Over the last few months, the GEN Finance team and function have transformed to better serve GEN’s needs. The metamorphosis leaves us nearly unrecognizable from its earlier days, so we’d like to re-introduce ourselves.
What is the GEN Finance team?
To paraphrase Vesper Lynd in Casino Royale, “[We’re] the money.” GEN Finance deals with money and numbers in all forms and in the past, present, and future tenses:
- Past: Proper accounting for transactions and reporting on closed periods. See the annual reviews? With the help of our awesome Marketing team, Finance pulls together the numbers from the previous year and produces these reports.
- Present: Day-to-day approvals for spending and purchasing. Have an expense that needs to be reimbursed? A flight to be purchased? Finance approves expense claims, pre-approves budgets, and manages the purchasing and procurement functions.
- Future: Working with teams to create and approve budgets for events, programs, and expansions. You wouldn’t make a major life decision, such as moving to another city, buying a car, or switching jobs, without figuring out the future financial impact to yourself. Likewise, Finance works with Network and Programs to estimate the costs of launching a new site or expanding into another country to determine if GEN can financially sustain the project.
Finance is one of the operational backbones of GEN – in other words, we’re there with you every step of the way:
- In the beginning, with budget and funds approval, before GEN ever steps foot into a country or a venue for an event.
- During, with funds disbursement and tracking.
- After the end, with financial and regulatory reporting.
Finance is also the steward of our donors’ funds. Because we’re responsible for external reporting, our job is to manage GEN’s funds wisely and not spend carelessly, serving as the intermediary between our people and our donors, so our donors can rest assured that their money is being used to further GEN’s mission.
What’s our vision?
The Finance team’s vision is to create and maintain a streamlined, efficient, and transparent financial system that provides timely and accurate information to stakeholders.
What’s been keeping us busy?
In addition to the day-to-day duties mentioned above, Finance has been busy with behind-the-scenes projects, like:
- Implementation of GEN’s new web-based finance software platform: Some of you may have received invitations to our Xero account. Xero is the next generation of financial accounting and reporting for GEN. This includes:
- Migration of previous years’ financial information into one system
- Creation of a standardized chart of accounts to be used across all GEN entities
- Documentation of accounting policies and procedures
- Interpretation of accounting standards – believe it or not, the Accounting Powers that Be (FASB) did issue not-for-profit industry accounting standards, codified into ASC 958
- Creation of program site budgets and organizational budgets: With the upcoming launches in Osun State, Nigeria and Delhi, India, Finance has been hard at work drafting cost estimates for these sites based on previous experience and input from Network, Programs, and Enterprise Portfolio.
- Revision of expense guidelines and reimbursement policy: Just in time for the upcoming summer trip to Lagos, Finance is finalizing the policy revisions.
- Effecting a name change for GEN and opening a new bank account: GEN was originally incorporated as “YouthBank, Inc.”, which remains our legal name. For the last few years, we’ve been doing business as “Generation Enterprise”. As you can imagine, this causes confusion among our donors – who does the check get made out to? We’re working on clearing this up.
- Assessing financial risk of possible activities: In conjunction with rockstar General Counsel, Beth, Finance has reviewed financial and tax risks of the Osun State proposal, Delhi expansion, proposed changes to Enterprise Portfolio structure, and many more emails.
What’s coming up?
Not impressed yet? Here are a few more upcoming Finance projects:
- Procurement cards: One person holding the keys to the bank (or the digits to the card) is not the most efficient procurement model. Is a corporate card system, such as American Express, a good solution for GEN? What are some alternatives to this model that produce similar results?
- Laying out the blueprint for hiring a full-time employee or contractor: As we all work towards the “Go Big” plan, more money opens the door to hiring a full-time person. What are the federal and state filing requirements involved?
- Finance is not scary (unless we’re demanding your expense reports).
- Finance does a lot of infrastructure-building work.
Curious to learn more? Let us know!
The GEN Finance Team
Angela, Joey & Sneha