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The financial procedures manual

The role and typical contents of a financial procedures manual.

Underpinning all financial management systems is a series of financial policies and procedures which guide operations and lay out how your organisation uses and manages its money. A financial procedures manual brings all these together in one document. It helps to establish financial controls within the organisation that ensure accuracy, timeliness and completeness of financial data. The manual is generally used by finance staff, but it can also act as a reference for trustees, managers and other staff.

There is no one model of a financial procedures manual and yours will depend on the needs and structure of your organisation. Below are the content headings of each section of a typical financial procedures manual. They can act as the starting point for your own manual and can be adapted to cover the needs and activities of your organisation. Your manual may also need to include key elements of external financial regulations.

Typical content headings for a financial procedures manual

Financial responsibilities

  • Delegation of authority
  • Reserves policy
  • Conflicts of interest
  • Segregation of Duties 

Exercising budgetary control and monitoring

  • The annual plan and budget approval
  • Reporting and monitoring income and expenditure

Controls on income

  • Pricing, invoicing and debt control
  • Grants
  • Legacies

Controls on expenditure

  • Procurement, estimates and tendering
  • Purchase orders and invoices
  • Petty cash

Investment and borrowing

  • Treasury management
  • Loans policy

Controls on the financial assets/Record keeping

  • Bank mandates and cheque signatories
  • Credit cards
  • Cash Handling
  • Record keeping procedures

Controls on human resources

  • Staff recruitment
  • Staff salaries
  • Staff regrading
  • Casual staff/consultancies
  • Expenses policy

Controls on physical assets

  •  Property
  • Computer equipment
  • Computer software and data
  • Stock

In addition to the above headings, the manual may also include key elements of external financial regulations.

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Page last edited Nov 28, 2017

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