[bisq-network/proposals] Proposal for a new Comptroller role (#340)

pazza notifications at github.com
Sun Aug 22 22:28:57 CEST 2021

> _This is a Bisq Network proposal. Please familiarize yourself with the [submission and review process](https://bisq.wiki/Proposals)._

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## Proposal for a new Comptroller role


- [Running the numbers on Bisq DAO revenues](https://github.com/bisq-network/bisq/discussions/5171)
- [Summary – Bisq DAO](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MxajknrXxZvJ4MKMhtaVhXfkb6TlaINTbqmryCbCUbw/edit)

**Related projects:**

- [Add semi-automated DAO reporting to website](https://github.com/bisq-network/growth/issues/245)

## Problem

It is currently difficult for Bisq contributors and stakeholders to know is Bisq is profitable or making a loss on a month to month, or annual basis. In my opinion this is largely a result of no one having a role with any sort of accounting function within Bisq. In July 2021 Bisq's trading volume was $4.6 million (USD equivalent). Most organizations' with this sort of trade volume with have at least some account function. Bisq does not.

A few relevant quotes from the recent [Summary – Bisq DAO](https://docs.google.com/document/d/1MxajknrXxZvJ4MKMhtaVhXfkb6TlaINTbqmryCbCUbw/edit) complied following discussions with 15 contributors are: 

> no clear understanding of current financial position eg. clear picture of basic P&L, how much was issued for each cycle, tendencies, etc.

> accounting role to keep track of P&L, projections, budgeting, etc.

> more financial people eventually when the project grows

> It may prove itself not profitable enough to fund enough contributors, especially the high caliber ones (JAVA/Bitcoin developers). Monero (XMR), Bisq’s main source of revenue may continue to leave Bisq if other protocols make its swap with BTC easier/cheaper.

> being more profit-oriented would allow bisq to grow much faster, and would be incentive to access more talents

> accounting/record-keeping for the DAO: improve on it and show people how they are doing

These are a few snippets relevant to the above proposal. Please see the report itself for full context. 

In addition to the above there was also a discussion on [Running the numbers on Bisq DAO revenues](https://github.com/bisq-network/bisq/discussions/5171). I think there was generally consensus that providing more accounts information would be of benefit.

In my opinion problems with not having account information accessible to contributors and stakeholder brings the following issues:

- Difficult to know what progress is or is not being made
- Difficult to make decisions on budgets and what resources are available
- More risk of overspending
- Morale issues can be caused by not knowing if the work being done is having an impact to the success of Bisq 
- Difficult to make future plans that take financials into consideration
- Difficult to make real time decisions, can Bisq afford to take on a new contributors, or dedicate resources to a specific projects.
- No accounts means any audit would be more difficult and their would be less to validate

I think it is important to acknowledge that as a DAO, that pays contributors for their contributions in BSQ, Bisq is insulated to a certain extent from what is usually the most critical accounts measure, cash flow. That being said however, it is still important for the continued and future success of Bisq that various accounting metrics are measured and taken into account when making decisions by the DAO.  

Likewise it is important to remember that Bisq's profit and loss is not represented the same way that  it would be with a traditional organization instead it is a measure of whether BSQ is inflationary (running at a loss) or deflationary (running at a profit).

## Objective 

Bisq contributors and stakeholders to be able to easily access quick monthly reports that give a snapshot as to how Bisq is performing in terms of profit / loss ie, is Bisq earning more in trade fees that it is spending (both in terms of USD and BTC).

This would have a positive impact on making it:

- Easier to ascertain progress
- Easier to make real-time decisions on budgets and what resources are available
- Be better able to see the impact of work done to the success of Bisq
- Easier to use as starting point for any future audit (to validate financials)

## Solution

To achieve the objective I would propose a new Comptroller role.

Initially I see this role as being kept as simple as possible to report monthly on the following: 

|   | USD | BTC |
| ------------- | ------------- | ------------- |
| Trade volume July 2021  | $X  | X BTC  |
| BSQ trade revenue fees  | $X  | X BTC |
| BTC trade revenue fees | $X | X BTC |
| Net Profit (Loss)  | $X  | X BTC |

Percentage of fees paid in BSQ was: XX.XX%

A monthly report similar to the following would also be provided:

- [Bisq - Profit & Loss - July 2021](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1EMwuKiFxP5QreN9eNUiX5Ub7ssukGcJ4FytuAXHCDgM/edit#gid=1863760054)

This information would be reported on at the start of every month, reporting on the previous month, within a roles report that would also be referenced in any compensation request.

A annual report similar to the following would also be provided at the start of each fiscal year to report on the previous fiscal year:

- [Bisq - Balance Sheet -  Fiscal Year 20/21](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1hpq01cjSFAkockRYLTCiLiPOYezlyxrqgfExKyrzeFM/edit?usp=sharing)
- [Bisq - Profit & Loss - Fiscal Year 20/21](https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1b6OkJmZwuxOit-x0zKBzag4VsfH2NPwUDOxFU0j9DWk/edit#gid=255820709)

I would also include a summary of observations alongside the report such as: https://github.com/bisq-network/bisq/discussions/5171#discussioncomment-971061

## Compensation

If the above information could be automated in some way to be added to something like https://github.com/bisq-network/growth/issues/245 that would be preferable. 

If the role cannot be automated, or until it can be, I would be happy to complete the role for $75 USD per monthly report and $150 USD for an annual report.  Due to the reports being monthly this might result in some cycles where no compensation is requested.

If consensus for this role is reached I would be happy to start immediately.

As this role is not vital to Bisq operations, nor would any special permissions would be required, I do not see a need for a bond for this role.

## Limitations

It is important to note also what lies outside the scope of this role:

- Auditing would not be included. Doing the last 2 reports makes me think an auditing role would be important. This would involve validating trade volume, trade fees etc.  The comptroller role would not be validating the data, it would be utilizing the data from what is provided in the Bisq app. I also think the comptroller and auditor roles should be separated and completed by separate contributors.  

- The comptroller role would be confided to accounting for Bisq's financial resources, but not for allocating them. As per @cbeams comment:

> Basically, the comptroller would not have decision making power about where funds go. Only about how we think about, account for and report on them (which is a lot!). That's what I like about the connotations around the "comptroller" versus "finance director"—the former really means "head of accounting", not more. Budget decision making is currently the domain of team leads (and ultimately DAO stakeholders through voting) and we can leave that status quo for now. The comptroller role can greatly help in this decision making process by feeding higher-quality data into it, but I think the comptroller should not have any direct power over the budget.

- Reporting would be limited to the areas defined above. It might well be that the role could be expanded in time, and this would be great. But for now I want to keep it simple and just get something started that provides information of value to stakeholders and contributors.  

- My background is not in accounting or finance. I would be happy to take on this role to get it off the ground, but I would also be equally as happy to pass it over to someone with more expertise that can grow and evolve it.

## Summary

I think having a role that provides Bisq contributors and stakeholders is important and needed.  If anyone has any comments or suggestions please share them.

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