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Accounting and financial policies and procedures

Save time and get a better price for your business when you're ready to sell.

On this page

  • Policies and procedures are useful for your business
  • Write your policies and procedures
  • Difference between policies and procedures

Which financial policies and procedures should I have?

Think about areas of importance to your business where policies and procedures would add value. Use our Financial policy and procedure manual template as a starting point.

Financial policy and procedure manual template (DOC 191.5 KB)DOC icon 

This could include: 

  • authorisations e.g. which job roles are allowed to authorise various activities within the business? 
  • bank accounts e.g. when and how new bank accounts are opened
  • new suppliers and how to choose them
  • new customers and how to manage them
  • buying and purchasing e.g. how to determine when stock, equipment and assets need to be purchased
  • debt collection 
  • insurance and risk management.

Tips for writing or customising your manual

The task of completing a full manual can become overwhelming. Start by thinking about what you want to achieve and complete your manual in real-time. Involve your employees and write policy and procedures as you're working on a particular activity. For example, if you have a new customer, write up how you will record the details, where these will be kept, how you will set a customer credit limit etc. Writing while doing is a great way to ensure you capture all the steps.

What is a policy?

A policy is a statement that outlines the principles and views of the business on each topic covered. It is an overview of certain rules you should have in your business.  

Your policies should:

  • align with business goals and plans 
  • reflect the culture of the business  
  • be flexible 
  • be easily interpreted and understood by everybody in the business.  

What is a procedure?

Sometimes a policy will need a supporting procedure. Procedures are clear and concise instructions on how to abide by the policy.  They detail the sequence of activities that are required to complete tasks and should include the 'how to' guidelines to achieve the necessary results.

Procedures should be:

  • factual, simple to understand and succinct
  • written in a step-by-step style that shows people how to follow the procedure through from beginning to end
  • include references or links to any related documents and forms that need to be completed when following the procedure
  • in the best format for their purpose e.g. a procedure could be presented as written steps, a flow chart or a checklist.

Case Study: Avoid conflict in your family business

'It took Cory and Lyndon about two years of financial struggle and hard work before the business started to change – but it has been for the better, and the company has continued to thrive ever since.'

Gary Kennedy-Kennedy Trailers (photo courtesy of the Bairnsdale Advertiser)

Read more about avoiding conflict in your family business.

Gary Kennedy from Kennedy Trailers