6.7 Audit and finance support in situ
The main objective is to ensure that emergency operations receive the required monitoring, guidance and support from the Country Office/Head Office Finance and Audit Departments, and not be left alone to improvise and assume complete accountability of what is happening in the field. Emergency operations must be supported consistently by CO Finance and Audit Departments as part of their regular responsibilities.
The auditing support that is required in emergency operations should focus on understanding the systems in place, their operation and how they maintain the integrity of CARE’s assets, and to ensure proper service delivery to beneficiaries. This is different from what a regular compliance audit is designed to accomplish, but ensures positive audit results in compliance with donor contract terms. The following are the required tasks:
- Identify potential financial and administrative risk areas, and recommend corrective actions to ensure that the potential impact is kept to an acceptable level.
- Review staff job descriptions and identify issues concerning segregation of duties, and recommend compensatory controls.
- Participate in cash counts, spot checks and other reviews in which an independent opinion is sought or required.
- Review coordination lines between finance and administrative functions (procurement, logistics), and identify and recommend actions required to comply with contract terms and regulations.
The Country Office/Head Office Finance Department must also be responsible for providing direct support to field operations. The following are the required tasks:
- Provide back-up support to field-based staff.
- Provide training (start-up, refresher) to all field-based staff dealing with finance and accounting matters.
- Review and ensure cash management and disbursement procedures are responsive to the needs of the field operation. Suggest and implement changes where appropriate.
- Review all internal and compensatory controls systems in place, and advise management on staff and material requirements to compensate losses in control.
Continuously inform management about the contract status, identify issues, and suggest and facilitate required actions.