By: Baisanie J. Macabuat
June 11, 2013: Some 27 Maguindanao Peace Advocates (MPA) coalition members from different organizations operating in Central Mindanao participated in the 2-day Basic Accounting and Financial Management Training held at the Community Resource and Training Center of Kadtuntaya Foundation Incorporated (KFI), Doña Pilar St., Poblacion 4, Cotabato City last June 1-2, 2013.
In his message, Mr Samsodin C. Amella, MPA Coordinator, said that the main objectives of the training is to provide the participants a simplified and generally accepted theoritical framework and approaches on basic financial management in the context of NGO development work and to develop skill of participants on journalizing transactions (using the debit/credit recording), posting of accounts to the ledger, and trial balance and financial statement preparation.
“We do hope that this training will help the participants gain knowledge about basic financial management work and also will enhance the capacity of those participants who have already backgrounds or knowledge on it”, Mr Amella, also the Executive Director of the Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives, Inc.(MAPAD), added.
The resource speaker Mr Celestino M. Lagroma started his input by asking the participants about their knowledge or background on Financial Management. Most of the participants answered that they are not that knowledgeable on Financial Management because, in the first place, they are not Accounting graduates and they are not the Finance officers of their own organizations.
Mr Lagroma is an expert on Non-profit Accounting, bookkeeping, financial management. He has been providing freelance administrative and project support services.
Topics during the first day of the training focused on the components of financial management system and general flow of fund receipts and disbursement for NGOs.
In his input entitled “General Concept of an Effective Financial Management System”, Mr Lagroma explained that effective financial management is a proper combination of administrative and accounting systems to enable the institution to effectively safeguard, control, monitor, evaluate and analyze finances.
“Administrative system is a set of internal policies, procedures and processes implemented by the policy makers, executives and staff to safeguard finances while Accounting system is a set of universal procedures and processes performed by skilled personnel to document, record, and report activities in numeric terms to evaluate finances”, he furthered.
The training got more exciting and interesting when the participants have their workshop through recording of transaction or activity in a journal (debit:credit).
“Understanding debit:credit is really hard, but it is very challenging because although I don’t have any backgrounds on Accounting, I have been able to understand the topic and be able to use it in my work”, Noraida Akad, said, one of the participants representing Mindanao Action for Peace and Development Initiatives, Inc. (MAPAD).
More workshops took place on the second day of the training. Familiarization of debit:credit and naming accounts and the setting –up of chart of account, and posting of transactions in the ledger was taugth on the second day.
“Recording is complicated, analytical, and coordinated activities compared to posting of transaction in a ledger which is just a simple transaction, that is why you have to be careful from the start of your recording”, Mr Lagroma stressed out.
The Proper and Basic Procedures in Preparing Trial balance and Financial Statements was also taught in the second day of the training.
Despite the difficulties in understading the topic, the participants had almost all of them got excited and interested in preparing trial balance and financial statements through their workshops.
Aside from the topics on Financial Management, the resource speaker also taught the participants some basic computer programming works and introduced a software that could be used in the financial system of each organization.
Evaluation on the conduct of the training was done through reporting of the participants by group.
“I have learned a lot from this training. Financial terms and financial forms, among others, have helped me familiarize financial work”, said Bainot Z. Saluwang, one of the participants from the United Youth for Peace and Development, Inc. (UNYPAD).
In his message, Mr Celestino Lagroma said that there is no hard in financial work so long that you are interested and willing to learn.
“No fear in Math”, Mr Lagroma recommended to the participants.
“Financial work is just an easy work if we are patient and willing to learn more starategies in financial system”, he furthered.
The 2-day training-workshop on Basic Accounting and Financial Management was attended by MPA Coalition members namely: Alliance of Bangsamoro for Peace & Sustainable Development (ABPSD); Bangsamoro Center for Just Peace (BCJP); Bangsamoro Network Dev’t, Inc. (NETDEV); Cotabato Center for Peace & Dev’t. Initiatives, Inc. (CCPDI); Development Youth Movement Assembly in Mindanao, Inc. (DYMAMIN); Kabalikat Civic Communicators Assn (KABALIKAT CIVICOM); Kaumpiya sa Mindanao, Inc. (KASAMA); Liguasan Youth Association for Sustainable Dev’t, Inc.(LYASDI); Local Initiative for Peace & Dev’t. in Mindanao, Inc. (LIPAD); Mindanao Action for Peace & Development Initiatives (MAPAD); Moro Women Development & Cultural Center, Inc. (MWDECC); Neo-Iranun Multi-Sectoral Association, Inc. (NIMSA); Pagungayan Ame so mga Kangudan Antapan ko kamapiyaan ago kad Tatabanga (PAKAT); Tabang Ako Siyap ko Bangsa Iranun saya ko Kalilintad ago Kapamagayon, Inc. (TASBIKKA); United Professional Development Initiatives, Inc. (UPDI); United Youth for Peace & Development, Inc. (UNYPAD); and SINDAW.
MPA is a coalition formed to address election-related violence in Maguindanao, which comprises alliances from 23 civil society organizations, including election monitoring groups such as the Parish Pastoral Council for Responsible Voting (PPCRV) and representatives from the PNP and AFP.