The Finance working group has been tasked with documenting its processes and presenting them to the Austin General Assembly. I have naively volunteered to write a rough draft and I thought it best to do so out in the open, on the blog.

It goes without saying that all feedback and input is welcome on the comment thread, but the best way to provide feedback of course, is to get yourself down to the Friday, Nov 4th General Assembly, at Austin City Hall. Here goes…


Occupy Austin Finance Working Group Processes

Version 0.1, November 3rd, 2011


Table of Contents:

  1. Transparency and Accountability
  2. Meetings and Membership
  3. Spending
  4. Reimbursements
  5. Donations
  6. Bookkeeping and Accounting


 Transparency and Accountability.

  1. All monetary transactions must be witnessed by at least two members of the Finance Working Group (FWG)
  2. All monetary transactions must be recorded  and verified by at least two members of the FWG.
  3. All m0netary transactions, and process governing those transactions (this document for example) must be reported to the public via the website. Reports must be made daily.
  4. All FWG meetings must take place at City Hall (or where ever else the Austin Occupation may be taking place). Any Occupy Austin (OA) participant may observe these meetings.
  5. The Austin General Assembly is the ultimate authority on Occupy Austin financial matters. The GA may over-rule the FWG on all matters and must be consulted on all important matters.


Meetings and Membership.

  1.  FWG meetings shall take place at least once per week. Often, however, the FWG must meet several times per week.
  2. In keeping with the principles of the Occupy Movement, any OA participants may attend meetings or join the FWG as members.
  3. Active Participation. Money is a sensitive subject and so active participation by members is extremely important. Only those who think of themselves as active participants should bring forth or vote on proposals.
  4. The FWG is responsible for actively recruiting new members in order to maintain sufficient size for operations.



  1.  Any expense, no matter how small, must be approved by at least two members of the FWG.
  2.  Any expense over $100 must be approved by the Austin General Assembly
  3. Where ever possible, expenses must be paid with checks. If necessary, expenses may be paid with a bank card. Expenses must never be paid with cash.
  4. The FWG must collect a receipt for every expense.
  5. The FWG must store every receipts in a safety deposit box belonging to the current OA credit union account.
  1. In keeping with spending procedures, the FWG may reimburse any person for goods or services purchased that benefit Occupy Austin.
  2. No reimbursement request may be made to the FWG unless accompanied by a receipt.
  3. At least two members of the FWG must approve every reimbursement request.
  4. Reimbursement transactions must be recorded as such, as opposed to direct expenses.
  5. the FWG must pay reimbursements with checks; never with cash.
  6. Disputes. If a reimbursement request is denied by the FWG, the requester has the right to bring his request before the GA.


  1. Monetary donations for Occupy Austin may be c0llected in exactly two places: The Donation Bucket, at City Hall, and the Occupy Austin WePay account.  While any person is free to solicit donations on behalf of OA, no person or organization may collect them, regardless of whether they participate in OA.
  2. In Kind donations, such as food and supplies, are not the purview of the FWG, and may be collected in other places, by other people or organizations.
  3. Donation Bucket
    1. It is the responsibility of the FWG to collect donations on a daily basis from a designated place at the Occupation itself, known as the “Donation Bucket”.
    2. It is also the responsibility of the FWG to make the existence of the Donation Bucket known during the announcements period of the General Assembly.
    3. As of this writing (11/3/2011) that place is the Info Table, at Austin City Hall.
    4. Info table donations must be collected in a lockable box. At least two members of the FWG must have keys to this box. No other person may hold the keys to this box.
    5. The FWG must collect, count, and record the donations from the Donation Bucket each evening.
    6. Each day, the FWG must deposit the contents of the Donation Bucket into the current OA credit union account.
    7. The FWG must create a publish a weekly schedule establishing which FWG member will perform the Donation Bucket responsibilities outlined above.
  4. Online Donations
    1. Online donations are to be collected through the Occupy Austin WePay account.
    2. The FWG must ensure that online donations are transferred to the OA credit union account on a daily basis.

Bookkeeping and Accounting.
  1. The FWG must record all monetary transactions associated with OA
  2. The FWG must record all monetary transactions associated with OA whether or not such transactions abide by the guidelines set forth in this document.
  3. All information recorded by the FWG must be reviewed a FWG member other than the person who recorded it
  4. Google Docs software will be used to do book-keeping.
  5. All bookkeeping  will be reported on a nightly basis to the Occupy Austin website.

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