Saturday, February 13, 2010

What role for accountants in rescue, relief and rebuilding?

Dear Colleagues

I am doing everything I can to make the Community Analytics (CA) initiative visible. The following was posted to a LinkedIn discussion on "Accountants for Haiti", a subgroup of Haitian Development Professional Group
What role for accountants in rescue, relief and rebuilding?

It is reasonable that there is little specific accountability in the rescue phase. The goal is simple ... to save lives. The strategy is to everything possible with whatever resources can be obtained ... and do it now. Rescue lasts a few days at most.

The relief phase starts immediately with the emergency ... all the basics are needed today, and in a few days everyone needed relief should have access to the basics of relief. In these initial few days there should be a strong accounting framework available and in use. Accounting should be in place as a vital tool in the management of resources and the accountability of everyone concerned.

Relief changes into rebuilding ... and if done well, the resources are used not only for immediate relief but to achieve a step forward in the process of rebuilding. The accountant needs to be fully involved with this, so that there can be good control accountancy, but also good analytical accountancy.

As things stand at the moment the huge value of donated professional time appears nowhere in the accounting ... while many institutions think that when they no longer have the money, something good has been done with it. This is plain ridiculous ... and accountants have to stand up and start to make a noise. I will do it, I hope others will join me.

We shall see if anyone takes any notice!

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