Helping NGOs do more with their money

Getting the financial management basics right (5 days)

BasicsKey discoveries

  • Practical tools and tips for creating effective project budgets

  • Financial concepts and jargon de-mystified
  • Confidence to use financial reports for programme management
  • Applying policies and procedures to protect staff and assets.

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Download or print the full course outline here

Course code: ES1

This course is perfect for NGO staff involved in programme planning, implementation and support. It covers all the skills needed to set up strong finance systems and procedures, create project budgets, keep basic accounts, and prepare and read financial reports.

"The first training I have ever been to that I have not continuously looked at my watch to see when it is over. It was interesting and fun, which is strange when considering how much I have previously hated finance. Great trainer!"

Course costsEarly booking
Standard booking
Non-profit organisations and individuals less than £1m income770960
Non-profit organisations more than £1m income9601,200
For-profit/governmental organisations1,2001,500

Who should attend

This course is primarily aimed at staff in small to medium-sized NGOs who are involved in programme implementation and/or the management and control of financial resources.
It is designed specifically for: 

Previous financial management experience or training is not a requirement for this course.

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

Day 1  
Welcome and overview
  • Introductions, expectations and programme overview
Key principles and concepts of financial management
  • What is financial management?
  • Why is it important for NGOs?
  • Structure and governance of NGOs
  • Good practice systems: the building blocks of financial management
  • Mango's Finance Health Check
  • System-design techniques
Day 2  
Financial planning
  • The Financial planning process
  • Cost structures
  • Functions and types of budgets
  • Practical approaches to building good budgets
  • Cash flow forecasting
  • Consolidated budgets and budgeting for core costs
Day 3  
Accounting records
  • Which records should you keep?
  • The accounting process: cash or accruals
  • Practical accounting: completing the cashbook
  • Bank reconciliation
  • Procurement - steps, people and paperwork
Day 4  
Financial monitoring
  • Financial information – who needs what, when and why?
  • Using financial statements
  • Using budget monitoring reports
  • Overview of donor reporting
Day 5  
Internal control systems
  • How to minimise theft and fraud
  • The role of audit
  • Internal control policies and procedures development
Summary and close
  • Summary of key messages
  • Evaluation
  • Certificates

Learning outcomes

By the end of the training, you will:

  • build project, donor and consolidated budgets using the activity-based budgeting technique
  • prepare and use a simple cash flow forecast
  • prepare and reconcile an analysed cashbook
  • prepare and use simple financial monitoring reports
  • analyse financial statements and budget monitoring reports to assess performance
  • assess strengths and weaknesses in your NGO’s internal control systems
  • describe the four building blocks and the seven principles of financial management and the role they play in achieving good practice in financial management
  • describe the financial management roles and responsibilities of board members, managers, finance and programme staff
  • explain the importance of budgets in planning, control and decision-making
  • explain the key components and language of a cash accounting system
  • explain the link between budgets, accounting records and financial reports
  • recognise that financial management is for everyone
  • appreciate the central role of financial management in achieving an NGO’s objectives
  • appreciate the importance of accountability and transparency in an NGO

Course dates

LocationAvailabilityEarly booking deadline 
Kathmandu, Nepal
Mon 11 Sep 2017 - Fri 15 Sep 2017
10 places remaining17 JulyBook now
Khartoum, Sudan
Sun 24 Sep 2017 - Thu 28 Sep 2017
5 places remaining30 JulyBook now
Kigali, Rwanda
Mon 25 Sep 2017 - Fri 29 Sep 2017
11 places remaining31 JulyBook now
Freetown, Sierra Leone
Mon 2 Oct 2017 - Fri 6 Oct 2017
15 places remaining7 AugustBook now
Tirana, Albania
Mon 9 Oct 2017 - Fri 13 Oct 2017
16 places remaining14 AugustBook now
Yangon, Myanmar
Mon 9 Oct 2017 - Fri 13 Oct 2017
7 places remaining14 AugustBook now
Nairobi, Kenya
Mon 6 Nov 2017 - Fri 10 Nov 2017
13 places remaining11 SeptemberBook now
Amman, Jordan
Sun 3 Dec 2017 - Thu 7 Dec 2017
17 places remaining8 OctoberBook now
Accra, Ghana
Mon 19 Feb 2018 - Fri 23 Feb 2018
16 places remaining25 DecemberBook now

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