How Performance Auditing Can Help Your NGO

Non-Governmental Organisation (NGO) performance audits provide an impartial assessment of the compliance level of an NGO with international best practices and establish a framework towards continuous improvement.

The application of a voluntary standard of NGO accountability aims to assess performance and compliance levels against a comprehensive set of objectively measurable criteria, organised under different perspectives so as to be ‘readable’ by any stakeholder. Quantifying results enables progress measurements at regular intervals, and this can be translated into an internal management tool for continuous improvement purposes.

By applying such a system, the grantee can detect risks and weaknesses and correct them before it is too late. This should be paramount for those grantors preoccupied by the transparent, efficient and effective use of their financing.

Benefits of the NGO Benchmarking Performance Audit

Ensuring the transparency, integrity and performance of an NGO is of crucial importance to stakeholders such as donors, beneficiaries, contractors or local authorities. Second-party audits, where the auditors have a stake in the organisation they are auditing, do not always guarantee strict objectivity. A neutral third-party audit is the best way of providing an impartial, comprehensive understanding of an NGOs accountability.

The audit we conduct establishes a clear reference framework which can be used as the basis for future audits to measure how the NGO has improved. It can also be used to help position the NGO against other organisations working in the same sector or region.

The NGO benchmarking methodology

Our NGO benchmarking standard has been designed to provide independent assessment of an NGOs conformity to international best practice and to demonstrate its mastery of risk. We assess performance against 101 objectively verifiable indicators, which have been selected from international standards. We then group these into four key perspectives:

  • Dimensions of best practices:
  • Governing body;
  • Strategic framework;
  • Integrity management;
  • Communication, Advocacy and public image;
  • Human resources;
  • Financial;
  • Fund-raising, resources allocation and financial controls;
  • Operations;
  • Outcomes; and  
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Contributors’ expectations;
  • Management components; and
  • Continuous improvement.

Ratings are then provided for each indicator and consolidated by perspective in the final performance audit report. The scope of the audit is defined by the client, with on-site interviews and documentary checks conducted to generate the following results:

  • Detailed scores for each perspective;
  • Indication of strengths and improvement opportunities; and
  • Recommendations, corrective and preventive actions.

Before submitting the final performance audit report, we first validate all results with the audited organisation.

Contact us to find out more about how NGO Performance audit services can provide a comprehensive neutral assessment of NGO accountability, transparency and effective continuous improvement.

For more information contact:

Subash Singh
Manager: Internal Audit Services
E-mail: subash@ubac.co.za.

For more about UBAC, refer to www.ubac.co.za.

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