Rigorous financial control enhances the efficiency of a campaign, and protects it from potentially damaging allegations of financial mismanagement. All campaign income and expenses must be accounted for. Use of campaign funds must be authorized and monitored by several persons, following written procedures, so as to ensure full transparency. All campaigners must keep a precise record of expenses and present original proof of campaign expenditures, e.g. invoices, and signed and stamped receipts that contain all the necessary information (item purchased, date of purchase, price, purchaser’s name, seller’s name). Logbooks and inventories must be used to control the use of vehicles and equipment. Organizations that are not experienced in financial control and accounting should refer to appropriate guides, e.g. the MANGO Guide to Financial Management for NGOs, which can be downloaded for free. Mango also offers a Health Check, a self-assessment for organisations to examine the health of their financial management system that also identifies good practices that can be followed – the tool can also be applied to campaign financial management.
Spending against the agreed budget must be verified at regular intervals, at least monthly. If spending is lower than planned, does that mean certain activities have not been carried out? If it is higher than planned, does that mean the budget was not realistic, or that campaign funds were wasted? The budget should be reviewed regularly, at least every six months, and adjusted accordingly if necessary, so that it continues to be a realistic projection of future income and expenses.
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