Demands on voluntary organisations to be more transparent and more accountable for their achievements will grow significantly over the next few years.
A prerequisite for taking the initiative in being more transparent is a state-of-the-art financial management system that provides managers, trustees, donors and the public with clear, accurate, timely and relevant information.
Adrian Poffley's book Financial Stewardship of Charities makes an outstanding contribution to this field. The notion of stewardship may feel dated, but it is an entirely appropriate description of the responsibilities of senior managers and trustees. Poffley rightly sets the notion of stewardship in the context of corporate strategy.
The most exciting and challenging notion in this book is his approach to financial management. He has a withering critique of conventional budgeting and he proposes instead a continuous cycle of resource allocation decisions taken when needed, not just when the budget timetable decides they are required.
To ensure future credibility, voluntary organisations are going to have to greatly enhance their transparency and accountability. This book makes a significant contribution to that long-term aim.