Think about who is going to use the manual. Potential users are:
- Staff in Head Office (internal)
- Field based staff, who may be in a different country (internal)
- Partner staff (external)
It is important to consider your different user groups and define what their needs for information and guidance are. Think about the questions users often ask the finance team. For example, are there compliance problems which come up in internal or external audits? These give you an indication of what content to include for your users.
Smaller organisations may prefer to have one manual which covers all user groups.
Medium-sized organisations may wish to develop one manual for internal user groups and (if required) a chapter/section for external users such as partner organisations.
Larger organisations are likely to develop different manuals for each user group.
Even if you develop separate finance manuals for head and field offices, all users will need access to policy documents. Staff in head office will need to understand the procedures which the field offices follow to be able to support them and review the financial information they provide.
Head office finance manuals will focus on organisational oversight, integrity and consistency of financial information recorded at head office and effective consolidation of information from field or country offices.
Field office finance manuals will provide clear guidance to field and country offices to ensure consistency and integrity of financial information recorded at field level and to provide guidance on effective implementation of delegated financial authority. The field office finance manual may also include oversight of partners’ financial management and procedures to ensure integrity and consistency of financial information recorded by partners.
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