Strategies to Achieve a Good Payment Procedure

The following strategies will be applied to achieve this objective:

a) All payments should be authorised by the Executive Director. When an invoice is received, it should be matched with the purchased order and checked for calculations and depending on the correctness, a payment voucher will be raised.  The Finance Manager should ensure that all procedures and checks have been followed and all supporting documents attached before a payment voucher is sent to the Executive Director for final authorisation.

b) Before any payment is made, the Senior Finance Officer must ensure that there are sufficient funds in the bank account.

c) Payments should be posted promptly to the cash book and to the general ledger.

d) Paid vouchers represent an essential means of supporting and explaining a payment as well as evidence that the necessary approval was given and procedures followed before making a payment and that voucher number and order are available for future reference.

There are two types of paid voucher, as follows:

(i)     Fully acquitted – These vouchers have all the necessary supporting documents; and

(ii)    Not adequately acquitted – The vouchers which lack some of the necessary supporting documents mentioned above.  They should be kept and filed separately from the fully acquitted vouchers and reviewed frequently to ensure that, in due course, all are fully acquitted and filed.

e) Additional documentary evidence will be required under d (ii) above for such expenditure as workshop allowance, training allowance and field visits. Some of the evidence needed will include:

(i)  workshop allowance – signed attendance list, showing amount paid to each participant, names and Passport number of each participant;

(ii)  training allowance – name of training institute, rate per period and amount paid to the candidate, duration of the course and Passport number of the candidate; and

(iii)   field visits – authorised signature of the field visit by the Executive Director, amount paid, name and Passport number of the traveler.  It is recommended that the amount be given to the officer traveling as a travel advance to be accounted for on return.

f) All vouchers should be filed sequentially and kept in a secure location. The removal of payment vouchers from their files and the office in which they are kept should be discouraged at all times. If it is necessary for a payment voucher to be taken away it should be signed for in a register

g) An additional safeguard is to only allow whole files to be taken and not individual vouchers

h) To good financial regulations, payment vouchers must be preserved for a period of six years, or until audited, or in a court case, until the case has been settled, if this is later than six years.