own money on that required reimbursing them up to £330? --Tango (talk) 12:28, 1 March 2013 (UTC)

Breakfast was not included, I think that would have been fifteen dollars a day extra in my hotel, which was one of the standard recommended ones from the Wikimania organizers. I used my per diem to go to the local supermarket and stock up on diabetic-friendly food (which the breakfast in the hotel certainly was not), travel around Washington and to/from the Airport, local meals out, I recall a buffet laid on at a closing event (most of which I could not eat) and the rather nice buffet laid on at the National Archives (which I could eat), meals while travelling and a bit of cash for sundry things like coffee, snacks, tips, connection charges, the US pseudo visa thing (that was $10 I think), defray the costs of getting a new passport (mine did not have the required extra 6 months on it) and away from home items (like shaving foam which I can't take in my luggage) etc. Had I put receipts in for (some of) this, I have no doubt it would be less money than I was paid in per diems and I would probably not have bothered claiming or keeping receipts for it all and would be well out of pocket. The charity tends to balance a generous rate against the cost in staff and volunteer time in administering lots of receipts; however I do think that the current per diem rates, and those that were paid at Wikimania, are higher than they need to be. We might consider a survey of volunteers that claim per diems to see if the charity is being over-generous even if we compare favourably to other organizations in this regard (we have done a bit of benchmarking on it).
Looking at the table, my payment was £225. I guess others must have claimed for the NY GLAM meetup thing, in addition to the full week of Wikimania. Thanks -- (talk) 12:56, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Wikimania's per diems worked in line with the per diem policy - £30 for a full day and night, £20 for a full day, £15 for a part day. I don't believe breakfast was included at the hostel or the hotel, although internet was included at the hotel. The per diems covered travel in DC, food in the evenings and mornings, and also covered those who went to Wiki Takes Manhattan in NYC. I think one or two of the trustees then flew on at their own expense to San Francisco to meet the WMF, and we would have paid per diems for that (as they paid for the flight), but you'd have to ask the trustees themselves. Richard Symonds (WMUK) (talk) 17:00, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I think I was the only trustee that went on to SF afterwards, with the flight in-country covered by my university (since I spent a few weeks in LA for work). I did then claim some expenses for a week in SF, since I ended up doing so much Wikimedia stuff while there (it was a crunch time around the period where Fæ stood down as chair) - but that was hotel costs rather than the per diem.
If I recall correctly, the Wikimania per diems were what sparked off a past conversation about rescaling them to take into account meals that were covered at the event. This has led to the revision of Finance_Policy#24._Incidental_expenses_-_per_diems - see point 2 of that section. Thanks. Mike Peel (talk) 17:09, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
Thank you all for the explanations. It does sound like there has been some over-reimbursement going on (I certainly didn't spend £30 a day while I was there). While per diems are much more convenient than receipts for everything, they don't change the fact that the Articles only allow Trustees to be reimbursed for actual costs incurred (there is less of an issue with staff). I can't offer a legal opinion on that, but I expect per diems are only acceptable if the rates can be well justified. It's good that the finance policy has been updated to make it clearer that the per diem isn't automatic in situations where it isn't appropriate - it's important that that policy be quite strictly enforced. (Personally, I would rather Trustees hand in a big pile of receipts at the end of a trip - it's inconvenient, but means everything is beyond reproach.) --Tango (talk) 18:15, 1 March 2013 (UTC)
I agree it is a potential issue, and one of the reasons I successfully pushed for the Trustees to stop claiming per diems for the board meetings last year, even though in practice we all tend to under-claim. It is an area I would be happy to see the board follow our new treasure's expert opinion on. -- (talk) 18:54, 1 March 2013 (UTC)