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Implementing a financial policy and procedure document

Implementing a financial policy and procedure document

Keeping track of who has authority over which banking accounts and transactions is a step in the right direction for managing your financial risks. Here are some things to consider when creating your financial policies and procedures.
 

 

Policy documents

Introducing policy and procedure documents into your business can help you assign roles and formalise job responsibilities. A document could include which procedures staff must follow and how the policy will be implemented. It should also include room for flexibility. You may wish to include which job roles look after the following:

  • Bank accounts
  • Petty cash
  • Business credit cards
  • Inventory and stock replenishment
  • Purchasing equipment and assets
  • Debt collection
  • Payroll
  • Issuing and receiving invoices
  • Internet banking access

You may also consider detailing all bank accounts your business has and which job roles can access each account.

The small things

When you started your business, one staff member may have performed several financial roles. However, as your business has grown, it’s likely that more people have become involved and, as a result, oversight over the small things may have been lost.

Don’t forget to include all the small details in your policies and procedures document. For instance, perhaps you would prefer for two people to be present when money is being counted. Also, are you happy for staff to handle large sums of cash? Covering your bases with the small issues will help to prevent theft or money being misplaced.

Legislation and regulations

Your business must abide by several laws and regulations in regards to your finances. Ensure you include any legislation that staff must abide by when dealing with the financial aspects of your business and that everyone understands their responsibilities. Of course, obtaining trusted legal advice from a qualified professional is important when drafting this part of your document.

Top tips

  • Your financial policies and procedures should support your business goals and plans, so make sure they are all aligned.
  • The language of the document should be easy to understand. Ensure it is direct and sentences are short.
  • Determine the type of financial decisions that need your sign-off. For example, do you want to sign off on expenses greater than $1000? This will give you greater control over company spending, but also give staff flexibility to make smaller decisions.
  • What are your main financial risks? Losing money from theft or overspending on company purchases? Working out your main risks will help you determine what your policies should focus on.
  • Remember to review the document regularly, such as every six to 12 months. 

Writing and implementing a financial policy and procedure document can be time consuming and take a lot of work. However, once it has been created, it will save you a lot of time, money and confusion in the future. Remember to always seek advice from a financial professional.

If the complexities of your growing business are dizzying, it might be time to put a new layer of financial control in place. Learn about the signs it’s time to appoint a financial controller.

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