1. Welcome!

This assessment tool can be used to get a reasonable impression of the quality of the financial management practices in your business.

You could use results of this assessment tool to: 1) ensure a strong foundation from which to add a product or undertake a major change effort; 2) do an internal analysis as part of an overall strategic planning activity; 3) develop a common understanding among leaders regarding what needs to be done in your business; and 4) assess how the operations in your business compare to various "best practices."

Each indicator is marked as Essential (“E”), Recommended (“R”), or Additional (“A”) practices for the typical business.

Next to each specific indicator are choices, including “Met,” “Needs Work,” “Not Applicable,” and “Don’t Know.” After reading each indicator, place a check mark under the appropriate choice as to how your business performs to that indicator.

After you have completed the assessment, print out the results by using the "Print" command in your browser (probably available by clicking on the "File" command). Notice which areas need work, especially those marked "E".

References to Boards of Directors apply to businesses formed as corporations.

This on-line assessment tool is provided by Authenticity Consulting, LLC (www.authenticityconsulting.com) and has been adapted from a tool developed by the Greater Twin Cities United Way.

* 1. FINANCIAL MANAGEMENT -- The following indicators are in regard to ensuring high-quality financial transactions, analysis and management.

  Met Needs Work Not Applicable Don't Know
a. The organization follows accounting practices which conform to generally accepted standards. (E)
b. The organization has systems in place to provide the appropriate information needed by Board and employees to make sound financial decisions and to fulfill government requirements (for example, the requirements of the Internal Revenue Service in the USA). (E)
c. The organization prepares timely financial statements including the balance sheet, income statement and cash flow statement, which are clearly stated and useful for the Board and employees. (Note that these statements might be referred to by different names in various countries.) (R)
d. The organization prepares financial statements on a budget-versus-actual (comparative basis) to achieve a better understanding of its finances. (R)
e. The organization develops an annual comprehensive operating budget which includes costs for all operations and also all sources of funding. This annual budget is reviewed and approved by the Board of Directors. (E)
f. The organization monitors unit costs of products through the documentation of revenue and expenses for each product, and for central administrative operations. (R)
g. The organization prepares cash flow projections to identify if sufficient cash in one hand pay short-term expenses. (E)
h. The organization periodically forecasts year-end revenues and expenses to assist in making sound management decisions during the year. (R)
i. The organization reconciles all cash accounts monthly. (E)
j. The organization has a review process to monitor that it is receiving appropriate and accurate financial information, whether from a contracted service or internal processing. (E)
k. Procedures are established for the periodic billing, follow-up and collection of all accounts on a timely basis, with documentation to substantiate all billings. (E)
l. Government contracts and purchase-of-service agreements are in writing and are reviewed by a member of the organization to monitor compliance with all stated conditions. (E)
m. Payroll is prepared following appropriate federal and state/provincial regulations and organizational policy. (E)
n. Persons employed on a contract basis meet all federal and state/provincial requirements for this form of employment. (E)
o. Periodic inventories monitor against theft, reconcile general ledger inventory information and maintain an adequate inventory level. (E)
p. The organization has a written fiscal policy and procedures manual and follows it. (R)
q. The organization has documented a set of internal controls, including handling of cash and deposits and approval over spending and disbursements. (E)
r. The organization has a policy identifying authorized check signers and the number of signatures required on checks in excess of specified dollar amounts. (E)
s. All expenses of the organization are approved by a designated person before payment is made. (E)
t. The organization has a written policy related to investments. (R)
u. Capital needs are reviewed annually and priorities established accordingly. (R)
v. The organization has established a plan identifying actions to take in the event of a reduction or loss in funding. (R)
w. The organization has established, or is actively trying to develop, a reserve of funds to cover at least three months of operating expenses. (R)
x. The organization has suitable insurance coverage which is periodically reviewed to ensure the appropriate levels and types of coverage are in place. (E)
y. Employees who handle cash and investments are bonded to help assure the safeguarding of assets. (E)
z. The organization has an annual, independent audit of their financial statements, prepared by a certified public accountant. (R)
If you're satisfied with your answers, we encourage you to print your completed questionnaire (using the "Print" command in the "File" menu of your internet browser).

Look at those items that are marked as "Needs Work". You might use topics in the Free Management Library at http://www.managementhelp.org to address those items.

Clock on DONE when you are finished with the assessment.

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