Financial communication needs to be clear

Financial managers need to be good at one thing: handling money.

That makes sense, but with the demands being made on the nonprofit sector in general and individual organizations or causes in particular, expertise in one area, even if it’s being good with numbers and keeping control of finances, is not enough. Individuals who get to work, retreat to a cubbyhole without emerging until the end of the day and fail to interact with anyone else are few and far between.

Further, if they handle an organization’s finances, such behavior might even be harmful.

During the recent AICPA Not-For-Profit Executive Forum, Joan Pastor of JPA International, Inc., discussed the need for financial professionals to be good communicators across the organization. Pastor said that clear communication on the part of financial managers is necessary for the following reasons:

  • They represent the financial footprint of the organization;
  • They are the voice of the financial results for the organization (which can be a good or bad thing);
  • Financial executives and financial managers base their communication on tangible results that are often irrefutable;
  • The reputation of one enhances or diminishes the inherent trust in an organization’s leadership and its workforce; and,
  • Financial professionals are integral members of an organization’s management team.