Make SPI book keeping more transparent?

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho antti-juhani at
Thu Jun 18 06:19:37 UTC 2015

On Wed, Jun 17, 2015 at 11:52:55PM -0400, Peter Eisentraut wrote:
> This idea of having auditors from among the membership might be a
> European tradition.  I have seen it in several associations there.  But
> it's usually for smaller associations that don't use professional
> bookkeeping or publish continuous accounts, as a way for the general
> membership to validate the work of the executive committee.

An association under Finnish law is required to submit continuously to either
professional auditing or lay auditing (the latter not available to big
associations).  This is unrelated to whether the association handles books
through voluntary labor or buys professional accounting services.

The purpose of the audit is to verify that the association's executive committee
follows both the law and the association's bylaws; the auditor has unlimited
access to everything the association does and to all of its records (even those
that are normally kept secret from the membership).  I have myself served as a
lay auditor for several small and mid-size associations over many years.

But then again, an association under Finnish law would always have at least two
governing bodies: a general assembly (or a council of deputies in case of a
very large association, selected by a general assembly or by postal election
among the membership) which lays down general principles, approves the budget,
receives the yearly audit report (and based on that decides whether to absolve
the executive of civil liability to the association for past actions), and
elects the executive committee; and then the executive committee which oversees
the administration of the association.

It was, quite frankly, a shock to learn how SPI was set up when I first joined
back in the previous millennium.  It has gotten better since.
I am not going to propose any changes at this time.  (Frankly, I haven't yet
decided whether to resign or not, since I no longer am a DD.)

Antti-Juhani Kaijanaho

More information about the Spi-general mailing list