When Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation launched Secure the Future™ Community Outreach and Education Fund in 1999, it committed itself not just to giving financial support to established institutions. It committed itself to giving support to all those organisations and institutions that were pushing the frontiers and thinking out of the box to find new, effective approaches to tackling the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
In doing this, the Foundation and Secure the Future™ had to acknowledge that some of the innovative ideas were not always to be found in solid, mature organisations that had tried and tested ways of doing business. They can also be found in the heart of communities, in villages that cannot even be easily located on the map, among young people who are still excited by the challenges of being young and in those community formations that have always given themselves selflessly to uplifting their neighbours.
We at Secure the Future™ did not want to exclude these meaningful contributions because of their seeming lack of formal structure and capacity. However, we also needed to balance this with responsible funding.
Achieving this necessary balance lay in one of the objectives of Secure the Future™: “To build capacity of individuals and communities to find solutions that are relevant to their own resourcelimited settings but can be replicable in other similar settings.’’
Accounting policies and procedures manual
1.1 Accounting policy and procedure manual
One of the initial steps of a non-profit organisation (NPOs) should be to establish an accounting policy and procedure manual. An accounting policy and procedure manual documents the policies and procedures an organisation should use to record and monitor financial transactions. Documentation of accounting policies and procedures is important because it provides clarity regarding internal processes. In addition, it can be helpful to newcomers of a NPO while improving their financial management skills. Its purpose is to help NPOs:
- Record all financial transactions
- Monitor and control expenditures
- Satisfy statutory reporting requirements
- Ensure timely and accurate financial and management reporting to donors and grant-makers
In general, this manual should outline the areas covered in the following section (1.2). An effort has been made to simplify these procedures to make it easier for you to develop your own accounting policies and procedures maunual. As your organisation grows in terms of level of activity and number of donors, it will be necessary to update your procedure manual accordingly.
1.2 Overview of procedures available
This Pocket Guide contains the following policies and procedures which should be part of your organisation’s procedures manual:
|Summary of Procedures|
|Cash Management and Disbursements|
|Budgeting and Budgetary Control|
|Procurement of Goods and Services|
|Computer Information Systems (CIS)|
2.1 Accounting convention
The accounts of the grant recipient should be prepared under the historical cost convention. The day-to-day transactions should be recorded at the monetary value of the goods or services or fair market value of the donated services.
Income represents grants from donor, members’ subscriptions and interest received from bank deposits and on investments. Grants, cash donations and interest received from bank deposits and investments are recognised as income in the period in which they are received.
Expenditure represents expenses incurred directly for programme activities.These are recognised when payments are made (ie, when cheque or cash is disbursed or paid).
No provision is made for taxation payable as it is expected that the grant recipient will be properly registered, and therefore, be exempted from any taxation.
2.5 Currency of account
The accounts of the grant recipient should be created to reflect the budget line items of the approved programme budget. In addition, the accounts should be recorded in the currency of the grant or as agreed by the grant-maker. For example, Bristol-Myers Squibb Foundation makes grant payments in the currency of the donor’s recorded contract (ie, the currency of the country where the grant will be carried out).
2.6 Main office/local offices
Where the grant recipient has multiple projects or field offices as part of one grant, local bank accounts should be introduced. The main office should bear overall responsibility for distribution of funds to local offices or projects. The transfer of funds to the local office should be made according to the programme budget, project milestones and should be sufficient to meet the project requirements. This is necessary to avoid large amounts of currency in local office bank accounts. The main office should monitor and ensure proper expenditure accountability by the local office. In addition, the main office should also consolidate expenses incurred at the local office level for reporting purposes.
In this article not only explains or presents the accounting policies and procedures manual, but there are many more other contents, and it is also contained in the annex above the sample form. To see the contents, can be seen as follows:
- Policy & Procedures Manual
- Accounting Policies
- Summary of Procedures
- General Ledger
- Cash Management and Disbursements
- Budgeting and Budgetary Control
- Fixed Assets
- Procurement of Goods and Services
- Reporting Requirements
- Branch Accounting
- Corporate Governance
- Computer Information Systems (CIS)
- Appendix 1 – List of Examples of Forms
- Appendix 2 – Glossary of Terms