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So ask yourself…What condition are my company’s written policies and procedures in?
Oh, you say you don’t have written policies and procedures.
“The policies that you put into place are to make sure that the staff knows what they should be doing,” Hilda Polanco, CPA, CGMA, founder and CEO of not-for-profit financial consulting organization FMA, said at the AICPA Not-for-Profit Industry Conference on Wednesday in Maryland.
“The policy development is one step, and then there is the training for the staff.” The basics of an effective policies and procedures manual are straightforward.
The result is that many organizations have manuals that are incomplete, out of date, badly written, poorly understood, and inadequately enforced.
Yet there’s no question that a high-quality policies and procedures manual can provide underlying documentation that helps an organization run effectively and efficiently.
Policies and procedures also provide clarity to the reader when dealing with accountability issues or activities that are of critical importance to the company, such as, health and safety, legal liabilities, regulatory requirements or issues that have serious consequences.
A few ‘Critical’ signs that your policies and procedures need to be reviewed and updated include: Let’s return to the first question we asked.
This is accomplished by providing the reader with limits and a choice of alternatives that can be used to ‘guide’ their decision making process as they attempt to overcome problems.
A ‘Policy’ is a predetermined course of action, which is established to provide a guide toward accepted business strategies and objectives.
In other words, it is a direct link between an organization’s ‘Vision’ and their day-to-day operations.
Procedures: Required steps to implement or comply with a related policy.
Guidelines: Optional steps outlining suggested ways to perform a function or adhere to a policy or procedure.