What is it?
The Guide to the FMD Pro (Financial Management for Development and Humanitarian Professionals) is a downloadable manual containing the full body of knowledge on which all of the FMD Pro materials are based. It focuses on the fundamentals of financial management and provides tools and guidance for all team members to manage their project finances effectively.
FMD Pro starts with an overview of the key concepts financial management – an essential leadership skill for a competent project manager and an approach that should be embedded within the processes and understanding of all project teams. Five easy-to-read sections underpin the overall approach. These are:
- Accounting essentials
- Financial Planning
- Financial reporting and monitoring
- Safeguarding assets
- Tackling incidences of fraud and bribery
FMD Pro concludes with a Summary that provides a ‘minimum standards’ checklist for easy reference as well as advice on how to build an action plan, and further reading and resources. This is followed by a Glossary and Appendix, with information to supplement some of the chapters.
Who is it for?
The Guide is a resource that is intended to enhance the professionalism and standards of anyone working at a project level. Some staff will have more responsibility than others for managing resources but at a minimum everyone should understand the basics.
A Project Manager would, ideally, use the Guide to set clear standards and ways of working at the start of a project – but it can also be used for reference or to enhance processes that are already in progress. Other project team members will be involved in numerous financial transactions and reporting for a project to succeed.
By working as a team, expectations can be set and clear systems implemented to deliver a successful project. The Guide, and related certification, is a great tool for professional development and developing a firm foundation in the practice of financial management.
How should it be used?
It’s likely that organizations will already have some financial management procedures in place – such standard forms for purchasing supplies and routine reporting mechanisms. FMD Pro is intended both to complement that which already exists and as a means to substantially improve the financial accountability of all projects.
It really is a case of just getting started. It’s important to work through each section, step-by-step because the body of knowledge in the first is then built out in the next sections. It is tempting to take a shortcut and to dive into an area that is most needed. Resist this if you can!
Take some time to read and reflect. You don’t need to implement everything at once! Try out a tool that you haven’t used before. Share it with others to see what they think. And if you want to enhance your skills and career development, set aside a week to learn, take the exam and gain certification in FMD Pro 1.