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Accounting and financial policies and procedures

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  • Consider which policies and procedures you should have in place
  • Tips on customising your manual  
  • Understand the difference between a policy and procedure

Which financial policies and procedures should I have?

Think about areas of importance to your business where policies and procedures would add value, such as: 

  • authorisations – for example, which job roles are allowed to authorise various activities within the business? 
  • bank accounts – 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 – for example, how to determine when stock, equipment and assets need to be purchased
  • debt collection 
  • insurance and risk management.

Use our financial policy and procedure manual template below as a starting point.

Financial policy and procedure manual template (DOCX 98.15 KB)DOCX icon 

How do I write or customise my manual?

The task of completing a full manual can be overwhelming, so start by thinking about what you want to achieve, and complete your manual in real-time. 

Writing while doing is a great way to ensure you capture all the steps, so 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'll record the details, where these will be kept, how you'll set a customer credit limit etc. 

What's a policy?

A policy is a statement that outlines the principles and views of a business on each topic covered. 

Policies provide an overview of certain rules that you have in your business, and 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's a procedure?

Sometimes a policy will need a supporting procedure. 

Procedures are clear and concise instructions on how to abide by the policy and detail the sequence of activities that are required to complete tasks.

They should include the 'how to' guidelines to achieve the necessary results, and 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, for example 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