Learning Journey: Success takes time

Date: June 1, 2016
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“The auditors will look at that and the entire software programme and always find something, then report it to management. If anything is out of line, we are going to find it.”

AAZotonantenaina RAZANADRATEFAIt is close to six years now since I began working for Gender Links (GL). I began as an intern, progressed to field assistant and now I am the Madagascar finance officer. 2015 has been a year of audits for me. In 2015, the government conducted a very rigorous audit of all private societies and organisations, in order to increase the state revenue. They did not pardon any mistakes and searched for any detail that they could penalise. They came to GL and verified the 2012 to 2014 financial reports. At the end of the audit, they found that everything was in order. This audit period was hectic for me as the finance officer, but in the end I was happy that the audit went well and it proved that I was doing my work.

As finance officer, I am responsible for planning, preparation of payments, cash book, petty cash, pastel, the value for money (VFM) report, stock sheet and the financial report to GL and donors. I am also responsible for drafting the budget when we submit proposals. To err is human, I sometimes make mistakes but not frequently. Recently, we had an audit from the European Union and this exercise helped me to understand that filing is very important so that during an audit I can continue working and only the files need speak to the auditors.

GL Madagascar is open to everyone. We are have good relationships with donors, ministries, NGOs and different associations. My participation in meetings with partners has been a good experience; I have learnt from other organisations about planning, interacting with beneficiaries as well as finance processes.

At GL you learn to multitask, for example, I am the finance officer but I also contribute to programme work such as logistics for workshops, taking photos and videos and sometimes facilitating workshops. The experience I have gained at GL has not only served me at a professional level, but also at personal one. Working at GL enabled me to become very meticulous and methodical. Now, I plan my monthly expenses at home before the end of the month. I have opened files for all invoices such as electricity and I have a box where I put all the important documents for the children.

Written by Zotonantenaina RAZANADRATEFA, Madagascar Finance Officer, Gender Links