Finance departments within Charities and International NGO’s are exposed to an assortment of challenges which affect their finance function and business processes on a day to day basis. To help provide insight into some of these challenges, their impact and ways to overcome them, PS Financials invited over 60 organisations to a seminar in London.
PS Financials partnered with industry experts from organisations including; Chartered Institute of Public Finance and Accountancy (CIPFA), First Capital Cashflow and Gorta – Self Help Africa. Each expert speaker focused on a particular challenge currently faced within the Charity sector.
The first subject placed under the microscope was SORP 2015 and the requirements of FRS102 and FRSSE. Sarah Sheen, Technical Manager from CIPFA shared her thoughts on the current financial reporting standards and how organisations can implement processes and policies to guarantee that reports submitted are to the required standards. A lot of technical information was shared, including practical advice and guidance on the steps organisations should be taking now to ensure they are compliant in time for the deadline.
A second session from CIPFA presented by Rachael Tiffen, Head of the Counter Fraud Centre unravelled the harsh facts about fraud within the sector. Rachael also provided the audience with suggestions and measures to help protect and safeguard them from the threat of any fraudulent activity in the future.
Paul Simpson from First Capital Cashflow, rounded off the first part of the seminar by talking about the problems many charities run into when trying to collect donations through direct debits, whilst an obvious solution a recent survey showed that 91% of UK charities didn’t use direct debit’s. He went onto introduce FCC’s myDonation platform as a potential solution for collecting those valuable donations.
The second part of the morning shifted the focus to systems, in particular Financial Management System and the need to have an effective, flexible and robust system to underpin an organisation. PS Financials’ Sales and Marketing Director David Singh shared his thoughts and views on why it is necessary for the modern finance department to transform from a support function to a value added part of the organisation and the role software has to play in that.
The seminar was concluded by a real life case study from Gorta – Self Help Africa.
Alison Cowan, Head of Finance at Gorta – Self Help Africa spoke to the audience about the issues and challenges they faced with their processes and systems and how they put in place a programme to bring about effective change, which included the implementation of PS Financials. She finished off by saying, “over a period of time finance has transformed from being the organisations most underachieving department to the most successful”.
Discussing the success of the event, David Singh had the following to say, “The aim for the day was to inform and highlight the financial system and business process challenges organisations in the sector face and to discuss solutions. It was an open forum for the attendees to share experiences and take away information on potential solutions from experts in the field. I believe we’ve had a successful morning, there was a good amount of questions during the sessions and it was good to see people networking during the break and lunch, early feedback has been great and I look forward to hosting more of these seminars in the near future”.
Here’s what few of the attendees had to say about the seminar:
“Good varied subjects, all relevant and helpful backed up by a useful summary of the PSF product and a helpful case study”. Financial Management Consultant (leading advice bureau)
“Thank you for the seminar, it was great to learn a lot of information about financial systems & business process”. Finance Officer (NGO specialising in disabilities)
“Well organised and very helpful”. Accountant (global animal’s charity)
“I have gained a lot of insight and knowledge, which will be very helpful”. Financial Controller (housing charity)
PS Financials organise events similar to this throughout the year, they are free to attend and open to everyone, to keep up to date on upcoming events, visit PSF Events.