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eWorkshop: Assessing your partners' financial health


Key discoveries

  • How to prepare for and conduct desk-based and in-person reviews
  • Simple frameworks and checklists for assessing partners' financial systems and practices
  • How to analyse partner financial reports
  • Fraud risk – what to look for

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Download or print the full course outline here

"It was a great course, I learnt a lot from the resources provided, and the very helpful process. The course both reinforces my understanding about partner financial health assessment, and introduced me to new concepts, tools, checklists, areas to look out for, how to conduct desk review and site visit."  Anna Phan, Accountant, Opportunity International Australia.

Course code: WP1e 

This online course will equip you with the tools and know-how to assess your partner organisations’ financial systems and resources, to help make decisions on funding and other support.

The eWorkshop is run over five weeks and is fully supported by our field-experienced trainers.  There are no 'live' sessions so you can complete the learning resources, team-based activities, and practical assignments in a time that suits you.  You should plan to spend up to 1 hour each day on the eLearning site, and a total of 5 to 7 hours each week.

Read more about our eLearning approach here


Course costsEarly booking
Standard booking
Individuals, and non-profit organisations with less than £1m income275345
Non-profit organisations more than £1m income345430
For-profit/governmental organisations430550

Who should attend

This workshop may not be suitable for senior finance staff and those with signfiicant previous experience of partner financial assessments.

We recommend that you read this course outline carefully to make sure the content is relevant and meets your learning requirements. If you are not sure if this course is for you, please contact us.

Programme guide



Introductions and scene-setting

  • Introductions and getting to know the eLearning site
  • Partner assessment process - challenges and risks
  • A capacity building approach to partner assessment
  • Good practice financial management frameworks
  • Good practice in financial governance – what to look for
  • What information you need to conduct an effective review


Desk review, Analysing financial statements

  • Using a partner review checklist
  • Financial accounting and reporting essentials
  • Analysing partners’ audited financial statements 
  • Reading the auditor's opinion
  • Practical: Assessing audited financial statements


Desk review, Financial resilience

  • Systems review checklists
  • What makes a financially sustainable NGO?
  • Assessing your partners’ income diversity and donor dependency
  • Reviewing reserves and cost recovery policies – best practice and risks
  • Practical: Assessing parters' financial resilience


On-site review

  • Conducting an on-site review
  • Internal risks review
  • Looking for signs of fraud
  • Deciding on further action
  • Capacity building options
  • Practical: Systems and people review


Next steps

  • Top tips summary
  • Bonus tools and takeaways
  • Next steps for you
  • Practical assignment submission
  • Review and feedback

Learning outcomes

By the end of the workshop, you will:

  • Perform a desk-based review for a partner organisation using a checklist approach to identify key risks, conclusions and actions
  • Prepare for a partner visit to observe finance systems and practices, including identifying who to meet, what questions to ask, and which documents to request
  • Analyse partners’ audited financial statements to identify key financial indicators, including reviewing the auditor’s opinion and calculating financial ratios
  • Identify ‘red flag’ indicators of possible fraud when conducting desk-based or in-person reviews
  • Identify strategies for strengthening a partner’s financial management capacity when a partner review activity is completed
  • Review key learning during the workshop and make an action plan.
  • Describe key financial management challenges facing partners, and the consequences and risks for programme implementation
  • Describe best practice financial management models and assessment frameworks including: the four building blocks, the seven principles, and the four features of  financial sustainability
  • Explain how the four internal control actions protect an organisation’s money, equipment and other assets from everyday internal risks
  • Distinguish between financial reports prepared using a cash or accruals based accounting system
  • List the key financial management roles and responsibilities of a governing body, and how to identify signs of weak financial governance.
  • Appreciate why it is important to assess financial, as well as programme, strengths and weaknesses when working with implementing partners
  • Recognise the value of a capacity building approach to partner assessment.

Course dates

There are no up-and-coming courses in the open training programme.