People Innovation Excellence

Financial Control: Computers System or Manual Bookeeping?

A computerized bookkeeping system can simplify the processes of entering and adding up, and spreadsheet programmes can make it much easier to allow for many different scenarios when planning budgets.

  • It takes time to set up a computerized system and for a while you will probably need to run a manual and computerized system together, to prevent disasters in the transition.
  • The person inputting data still needs to understand bookkeeping.
  • The record-keeping process still has to be followed and supporting documentation must be kept.
  • You need up-to-date software and someone in the organisation needs to have a good understanding of the computer software.

Before you computerize (or even use electronic banking and payment facilities), you must get approval from your auditor and from your Board or Management Committee. The approval should be documented.

Despite the above, computerisation is probably the best route to go, unless your books are very simple and your transactions very few. Be sure to get expert advice and to allow for start-up problems.

CIVICUS: World Alliance for Citizen Participation is an international allianceestablished in 1993 to nurture the foundation, growth and protection of citizen actionthroughout the world, especially in areas where participatory democracy and citizens’freedom of association are threatened. CIVICUS envisions a worldwide community ofinformed, inspired, committed citizens in confronting the challenges facinghumanity.

These CIVICUS Toolkits have been produced to assist civil society organisations build their capacity and achieve their goals. The topics range from budgeting, strategic planning and dealing with the media, to developing a financial strategy and writing an effective funding proposal. All are available on-line, in MS-Word and PDF format at and on CD-ROM.

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