The important role of the charity finance function

A new report examines how placing the finance function front and centre in organisational strategy can help get the charity sector back on track after recent batterings.

Civil Society News coverage is headed ‘A non-profit finance officer is a lonely job’ and starts with the observation that not enough focus is placed on the finance department in not-for-profit organisations, and not enough business support exists for them. The news item includes other key findings, such as “The minimisation of the finance function … ultimately reduces the organisation’s ability to fulfil its social mission”.

A Charity Finance Group article ‘Charities need to do the walk, not just the talk and invest in financial leadership’ says that

“The report isn’t too long, and I’d encourage every finance professional in the sector to read it and share it with colleagues. Although many of the points made aren’t new, we need to keep repeating them at all levels if we are going to see change.”

Other senior charity staff and trustees may perhaps just stick with reading the news itemCFG article.

‘State of the Non-Profit Finance Function’ is a joint production of Responsible Finance (previously CDFA) and accountancy body ACCA. They have identified a number of factors that will help charities to develop a robust and embedded finance function:

“Above all, proactive, internal cultural change towards prioritising finance and using it to make informed management decisions that are based on financial planning is core to this.

“Secondly, industry bodies can also offer support, through strengthening knowledge-sharing networks and training opportunities. And finally funders and government, driving much of the environmental change for the non-profit sector, could simplify their requirements to enable non-profit organisations to operate more efficiently.”

See ACCA news release or an opinion piece by ACCA’s chief executive ‘Saving Britain’s charities: The role of the finance function‘.

Direct download link to ‘State of the Non-Profit Finance Function‘ (pdf, 1.4MB).