Finance Management (continued)
My second remediation suggestion would be the complete overhaul of the account and finance unit at the NBA National Secretariat with proper definition of the unit’s role and the engagement/retention of qualified, experienced, well-motivated and skilled accountants to man the unit.
This would potentially remedy the KPMG Report’s findings to the effect that “the existing finance function is rudimentary and not fully developed to support the Association effectively” and that “key finance activities have not been properly defined, and finance staff do not have a full appreciation of their role”. It would also potentially remedy the further KPMG Report’s findings that “the annual reports of the NBA do not bear adequate qualitative information about the operations of the Association”.
I believe that the finance unit of the Association should be headed by a qualified, adequately skilled, properly-motivated and experienced Chartered Accountant who would work with other full-time, qualified, knowledgeable and equally motivated Accountants to rejig and elevate the standards and work-output of the unit. The head of the unit and his team, given their expertise in finance and accounting, should be the ones primarily responsible for the preparation of the NBA’s financial statements and reports and indeed must be held accountable, amongst other assignments, for the Association’s financial reporting, including the quality, adequacy and accuracy of the information therein contained. These dedicated and motivated personnel would constitute the corps of the elected NBA officers’ financial advisers and managers and would, through the elected officers, make quarterly and annual financial reports to the Association.
The third remediation step would be the institution of internal control system and processes – according to the KPMG Report, this is totally lacking in our NBA National Secretariat. The essence of internal control systems and processes is to prevent leakages and fraud and to bullet-proof the organization against identified risks. These controls and processes include identifying approving authorities and their respective approval limits, putting in place established procurement and payment processes and maintaining relevant and up-to-date books of account and asset register. In carrying out this exercise, to wit, the setting up of internal control systems and processes, it would be helpful if the NBA can engage an external accounting firm of note and experience to work with our in-house personnel at the National Secretariat in that regard. The experience, knowledge and skill of such an external partner would add great value to the exercise and ensure that the Association institutionalizes best practices in its internal control systems and processes.
The fourth remediation step that I recommend is the constitution of a standing Finance and Audit Committee of the Association with oversight functions in line with good corporate governance practice. Some of our members are trained and skilled in finance and accounting and they should be sought out and made members of this Committee.