Differences between revisions 1 and 2
Revision 1 as of 2019-10-17 12:15:00
Size: 7821
Editor: ?Chiamaka Osumgba
Comment: migrated accounting
Revision 2 as of 2019-10-17 14:04:13
Size: 7847
Editor: ?Chiamaka Osumgba
Comment: updated the past ledger links for DC19 and DC18 as found on salsa
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 * DC11: http://anonscm.debian.org/viewvc/debconf-data/dc11/ledger-dc11?view=markup
 * DC12: http://anonscm.debian.org/viewvc/debconf-data/dc12/ledger-dc12?view=markup
 * DC19: https://salsa.debian.org/debconf-team/public/data/dc19/blob/master/budget/budget.ledger
 * DC18: https://salsa.debian.org/debconf-team/public/data/dc18/blob/master/budget/budget.ledger


Accounting is an important aspect of the DebConf, it deals with tracking expenses and income, past and future. Its knowledge could be used to produce bugget reports (?Budgeting page), but that is usually done before accounting comes into play. The accounting team is not yet involved in authorization or actual money movement, though we can probably help you figure out how to do that.

Past/current ledgers can be found here:

Current balances are at http://debconf-data.alioth.debian.org/stats/accounting-balances.txt .

Reimbursement forms: [http://www.ffis.de/Verein/Reimbursement.ps FFIS (international)], [http://www.ffis.de/Verein/Erstattungen.ps FFIS (german account)], [http://www.ffis.de/Verein/erstattung.php FFIS (interactive)], [http://www.spi-inc.org/treasurer/SPI_reimbursement_request.pdf SPI]

When any money moves, it needs to be updated in our ledger! For things directly from bank accounts, we can follow up with the bank's records, but for other things (most on-site things), we need you to mail us at mailto:accounting@debconf.org.

For each transaction, what we need to know is:

  • Date
  • Description / what it's for
  • Amount and currency
  • Who it is from and who it is to. (example: to: the ISP. from: my bank account)

Examples of things to send us:

  • You bought something and need to be reimbursed.
  • An invoice is paid.
  • Someone is paying debconf in cash on-site.
  • Any other cash transactions.
  • Money is transferred overseas.
  • We are using your bank account to transfer money, and you got a deposit, you spent something, and so on.
  • Anything involving money!
  • Anything in the past involving money that we don't know about.


  • Since DebConf is so chaotic, we use a pragmatic approach: make the best budget possible (usually some spreadsheet in debconf-data), but realize this will be out of date and inaccurate in the end.

    • budget.ods in debconf-data lists predictions of expenses, before the conference.

    • budget.ods has only estimated total expenses in it.

    • ledger-dcNN` and ledger-dcNN-onsite (if we have a separate onside ledger) are the ledgers. This records actual money movement by transaction (links above).

    • These are in apt-cache show ledger format.

    • After the conference, ledger-dc11 should be our actual conference budget. Practically speaking, by this time budget.ods will probably be out of date.
    • ledger-dc11 is *public*, in debconf-data. As such, the transaction descriptions there should not include sponsor or attendee names. This may make tracking a little bit harder, but richard considers the transparency worth the extra effort. The sponsor and attendee details are in two spreadsheets listed below.

    Are we using cash or accrual accounting? Basically, cash. For example, attendee payments are not considered income until they hit our banks - since many professional registrants just register accidentally and never intend to pay. Similarly, other expenses are considered when money actually moves, not when it is authorized, since this is DebConf and we can't plan that far in advance. Some things, like sponsor income, in some years, is tracked in an accrual kind of way (assets:receivable:sponsor). Other fixed, non-adjustable things (mainly reimbursements) can be listed as such when they are known, instead of when money moves. Mixing systems may not be ideal, but this is what realistically works for DebConf.

You can find current balances at http://debconf-data.alioth.debian.org/stats/accounting-balances.txt . incomes is (negative) incomes so far. expenses is expenses so far. Current account balances should be in assets

How it works

This section isn't important except if you want to join the accounting team.

The ledger is a double-entry general ledger. It can be examined with the ledger program (in Debian) or hledger program (not in Debian yet). These programs can generate all types of useful reports, and are scripted to do so at the links above. The ledger manual, in particular, is a good introduction to double-entry accounting. ledger-dcNN is designed to be public. If you want to add something to it, here are sample entries:

  2011/03/19 Name tags
      expenses:misc        $+150
      assets:spi           $-150

  2011/03/19 SPI->FFIS transfer
      assets:spi            -$1000
      assets:ffis              790 EUR
      expenses:exchangefee    $10

hledger add provides a nice tab-completing interface to appending new transactions. Note that euros are "EUR", not "€", due to a unicode bug in some vty library.

The attendee payments and sponsor payments are kept as sub-accounts in spreadsheets. This allows the ledger itself to be public. Occasionally, the income:attendee and income:sponsors accounts are updated in the ledger from the spreadsheets.

The assets: accounts list current assets. SPI, FFIS, and ISIC balances (as seen online) should match the ledger balances at all times. Run a "ledger bal" command after any update involving these and make sure that it matches the amount in the bank view.

Anything dealing with attendee-payments, travel sponsorship, or sponsors should also be recorded in the spreadsheets in debconf-team. The spreadsheets should include names, dates that match with here, and total balances should always reconcile. Run "ledger bal" after updating these and make sure the ledger matches the total balances in the respective "actual amounts" (as opposed to future) columns of the respective spreadsheets.

If someone is due a reimbursement, record it in liabilities:<nickname>.

receivable: can be used to record money due us. Attendee payments are generally *not* worth putting under receivable, since they are too fluid. Half the expected paying attendees will happen not come/not pay, and we don't want to have to be keeping things that crazy up to date in the ledger.

Ledger can take comments starting with ";". Liberally use them in any weird cases (again, no private info) so that someone else reading can figure out what is going on.

This section will be updated with more information as procedures are developed.

List of accounts

Historical accounts ledgers have used. Try to use these when possible, ore ones in analogy to them depending on the specific conference.

  1. income:sponsor - sponsors, should always match sponsors.ods
  2. income:attendee:prof - attendee payments, this and below should always match attendees.ods
  3. income:attendee:corp
  4. income:donation - donations from attendees or other non-"sponsors"
  5. expenses:videoteam
  6. expenses:videoteam:shipping
  7. expenses:travel - attendee travel, should always match travel.ods
  8. expenses:food
  9. expenses:accommodation
  10. expenses:conf - general conference expenses (e.g. name tags)
  11. expenses:venue - venue and venue furnishings, etc.
  12. assets:spi - our actual current bank account balances.
  13. assets:ffis
  14. assets:debian-uk
  15. assets:receivable:{<nickname>|sponsor} - money due us, *if* it is firm.

  16. equity:debconf* - surpluses rolled over from debconf to debconf
  17. equity:debian:{spi|ffis} - amounts taken from / returned to Debian (in which organization).
  18. liabilities:<nickname> - money due someone.


message-id: 20120709202746.GW2857@finlandia.home.infodrom.org talks about FFIS reimbursement process