Sumber: Financial Control and Accountability Toolkit by Janet Shapiro (CIVICUS)
Financial accountability in a civil society organisation means that:
- Regular financial reports are given to all those who have a right to know what the organisation is doing with its funds.
- The organisation can account for funds by producing documentary proof of receipts and payments.
- The organisation can show that the money is being spent on its aims and for theparticular work it was intended to cover.
- The organisation does not take on financial obligations it cannot meet.
- The organisation has taken all necessary precautions to prevent misuse of funds, and to keep funds and records relating to them safe.
Everyone from at least the level of middle management up, and including members of the governing structures, should understand financial statements and be able to monitor them. Anyone working directly on a project or programme should understand its financial statements.
In terms of the roles and responsibilities of different parties in financial control and accountability, there are some basic principles it is important to follow:
- Control over finances should be divided up so that one person does not have too much control or power over the money. It should be clear who is responsible for each task or area of activity. You must be able to trace mismanagement or abuse to a particular person or people.
- There should be no grey areas in terms of who is responsible for what, and no overlaps that make it possible for one person to blame another and avoid responsibility.
- Decisions about finances should be made at the right level. So, for example, a bookkeeper should not make decisions about non-budgeted expenses. Who makes what decisions should be included as written financial policy, approved by your highest governing body.
- People should have the necessary skills to carry out their roles and responsibilities.
- Everyone from at least the level of middle management up, and including members of the governing structures, should understand financial statements and be able to monitor them. Anyone working directly on a project or programme should understand its financial statements. Train people if necessary. Financial statements should be discussed at governing body and staff meetings.
CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international allianceestablished in 1993 to nurture the foundation, growth and protection of citizen actionthroughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS envisions a worldwide community ofinformed, inspired, committed citizens in confronting the challenges facinghumanity.
These CIVICUS Toolkits have been produced to assist civil society organisationsbuild their capacity and achieve their goals. The topics range from budgeting,strategic planning and dealing with the media, to developing a financial strategy andwriting an effective funding proposal. All are available on-line, in MS-Word and PDFformat at www.civicus.org and on CD-ROM.