Phew! Now that the long search for the right person to fill your nonprofit organization’s position of Finance Director (or senior financial manager) has come to an end, you release a huge sigh of relief. But your job is not done. There needs to be intentional and appropriate training for the Finance Director (FD) for the transition to be successful. Too often the new FD is siloed and not integrated into the management leadership.
First, the Essentials
Of course, the new Finance Director needs to meet the other staff to hear from them about their programs, roles within the office, and what financial information they will be needing throughout the year. This step happens parallel to introducing the Finance Director to your chart of accounts. The FD will be connecting names with faces and account codes with projects, programs, and grants. Knowing who can assist when the copier jambs are as important to FD as having the aging list of accounts receivable.
Hopefully, during the hiring process, you ascertained the person was familiar with your accounting software. If not, training on the accounting software is critical and may require contracting with outside support resources. Also, the new FD may not know about other software being used in your organization. Schedule time with existing staff to acquaint FD with the other software (e.g., donor database, project management, time tracking, etc.) that may interface directly with the accounting package or provide reports that are imported into accounting. Explain how files and department information are stored on the server, whether local or cloud-based and how often it is backed up. With this knowledge, the FD may decide to schedule backing up accounting data more frequently or in a more secure location. [Read more…]