By Jewell Cochran
Do titles mean anything? When it comes to roles and responsibilities within non-profits, yes, they certainly do.
The Board of Directors acts as the governing body and is accountable to financial performance and stewardship. The BOD must be knowledgeable with laws and policies to achieve this role.
The Executive Director requires effective communication, both up and down the chain of command. In most cases, the ED manages both the infrastructure and the daily operations (aka, Master Juggler).
The Accounting department serves the customers of your nonprofit: the managers, employees, and Board. If there are minimal staff resources due to size of the nonprofit, sound internal controls are critical. Another important question to ask is whether to hire a bookkeeper, or a general accountant, and if outsourcing is a viable option based upon part-time workload. Regardless of those decisions, competency is a must.
Regardless of roles, everyone is responsible for ethical business behavior. In determining compliance with this ethical behavior, employees should ask themselves the following questions:
Is my action legal?
Does my action comply with policy?
Does my action does not appear inappropriate?