Accounting and budget projections#

Accounting information#

Accounting information describes the money that we know we have spent or that we highly expect to receive. There are a few kinds of accounting data we have access to:

Accounting summary tables#

We have a Sphinx page that summarizes important accounting information for us. It is generated from the CS&S accounting statements that we get monthly. You can find this website at the following location:

Accounting tables

AirTable data#

We have an AirTable Workspace that is synchronized with several relevant data sources in the CS&S Accounting AirTable Workspace. It includes information about our active contracts and invoices. Below is a link to the AirTable, see AirTable accounts for how to access it.

Accounting AirTable Workspace

Raw accounting statements#

We get monthly accounting reports from our fiscal sponsor, CS&S. These are placed in a shared Google Drive that CS&S controls.

For those with access, you can find the accounting statement folder here:

Financial Statements from CS&S

This is a quick guide to understanding the CS&S accounting statements as explained by their team.

The accounting statements represent realized income and expenses. This means that they represent things that have actually happened, not things that might happen in the future (even if they are written into a contract).

There are two relevant tabs to the accounting statements:

Tab: Account Transactions#

An append-only list of every transaction that has been linked to 2i2c. There are a few relevant columns:

Description

A free-form description of the transaction. Sometimes this contains information about who paid us, or which contract it was linked to. We can use this to infer important metadata about a transaction.

Reference

A unique reference number for the transaction. It will begin with INV- in the case of invoices for services rendered. This can be useful to cross-reference other transactions that might be linked to that invoice (usually, in the Description field).

Debit / Credit

These are Costs like salaries and reimbursement, as well as Revenue like grant income and service invoices.

Account

The type of transaction that occurred. This lets us categorize how we are spending and receiving money. E.g., did we pay for consulting services, did we pay for an online service, did we receive money for contracting, etc.

Grants

All of our income/expenses are tied to a particular grant, which is encoded here. We have a grant option for every active grant (e.g. the Columbia University Pangeo grant).

There is a special persistent category called 2i2c: General. This is a general fund where our contract revenue is placed and spent from. It is essentially “disposable income” with no strings attached.

Tab: Income statement#

The income statement is a summary of our financial situation at a moment in time. It represents realized funds, meaning that future transactions are not represented here. This means that some grant columns will have more realized income than is represented here (for example, when we expect another influx of cash on a multi-year grant).

There are three kinds of columns:

Grant columns

There’s one column for each active grant, that describes the current financial situation on that grant.

2i2c: General

There’s a column for 2i2c’s persistent general fund (2i2c: General).

FSP: 2i2c

The final column has the sum totals across all of the other columns. It is the highest-level summary of our financial situation that we’ve got.

Budget projections#

We have a Google Sheet that can be used to create rough budget projections given some input data about our income and expenses.

Budget projections

Our budget projection model begins with a source of truth about our current and historical costs and revenue, and then projects into the future by making assumptions about these numbers. It allows us to manually specify costs and revenue in the future, if we know that they will happen. It also lets us specify repeating numbers each month, and a percentage growth rate for monthly recurring revenues.

Update our budget projections model#

As we get historical data from our accounting statements, we can overwrite the projections in this model with data from what we actually spend and make. To do this, use the accounting statement table summaries and update our budget projections numbers with the corresponding numbers in a given category.

Generally speaking, cells that are automatically computed are in grey, while those that are hand-edited are not. We treat hand-edited cells as the source of truth.

Here are values to update when we get new monthly accounting data from CS&S.

  • Summary tab: Cash on Hand. Our Cash on Hand is the source of truth for how much money we have each month. In the Summary section of the Summary tab, manually overwrite the automatically computed amount with the actual amount for the latest month.

  • Expenses and income tab: Category actuals. Our expenses tab sums category totals at the top. Overwrite these summary entries with our actual numbers in the accounting table, doing the best you can to map categories between the two.

Common questions and how to answer them#

Here are some common questions and how to answer them with the information above.

How much cash on-hand does 2i2c have?#

  • Look to the bottom-right cell of the Income Statement.

  • This is the Net Income across all of 2i2c’s history with CS&S. This number is the amount of disposable cash on hand.

How much remaining funds should we expect in a grant?#

  • Find the column for that grant in the latest Income Statement.

  • Find the Gross Profit row for that grant.

  • Compare this with the total budget that we submitted for the grant (including our FSP fee).

  • The difference between the two is the amount we expect to receive in the future.

What is our burn rate?#