Procedure for updating procedure
“The policies that you put into place are to make sure that the staff knows what they should be doing,” Hilda Polanco, CPA, CGMA, founder and CEO of not-for-profit financial consulting organization FMA, said at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference on Wednesday in Maryland.
“The policy development is one step, and then there is the training for the staff.” The basics of an effective policies and procedures manual are straightforward.
’ And last year we did Compliance Family Feud,” West said.
“In those two examples, people really enjoyed the training and actually I’m sure learned more than they did in the past.” Once the manual is created or updated, it’s up to the board and management to establish the tone at the top about enforcing it.
Any acronyms used should be commonly understood, and the most effective language will not be condescending, while limiting use of the words “should” and “must,” said Amy West, CPA, CGMA, the CFO of AHRC New York City, which supports people with developmental disabilities.She said that typically the board treasurer or the chair of the board finance committee or audit committee would be responsible for those tasks.Meanwhile, management’s efforts to back the policies and make the manual available to all staff can encourage staff to adhere to a document that is designed to enable effectiveness and efficiency.People who feel they have a say in the creation of the manual will be more likely to follow the rules it contains.“Getting buy-in from your staff is critical to developing and maintaining policies and procedures that are effective,” West said.