What are the actions of the Finance team?
These are all the activities that the Finance team has undertaken in Q4 2011.It is presently not possible to post the Excel file to the forums. The file is available to view here:
You will need to download it to view it in Excel. For some reason there is a problem with the Google conversionInitial:
Set up relationship for virtual banking with NPJC - advantages include tax-deductible donations, sales tax exemption, and coverage under permit to solicit donations. Without this we would not have been able to collect money at plaza, or would have had to file for an exemption. Achieved consensus at GA.
With tech team, set up electronic donations via WePay.Weekly:
Noting proposals approved at GA and communicating them to NPJC for funds to be provided.
Transferring funds from NPJC to plaza or working groups.
Collecting receipts from working groups and periodically counting their cash on hand to tally petty cash. Note that plaza has been provided with two petty cash books and has never been able to keep one up to date. Instead Finance team matched receipts and cash on hand directly to the spreadsheet. In 2012 Finance team has started carrying their own petty cash book and noting the receipts and asking people to initial the page when they receipts are provided.
Scanning receipts before providing them to NPJC to have our own record for reference.
Financial spreadsheet - receiving report from NPJC, updating our report with contributions and expenses, updating petty cash with receipts, checking that totals match.
Weekly announcement at GA of the total in the fund.
PO Box regularly emptied, checks deposited and other mail / packages provided to plaza. During 2011 this was managed by Logistics. In 2012 it is being done by Finance.Approx every two months:
Thank you letter and report sent by mail to check donors (addresses taken from check images) and email to new WePay donors.
Collected names of people for future newsletters.
Report also posted to website and on notice board at plaza.As required:
Provided donation boxes, labeling and signage at plaza.
Provided petty cash box, advised on secure storage, separate containers and ownership per working group.
Defined process for collecting donations from plaza and depositing them. Dual custody (two locks), ideally daily / minimum weekly deposit frequency.
Description of financial practices written and posted to website.
NPJC sales tax exemption letter - working groups were asked to identify preferred suppliers so that we could deposit letters on file. Copies of letter were provided as required.
A Kroger card was obtained and provided to Logistics so that 4% of our food expenditures would be donated back to NPJC.
Contact with BlinkerLite for portable toilets and the donor who is paying for them.
Templates for receipts for donations and donations in kind checked for legal acceptability and provided to Logistics for use at plaza. Note that plaza has never been able to keep receipt templates available on hand. Receipts issued on request to approx 4 donors.
Pre-addressed, stamped envelopes provided to plaza for mailing checks after Logistics requested to not replace donation box.
Mailed incorrectly made out checks back to donors with letter of explanation and apology and stamped, addressed envelope for return of correct check.
Donor policy - Conducted member survey to obtain feedback for a donor policy. Obtain consensus on donor policy from GA. Today only unions and private donors are covered : donations from commercial and other entities are treated case-by-case.
Earmarking policy - this was tabled at GA but might need revisiting. Should donors be able to earmark funds for certain projects? This is a standard practice for responsible donors, to avoid their contributions being used for frivolous purposes.
Investigated requirements for donations versus sales of t-shirts in alignment with legal requirements for tex-deductible receipts and sales tax exemption.
Investigated requirements for obtaining own bank account.
Investigated alternatives to cash: e.g. gift cards, pre-paid Visa cards, Visa buxx : concluded with Logistics that these alternatives brought disadvantages in flexibility and not much protection from theft or misuse.
Investigated requirements for tracking lobbying expenditures.
Requested NPJC to move banking from First Tennessee to Cornerstone Credit Union. This has now been approved by NPJC board.
Interviews with NPR and Tennessean.
Provided financial process details to other Occupies.