Changeset - 256bd6bfcc02
[Not reviewed]
0 1 0
Brett Smith (brett) - 6 years ago 2016-08-31 15:45:10
Better explain the functionality line between first and later releases.
1 file changed with 7 insertions and 4 deletions:
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@@ -92,99 +92,102 @@ Bookkeepers can log into the system and see all requests.

When bookkeepers review a Submitted report, they can change the report's
state, and include a note explaining why the report was moved to that state
(e.g., moved back to In Progress because a specific receipt was insufficient
documentation).  When they do this, the system sends email to the requestor
letting them know about the change, including the rationale provided by the

The bookkeeper can export any request to the books.  The first release of the
software will simply provide an archive that includes all of the request's
supporting documentation, plus a `.ledger` file with entries for each
expense.  However, note that when building this feature in the code and UI,
it should be relatively generic.  Exporting should remain abstract enough
that integration with other accounting systems remains simple and
straightforward.  Note that even the mechanics could be different; for
example, an SQLedger exporter may add entries to the system directly, rather
than providing the bookkeeper with a file download.

## Requirements potentially for first release

These are features that we would like the system to have, and it may make
sense to make them requirements of the first release depending on how it's

* CiviCRM integration: Many NPOs are already using CiviCRM.  CiviCRM
  integration would provide a familiar interface to users, and simplify
  system administration for the organization.  It may be possible to build
  the system as a CiviCRM extension.  If so, we would get this feature for
* Usable without JavaScript: For consistent mission advocacy, it's important
  that some organizations not require requestor to use JavaScript.  (e.g., Tor
  browsers typically have JavaScript disabled because it can undermine Tor's
  anonymity guarantees.)  It should be possible to submit payment
  requests without JavaScript.  The interface can be enhanced when JavaScript
  is available.
  Whether or not we do this in the first release probably depends on what
  framework we decide to build on.  If the framework itself requires
  JavaScript out of the box, it may make sense to have the first release go
  with the flow, then work to add JavaScript-free functionality in a later
  In any case, Javascript used will respect software freedom of users and, *if
  possible*, will adhere to LibreJS protocols.

## Requirements for later releases

These are features that we would ultimately like the system to have, but we
know aren't possible for the first version given time allotted for its
development.  It's good to keep them in mind when architecting, but also to
know that they've been considered and aren't immediately possible.
These are features that we would ultimately like the system to have.  We
would also like to release a first version as early as possible, to start
getting feedback from users and generating more development interest.  It's
good to keep these in mind when architecting—in particular, we may choose an
existing system to use, or framework to build on, based on its ability to
support these features.  However, they needn't be a focus of development
effort for the first release.

* Allow optional questions: With this, question conditions probably need to
be extended to address the case of "other question isn't answered"

* Additional exporters:
  * Export to SQLedger
  * [Certainly many more, feel free to add them here]

* Richer lifecycle management
  * Support requests for pre-approval, probably with two states
    "Pre-Approval In Progress" and "Pre-Approval Submitted."  In the
    Pre-Approval state, the requestor is submitting not receipts or
    invoices, but documents regarding potential expenses that have not yet
    been incurred, but for which organization policies require preapproval
    by organizational management ahead of time.  The appropriate management
    representatives are duly notified by the system of pending Pre-Approval
    requests, and their approval moves the request into the In Progress
    state.  Their rejection moves the request to the Rejected sate.

  * A leader may need to approve a request before
    it's added to the books, like an employee's manager or a program director

* Various currency improvements:
   * Automatic currency conversion for validation (e.g., validate that an amount
     in an aribtrary currency is within a limit in USD)

   * Validate currency amounts from outside data sources: The main case for
     this is per diem, where many organizations use rates that are determined
     by another party (e.g., US GSA) and updated periodically.

   * Handle totaling the request based on currency (e.g., expenses can are in
     USD, EUR, CHR but the traveler may want payment in INR.)  Unclear what
     interface for this would look like, but real-time data about past
     currency rates might be available via an API somewhere, and we can use
     that to have the requestor give us "preferred currency for payment" so
     all changes happen in real time in the interface (even allowing the
     requestor to be able to decide *while filling out the report*: "ugh,
     these exchange rates to INR are horrible; I'll have them pay my USD
     account instead").
* Data import: Apps like [Tricky Tripper](
  let users track expenses for a trip as they go.  The system could import
  this data to prepopulate answers to questions about the request and
  expenses in it.  Probably there would be an import API that can map
  different import formats to a common format, and then administrators can
  define how questions in their system can be answered based on imported
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