Saturday, August 6, 2016


Gosh, you must be keen if you're reading a post with a title like this one!

I've had a number of sessions with Angelin, the Diocesan bookkeeper.  He has a degree that includes accounting, but had no experience of accounting software before the Diocese hired him.   He is keen to do his job better and more quickly.

We are honing our language skills by him speaking in English and me speaking in French.  Occasionally we switch when words fail us.  But I think Angelin is winning!   That is excellent, as partnerships between the Malagasy and others will likely flourish best if the Malagasy can converse in English.

In addition, there is so much helpful material available on the internet in English for using Quickbooks -- the bookkeeping package by Intuit that the Diocese of Toliara uses.  There's only a limited amount of French material (mainly from French-speaking Canadians).   With greater fluency in English, the Malagasy will find it easier to help themselves without foreign assistance, which is of course the long-term goal.

So far Angelin and us have discussed:  how to account on a project-by-project basis for bank fees for foreign exchange transactions on funds donated from outside Madagascar;  how to use the Quickbook concepts of Customers and Jobs to track (say) how many US dollars given for a particular purpose remain unconverted into Ariary (the currency of Madagascar);  and how to set up budget reports to monitor how various categories of day-to-day spending compare with the budget for the year.

It's all very humdrum, of course, but it's part of what is needed so that the Diocese can continue use money in a responsible way as it continues to grow rapidly, both in its specifically religious activities, and in humanitarian relief, education and economic development projects.

1 comment:

  1. For many, the idea of retaining an outside bookkeeper or accountant to handle your personal financial matters is sort of like opening up your closet to a complete stranger.

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