Accountability management

Transparency and accountability
in ethics and governance


Being accountable means standing by decisions, actions, and the overall well-being of projects. It means being responsible for what we do and being able to give a satisfactory reason for it.  Accountability is an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility and to account for one’s actions. Accountability also means setting the standard for sustainability and is  a requirement for reaching impact.

HR&S Accountability management strategy

For partners
Accountability management is one of our ActionAreas and we offer training & coaching on the HR&S Accountability management strategy to our RISE members and partners. This strategy aims to demonstrate leadership and performance in accountability, responsibility, and sustainability, and targets both ethics and governance and both financial and operations management. It shall increase our performances through empowering; social impact, sustainable economy, scientific research, innovation and social enterprising, growth, stakeholder engagement, and transparent reporting of data.

HR&S focuses on delivering practical and enduring results that enable our partners to succeed, we share knowledge and put recommendations into practice, we continually seek new and better ways to serve our partners and to anticipate their future needs. We encourage our teams to create, innovate, and launch new skills, tools, and ways of working and we invest our firm’s resources in new thinking.


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Trust is crucial and concerns all relationships.  A relationship without trust is not really a relationship at all. When we trust someone, we have less stress in our lives. Trust is essential to our success in both business and personal relationships. Also, a business built on trust has a competitive advantage, because trust is actually rare. When trust is low, efficiency goes down and cost goes up. When trust is high, efficiency increases and cost declines.

How HR&S builds trust towards our customers

  1. Clear and consistent communication.
  2. Under-promising and over-delivering.
  3. Face challenges heads on. If there is a problem, we say so.
  4. Total honesty.
  5. Avoiding those we cannot trust.
    Dishonest clients for example may try to make us will give them more work than they pay for. Just as we need to be trustworthy, we shall remove bad clients immediately to make room for good ones.
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HR&S claims that if we had accountability world-wide we would also not have poverty, and this is the reason why HR&S activities always target accountability. Through lessons learned and informed decisions have we developed a tool-box.

  1. Team-building and joint financial responsibility for the ActionInvest capital among RISE members, combined with accounting training and financial auditing.
  2. RISE members provide direct coaching and training to RISE member’s customers.
  3. Signing agreements with employers so that loans and interests are withdrawn directly form their salaries.


In the accountability management business there are a number of different of parameters to pay attention to; simultaneously and real-time. To achieve this we have develop step by step structures that are easy to follow and easy to measure. We offer seminars, workshops, webinars and coaching.

These are mandatory products & services offered to HR&S partners by HR&S Sweden and our local RISE Support Centres. We target continuous communication about this with our partners and we encourage our partners to offer accountability management output or outcome.  We are like, ” okay, let’s sit down and discuss this”  and encourage the use of specific numbers, like “show numbers” instead of general statements.

Our Accountability management strategy has several layers:

  1. Motivation & Awareness.
  2. Training & Knowledge sharing.
  3. Support & Control.
  4. Consequences of lack of accountability.
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1. Motivation & Awareness

Awareness raising of the benefits with trust and accountability, developing a startegy for change, building trust, team-building, branding, public relations, training and coaching on accounting and business management, evaluation planning & Evidence based impact assessment surveys.

Evaluation planning & Evidence based impact assessment surveys.

  1. Agree on and implement activities and milestones.
  2. Agree on and implement measurable indicators.
  3. Agree on and implement how to collect, compile and analyse monitoring data, when and by whom.
  4. Agree on and implement how to generate and share reports, when and by whom.


  1. Awareness raising workshops:  Clearly projecting the importance of accountability to any institution. Every HR&S partner has to commit to accountability right from the start.
  2. Develop and implemented a strategy for change that ensures; social impact, sustainable economy, transparency and accountability.
  3. Branding and Public relations. Community awarenes of the social good with our interventions.

2. Training & Knowledge sharing

Social business management
for potential RISE members

Potential RISE members undergo a training and in parallel a screening process composed of a mini-course, an exam, a workshop, a loan-taker agreement and a coaching agreement negotiation.

Trainees pay euro 10 for the Mini-course as well as for the workshop. The income does not balance the cost, but it can be assumed that the trainee may not be able to afford more and the price may even be lowered for some trainees, if needed. The fee itself serves as a filter, and only those who are actually interested in the training shall attend. As the low fee does not cover the costs, another source of income is also required, while also keeping the business value of the brand.

The training concerns how to plan for and run a social enterprise benefitting from the HR&S Practical Strategy ROPE.
It addresses motivation, social enterprising, the Strategy for Change strategy, the business model canvas and equal international partnership.
The mini course starts with an introduction at the HR&S RISE Centre in a target country, continues with five one hour on-line seminars from HR&S  Sweden and ends with an exam at the same RISE Centre.  Participants from outside the target country can attend also the introduction and exam through an on-line link. Trainee passing the exam receive a certificate.

Trainees with business ideas and HR&S Mini-course certificates are welcome to attend an HR&S RISE Business workshop.
The workshop takes place at the RISE Centre with HR&S Sweden being on site or on-line.
The entrepreneur´s own business plan will be thoroughly scrutinized.
If it can be agreed that the business plan combines social good with a profitable business plan, then the entrepreneur can seek a loan.

Loan-taker & coaching agreement
The third step before starting the loan-taker scheme  includes negotiating and signing a coaching and a  loan-taker agreement.

Accountability management programme
for RISE members

RISE Members attend workshops on developing an accountability management programme tailored to fit their own business situation and context.

3. Support & Control

Inner control with management meetings and board of trusteee, external control with local coaching, auditing and community awareness.

Internal support & control

  1. Recruitment of an accountant.
  2. Recruitment of a programme manager.
    These persons shall be paid through the income from the programme.
  3. An independent Board of Trustees shall be selected, Bord meetings held minimum twice a year and minutes from the boardmeeting shall be shared with the coach and the partners. Board members are not paid.
  4. Procurement of items with a higher value is only done in the presence of represenatives from all partners.

External support & control – coaching

 The RISE Support Centre provides coaching on evaluation planning, survey management, accounting and public relations as well as external auditing.


  1. Local coaching on evaluation planning, survey management, branding & public relations, and accounting.
  2. Bookkeeping workshops
  3. Monthly online workshops by HR&S Action10 to topics relevant for business management. 1 st Wednesday each month at 6 pm Swedish time.
  4. Recognition platform whereby accountability points directly to performance and we have clarity around key results.
  5. A solid risk management structure is agreed on per programme.

4. Consequences
if non-accountability actions

The concequesnces of breaking a signed agreement is agreed on within the agreement.


  1. Agree on guarantees.
  2. Agree on consequences if non-accountable actions.

Outcome challenges

Lesson learned: An agreement can be broken and may depend on the motivation to pay back.
Informed decision:  Reflect over which means do we have to convince the loan-taker to do the right thing now.
1. Fundraising is going down as a result of the mismanagement.  The Action10 volunteers and the donors are less motivate to contribute now, other supporters will also move away.
 2. Other partners have less funds to benefit from, which affect negatively on their businesses and therefor the development of the country. The truth is the money belongs to our partners.
 3. What do we usually do when this happens in in this country. I Sweden the rule-of-law institutions would sort it out and ensure the funds are paid back. What is the normal procedure in the target country?


Background, context & justification
It is generally agreed that we people tend to favor our loved ones; or family, race, or ethnic group. Treating the rest of the world fairly is a result of social development and sufficient resources. From a development perspective, countries whose governance is currently based on standards that are based on a fair distribution of goods and services have a past with other standards. We can assume that most countries with limited resources are corrupt rather than non-corrupt and we should understand corruption as a social practice or institution, not as a sum of individual corrupt acts. At the same time, trust is crucial for success, may it be within the business world or personal relationships. When trust is high, efficiency increases and costs decrease. In addition, a company based on trust has a competitive advantage, because trust is actually rare. HR&S has developed a practical strategy for collaboration based on trust, harmony, and justice.

HR&S and HR&S partners are accountable for their actions.

  1. Build trust through open communication and by ensuring that we stand by our actions, thus transparency.
  2. Achieving goals and learning from the challenges.
  3. Acknowledge and view the situation in absolute reality thus we can assess what action is possible, accept ownership for our results, and apply solutions to find ways to make it happen.

Outcome challenges
Corruption as a social practice.

  1. A challenge for HR&S and HR&S coaches is to identify what exactly we have to do as a team to ensure that our partners are accountable. What do we have to do to make our partners understand that without accountability, they will never be successful with the business they are running.


  1. Awareness raising workshops by the coaches:  Clearly projecting the importance of accountability to any institution.
    Bookkeeping workshops.
    Monthly online workshops by HR&S Action10 on topics relevant for business management. 1 st Wednesday each month at 6 pm Swedish time.
  2. Set expectations and enhancing responsibility along with the specificity of expectations, this ensures collective success and benefits directly from our ROPE tool.
  3. Setting performance indicators and clear expectations coupled with an understanding of accountability which also benefits directly from our ROPE tool.
  4. Local coaching on evaluation planning, survey management, branding & public relations, and accounting.
  5. Branding and Public relations. Community awareness of the social good with our interventions.
  6. Agree on guarantees for a loan.
  7. Agree on consequences if non-accountable actions.

Expected outcome

  1. Assuming ownership mentality; assume you’re the owner of this company will you run it down, by indulging in waste, unnecessary cost, not following procedure etc. ? So when we assume ownership we take responsibility and ensure things are done rightly and time to achieve organization goal.
  2. Strict adherence to lay down policies and procedures for execution as daily activities. All rules are followed and where there is an exception a justification should be done.

Progress markers

  1. Agreements fully respected.
  2. Loans are paid back with interest in time.
  3. Annual auditing with only minor remarks.
  4. Annual programme and financial reports are distributed within a reasonable time.


Policies & procedures

Concerning Governance and Financial administration & accounting.

A set of detailed Policies and Procedures have been compiled. The partners will continuously, maybe annually, identify which procedures that the programme shall comply with during the coming year. The selection shall mirror what makes sense in relation to the degree of complexity of the programme.

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  • General statement on financial administration & accounting.
  • Internal control.
  • Bookkeeping.
  • Bank statement audit.
  • Financial statement audit.
  • Annual financial and programme reports.
  • Monthly financial reports.
  • Budget.
  • Cash management.
  • Transfer of funds.
  • Investments.
  • Petty cash.
  • Accounts receivable collection.
  • Procurement standards.
  • Events.
  • Receiving items.
  • Receiving items.
  • Accounts payable.
  • Cash disbursements.
  • Payroll.
  • Payroll taxes.
  • Property management.
  • Overhead and administration costs.
  • Travel expenses.
  • Per diem.
  • Entertainment expenses.
  • Leased vehicles.
  • Employee expenses and advances.
  • Related party transactions.
  • Record retention.
  • Personnel files.

Monitoring of expenditures & internal control

Our sincere gratitude to our accountant coach Sunday OTAIGBE in Nigeria for developing these guidelines.

The following templates are available:

  1. Petty cash payment voucher: Payment voucher is used when cash is given out by hand before he or she receives cash the receiver has to sign. If the receiver  prefers to receive the transfer through the bank, please write the account details at bottom of the payment voucher.
  2. Memo: A memo must be raised and signed by who may concern before expenses is incurred. For all payments through the bank, the receipt should be printed out and attached to the memo.
  3. Schedule for withholding tax: Withholding tax is money that the organization pay to Federal Government for any consultant engaged in the activity. In Nigeria for example, tax for individuals is 5% and for cooperate businesses 10%.


A solid risk management structure is agreed on per programme. 

  1. An investment is preferably guaranteed by a value holding object agreed on by both parties. The small business loan-takers may lack guarantee opportunities and can instead be be organised as cooperatives, where the members are jointly responsible for the pay back of the group. This can be challenging for the group members and the cooperatives have to be carefully formed and members have trustful relations.
  2. The social context is informed about the programme, and shall help coach and guide on the social good, sustainable economy and accountability. The loan can be secured by a signature by one or more social leaders or other stakeholders agreed on by both parties.
  3. Action10 and HR&S  transfers funds to our RISE Support Centres and they are responsible for the sharing with RISE members. Loans are only provided to RISE members. Members develop milestones that is approved by RISE and HR&S and funds are distributed as milestones have been reached.
  4. Members have their own accountants, and external auditings and they are responsible for their own bookkeeping and financial reporting.


HR&S is sincerely grateful for the contribution by two of our coaches to this chapter, Ms. Millicent SIFUNA in Kenya and Mr. Clifford CHIEMEZIE in Nigeria.