call for nominations - treasurer

Geocaching Australia governance issues
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ideology
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call for nominations - treasurer

Post by ideology » 05 February 08 2:42 pm

thanks for all your votes on funding a dedicated server. http://forum.geocaching.com.au/viewtopic.php?t=9826
it looks like there will be enough to fund a new dedicated server (albeit a bit lower power than we had hoped. we'll see how it pans out)

we are trying to think through the next step and work out how the donations could flow into the server. we figure it would be great if someone could be treasurer. they would receive the money, provide some kind of acknowledgement, aggregate the donations and pay for the server.

our thoughts are:
  • they would be a well-respected member of the website
  • they share the overall goals of the gca website
  • they would be able to do it whether or not an association is formed (this is because we need to get load off our server fast, whereas the association is not facing the same time constraints)
  • they would be open to a loose audit to make sure they are not running off with your money
in return we can promise you all the fun, excitement, back massages, fine dining and overseas travel of being part of the gca team! if you are lucky, team piggy will bake you a cake! if you're unlucky, he'll bake you two!

please:
  • PM us if you are interested
  • if you have any comments about the role of treasurer, please post them here
  • please keep comments to the role of treasurer. for example if you want to talk about payment methods, please post it in a different thread

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 05 February 08 9:54 pm

As mentioned in an earlier thread, my only concern would be as long as the taxman didn't consider all these deposits as "income" that should have been tax declared. I guess a fairly simple way around it if you were ever audited would be to have a totally separate bank account that was only used for that (which makes sense anyway). Then all incoming amounts are noted whether it be by bank deposit, paypal or whatever. And outgoings are only going to the server fund.

This could also be a low cost internet only account where you never need to visit the branch (as long as it doesn't attract fees if people prefer to lob in to their local branch and deposit cash). Depending on how the overseas server companies need payment of course.

The other concern is that if the Treasurer is responsible personally for a direct debit each month and the funds aren't there due to lack of donations, do they then become personally liable for it and any fees incurred?

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Post by The Spindoctors » 05 February 08 10:29 pm

Do we have a tax expert among us? If not, should someone contact one? I think we need a clear ruling on this. Don't want to second guess and land someone in the 'you know what'.

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Post by Cached » 05 February 08 10:36 pm

You don't need to be incorporated to open a bank account in the name of an association. The Assoc. can be called "Funding GCA Website" if you want!

Somebody write a letter, somebody sign it and the treasurer takes it to the bank and opens the account.

Is not in personal name.

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Post by Cached » 05 February 08 10:38 pm

Spindoc Bob wrote:Do we have a tax expert among us? If not, should someone contact one? I think we need a clear ruling on this. Don't want to second guess and land someone in the 'you know what'.


Gayle from the Wackys is an accountant/tax agent. She'd be amenable to contact.

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Jardry
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Post by Jardry » 06 February 08 7:08 am

Cached wrote:You don't need to be incorporated to open a bank account in the name of an association. The Assoc. can be called "Funding GCA Website" if you want!

Somebody write a letter, somebody sign it and the treasurer takes it to the bank and opens the account.

Is not in personal name.



Cached,

Whomever opens the account would still need to be 100 point identified. Likewise any "group" account usually requires two signatories to operate on an account. This may be difficult to achieve if it is an on-line account only.

From personal experience at my work, we use bank generated tokens which are valid for only a short period of time to create an on-line , transaction, a second signatory then does the same thing to authorise the transaction. No way can one person enter and authorise a payment.

Richary wrote:The other concern is that if the Treasurer is responsible personally for a direct debit each month and the funds aren't there due to lack of donations, do they then become personally liable for it and any fees incurred?


This is my major concern, someone out of the goodness of their heart agreeing to assist and for some reason it all falls pear shape and that person is left holding the can! As that person contracted for the service they will then have to continue making payment out of their own pocket.

As previously stated any informal association is fraught with danger. I'd rather a little short-term pain for the long-term gain. If this means reducing services for a short time to get the association model up and running so be it.

As some others advocating an association model have stated it only takes a few weeks provided your constitution is correct. The hardest thing to do is call a meeting at which the constitution is accepted and office bearers are elected. These office bearers can then proceed to lodge formal application for the association and commence to open an account.

If the entity which owns the domain (geocaching.com.au) were to create a PayPal account to receive funds (in their name) and they then donated funds (to the value of the deposits made to the PayPal account) to establish the association and transfer the domain name to the association, GCA members can commence donating and all things progressing well within a month the association will be incorporated and up and running.

The association could then create a new PayPal account to continue receiving donations and membership fees.

My background is 20 years employment as a Finance Officer.

Regards



Jardry

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listmaker
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Post by listmaker » 06 February 08 8:57 am

We've been involved in various community/sporting groups over the years, and each has held its accounts in the name of the incorporated association.

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Post by Team Falling Numerals » 06 February 08 9:11 am

From a tax perspective...

the mutuality principle would shield the incoming funds and disbursements from taxation Unfortunately the mutuality principle tends to rely on clear definitions of who is to contibute and who is to benefit and these definitions are generally contained in the constitution of a club or society.

From a prudence point of view - a incorporated association would be the best way to go to protect the office holders involved here. Note that incorporated associations are state based...ie not nationally based.

I know that there are a lot or people here are opposed to anything formal because that where the politics and nonsense starts but IMO its the only way to move forwards.

Background: 23 years of working in Chartered Accounting, taxation and business development is my field of expertise and I have been involved in sporting clubs and administration for many years.

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Post by Pesky! » 06 February 08 10:23 am

aren't all these postings in the wrong thread?

I thought this was a call for volunteers not a semantics discussion.

I was going to throw my hat in the ring, until i realised that all the discussions and threads here are a great example of how the vocal section of this community are so enthusiatic about posting and discussing but not taking action.
a perfect example of how a collective would end up , beit official or ad hoc.

at this stage i would happily transfer my "donation" ammount to someone if they could just stop the talk and get on with it.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 06 February 08 11:17 pm

Yes it was a call for volunteers (and I have in a PM). But the original post also said

> # if you have any comments about the role of treasurer, please post them here

I think the concerns over tax and liability definitely relate to the role of treasurer. Especially an unofficial one for a non existent association. As a legal incorporated association office bearers have some protection from bankruptcy etc. If it is someone doing it privately out of the goodness of their heart and the funds don't show up, that could be a problem.

ideology - do you have any comments about the payment methods the overseas server mob will require? Credit card debit or a bank transfer?

My background? Being treasurer for an incorporated club a number of years ago.

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Post by ideology » 08 February 08 3:56 am

thanks everyone
we have had three people interested in helping out as treasurer, which is great!
we take your comments seriously and don't want them to inherit a poisoned chalice and tak

our reticence towards an association is due to
  • the timeframe and hassle of getting it set up correctly - we're not talking about the paperwork, we're talking about getting agreement about its objectives, etc.
  • the motivation of the developers - they put in a helluva lot of time to keep the site running and we need to make sure that whatever is set up will motivate them to do more!


we are currently jet-lagged in san francisco so will have a think this during the day

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Post by Cheesy pigs » 08 February 08 9:44 am

The Tasmanian 'Branch' of Geocaching is already incorporated, and has a bank account. Would you like us to help?

Oh yes, and we can solicit donations, or fundraise for you too. I dont think anyone wants GCA to go belly-up.

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Post by Papa Bear_Left » 08 February 08 11:03 am

Cheesy pigs wrote:The Tasmanian 'Branch' of Geocaching is already incorporated, and has a bank account. Would you like us to help?

Oh yes, and we can solicit donations, or fundraise for you too. I dont think anyone wants GCA to go belly-up.

This does seem like the most sensible interim solution to me...
No tax issues and no risks of a person getting hit by a bus with our money in their personal account.

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Post by Jardry » 08 February 08 2:10 pm

Papa Bear_Left wrote:This does seem like the most sensible interim solution to me...
No tax issues and no risks of a person getting hit by a bus with our money in their personal account.


Agreed.

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Richary
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Post by Richary » 08 February 08 9:36 pm

ideology wrote:currently jet-lagged in san francisco so will have a think this during the day
<p>As long as it isn't a GCA funded trip to invesitgate servers :twisted: :D :twisted: <p>
cheesy pigs wrote:The Tasmanian 'Branch' of Geocaching is already incorporated, and has a bank account. Would you like us to help?
<p>Now that seems an eminently sensible short term solution. Excellent offer.

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