In this post I want to consider the possibility of using specialized software to manage the reimbursement of expenses. I would like @reef-finance to make a recommendation on this to the plenary.
The Reef does not have a proper accounting system, only a spreadsheet where we record
- The ASBL’s expenses
- The member’s “tabs” (membership fee - what they paid - any outstanding expense that they might have fronted).
This system is super clunky. Imagine someone has paid for something, let’s say a course or the drinks for an event. For now, it works like this:
- They need to scan the receipt, or take a picture of it.
- Then they send it by email.
- I download the file and re-upload it in this folder.
- Next, I create a line corresponding to this expense in the
Invoicestab of this spreadsheet.
- I also create a line in the
Members' Tabstab of the same spreadsheet.
- At this point I pay back the expenses via online banking.
- And add to the line I added in
Members' Tabsthe date if refund.
So, I am looking into Expensify. There are two ways to run it: with many personal and free accounts (free), and with that + one business account (paid).
The main advantage of personal accounts is that Expensify has an app, and that app supports the automatic classification of receipts. You take a picture of it, and the app creates the expenses report. When the report is ready, you send it to The Reef.
The business account, I guess, has the advantage that all the expenses coming through form something like a simplified accounting system, but I’m not really sure.
A clean solution would be to purchase proper accounting software. I like FreeAgent, which has a “Global” version where you can run in EUR. It costs 20 USD per month, and is somewhat overkill for The Reef. Mark recommends spreadsheets, like we are doing now, but I think our current system is clunky and not robust enough.
@Mas proposed a spreadsheet-based system, but it is meant for nano-businesses, so it has a focus on profit and loss, and downplays the balance sheet side of things (assets, liabilities, debts and credits). So, that does not do the job either… what do people think?