Staffing a finance department

Guide to Financial Management

Staffing a finance department

NGOs need to invest in recruiting and retaining enough of the right finance staff.

Many NGOs work with too few staff, trying to do too much work in too little time. This can have a serious impact on the quality of work done and on the pressure staff feel.

A good general rule is that any organisation or project that has a budget of more than $500,000 needs a qualified accountant to manage its finances. You will also need to employ one or more people to handle: payments, salaries, cash and book-keeping.  (See the Responsibilities section for more details.)

If you run many different activities, with several donors, then you will need more finance staff. It may be worth employing one finance person just to prepare financial reports for donors and another just to prepare financial reports for beneficiaries.

You could also employ a project accountant with the responsibility of being a link between programme staff and finance staff for a specific project.

The most senior financial manager should always be a member of the senior management team.

Recruiting finance staff locally means you can benefit from a good understanding of the local context and laws.

For some positions, there may be a need to recruit from a wider pool of talent. Mango runs a specialist recruitment service that can help you find appropriately skilled and experienced finance staff for key senior posts. We carefully select people for their values and interpersonal skills, as well as their technical abilities. This resource is global and gives NGOs easy access to finance managers, directors and consultants available for permanent, long and short term contracts.


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