Accountability management

Transparency and accountability
in ethics and governance

INTRODUCTION

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. Accountability management is one of our ActionAreas and we offer this service to our loan takers and partners.

Our Accountability management package aims to demonstrate leadership and performance in accountability, responsibility, and sustainability, it targets both ethics and governance and both financial and operations management. We position the activity in Trust. Our ccountability management package shall increase our performances through a sustainability strategy, targeting the environmental and social impact, scientific research & innovation, growth opportunities, stakeholder engagement, and the reporting of information. We focus 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 plan to anticipate their future needs. We encourage our people to create, innovate, and launch new skills, tools, and ways of working and we invest our firm’s resources in new thinking.

Accountability is a responsibility to an outcome.

unsplash -trust bike

TRUST

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 is HR&S building trust ?

  1. Clear and consistent communication.
  2. We aim for  under-promising and over-delivering.
  3. We face our challenges head on. If there is a problem, we shall say so.
  4. We are totally honest.
  5. We avoid those we cannot trust. Dishonest clients for axample may try to make us will give them more work than they pay for. Just as we need to be trustworthy, we shall fire bad clients immediately to make room for good ones.
unsplash - love

ACCOUNTABILITY MANAGEMENT PACKAGE

HR&S claims that if we had accountability we would not have poverty, why HR&S activities always target accountability. In the accountability management business, there are a number of different of parameters to pay attention to; simultaniously and real-time. To achieve this we have develop step by step structures that are easy to follow and easy to measure and we offer seminars, workshops and coaching.

These are mandatory products & services offered to HR&S partners by HR&S Sweden and our local RISE Support Centres  together. We target continious communication about this with our partners and we encourage our partners to offer accountability management output.  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 package  has three levels:

  1. Motivation.
  2. Support & Control.
  3. Consequences if non-accountability actions.
unsplash - signs

Motivation

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.

Output

  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.

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.

Output

  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.

Consequences
if non-accountability actions

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

Output

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

STRATEGY FOR CHANGE  – ACCOUNTABILITY

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.

Ambition
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.

Output

  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.
 

FINANCE ADMINISTRATION & ACCOUNTING

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.

unsplash - accounting
  • 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%.

RISK MANAGEMENT

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.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENT

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.

Close Menu