Guide to good financial management

March 21, 2023
Team working on financials - pointing to paper and sitting around laptop

Directors at a community media organisation, including members of a Board, Committee or Management Council are stewards of their organisation’s finances. Directors oversee important financial decisions, guiding their station to success. Every Director has a duty of care to ensure their organisation is managing finances well and meeting the required standards.

Are you a Station Manager or Director looking to enhance the financial management of your organisation? Here’s a checklist to help you identify any knowledge gaps you may have, and where you can learn more.

What does good financial management look like?

  • Understand your organisation’s finances. Expand your knowledge with governance training available through the CMTO, Our Community and Pathways Australia, as well as a range of independent sources online. You can even apply to the CBF for a Development and Operations grant to help your station understand and develop your financial management.
  • Set and regularly review your annual organisational budget.
  • Review reports against your budget at each Board meeting, along with regular reports from your Treasurer.
  • Review up-to-date reports of your organisation’s financial position – a Statement of Financial Position (aka Balance Sheet) and Income Statement (aka Profit and Loss Statement).
  • Create an Annual Report on your activities and finances.
  • Have your annual accounts audited if legally required, and consider the benefits even if you aren’t required to do so. If you need an auditor, Our Community has a directory that may be useful.
  • Keep an up-to-date Asset Register. Refer to our Major Asset Register  and Small Asset Register templates.
  • Review your insurance policies annually to ensure adequate cover.
  • Develop financial control policies that determine and document who can spend your organisation’s money and how.
  • Minimise handling of cash and ensure its receipt is recorded asap.
  • Securely store all station financial records and policies and ensure they are backed up and accessible in both in electronic and hard copy. We recommend using simple software programs such as Excel, or preferably financial software such as Xero, QuickBooks or MYOB.
  • Undertake risk management.
  • Read your Grant Agreement/s and ensure that you can meet your financial recording and reporting obligations.

Where can I learn more?

CBAA Radio Station Health Check (CBF funded)
Our Community
Pathways Australia
Damn Good Advice for Treasurers (Our Community)
Westpac Guide for Community Financial Officers (PDF)
A Guide to Understanding Financial Reports for Not-for-Profits (CPA Australia)