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AFTERBURN REPORT 2005

Accounting

Processing payables is a very steady routine around Burning Man headquarters all year long. Somehow, the post-event coding onslaught felt especially difficult after Burning Man 2005. The team hopes to streamline its autumn work by utilizing advance coding through effective processing of purchase orders. Leading up to 2005, the bean counters worked with several departments on a beta process of tracking commitments through purchase orders with some success. A goal for 2006 is to refine the process significantly and roll it out broadly in the organization.

Outside financial audits produced quite favorable results for 2005 – a nice validation of the team’s efforts. And staff handled audits without bringing in temporary help – a very lean operation.

The bean counters extend much gratitude for the Project’s insurance brokers, who care about the goals and who advocate for them with the underwriters. In the present climate, where insurers are less and less willing to insure a risk, not enough can be said to their credit.

Banking! Yes, some do actually get off on this activity. Several good relationships with financial institutions facilitate the interface between the alternate realities of Burning Man with the world-at-large.

Payroll zips along in an impressive manner. The foundation laid in 2004 has proven to be solid. The Burning Man Project’s Human Resources function efficiently handles the upstream process for the cost flow.

The playa accounting operation came together with less need for superhuman, marathon work days in 2005. In contrast, efforts to capture data for centrally sourced materials used on-playa by many departments appeared to go well, but in the end the data did not flow in a useable manner. A need for greater support of resource and material tracking is identified. Plans are underway to actualize that reality in 2006

The budgeting process for the 2005 event year dragged on too long. Planners are working to adjust the budget timeline, making sure that it happens with dazzling efficiency for 2006. The year ended with the ultimate outcome of fiscal health. See the financial report if you really want to geek out on numbers.

Submitted by,
Timothy Foster

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Click here to read the 2004 Accounting/Box Office report.