Hi I’m Di, the Financial Administrator at LETCEE.
I am a Community Health Nurse by profession and ran the Mobile Health Service based in Greytown for six years. In 2001 I was employed by LETCEE to start the first Community Home Based ECD Project in the Kranskop rural area. Before I went in to nursing, I’d always to be a teacher and so working at LETCEE was a great way to be involved in education and the inclusion of Health and Education ensured a holistic approach to ECD. I thoroughly enjoyed being out in the field working with the children in the community. BUT after 5 ½ years was delegated as the part time Bookkeeper. One of my favourite subjects at school was maths, and so moving in to bookkeeping was a good move for me, and one I’ve really enjoyed.
It wasn’t long, before I was no longer going out to work in the community but became a full time Bookkeeper! LETCEE had grown and to date has six Community Projects and 18 permanent staff.
Having practical experience working in the field and with the budget of the Funder from my start at LETCEE, has had its advantages. Using both Pastel Payroll and Pastel Accounting for NPO’s ensures the keeping of accurate financial records for the organisation, the numerous Funders and meeting the legal requirements of SARS a breeze! Each Funder has their own way of setting the budget and line items for the Community Project they support. The records are submitted to the Auditor at the end of the financial year who only contacts me for clarification!
As the Finance Administrator I need to keep a good eye on what is being spent where, to ensure our funders get full accountability. This has its challenges, as keeping track of every cent can be tricky, especially with working in so many communities.
I work hard and pay a lot of attention to detail. I worry about every cent, and make sure I keep track of everything. If it comes to doing the books, Mary and I would sit in the office and Mary would say ‘it’s just one cent, don’t worry’, but I would sit for hours to make sure every single cent is accounted for.
Working as the Financial Administrator has its differences to being out in the field, of course! I do however, enjoy my time now ‘behind the scenes’; I get a lot of job satisfaction. It is great to hear the stories coming back from our various community staff members, and I love to hear that the funding we receive (and which I help to manage) has such an impact.
One of the highlights of my job was when LETCEE was audited by the National Lotteries, one of funders. It was a very detailed audit, looking at everything to do with our finances (everything down to the kitchen sink!). I had to ensure we had everything in order, and he was very impressed by how organised everything was.
LETCEE is regularly visited by our various funders, and the interaction between myself and them has always been positive. I know I run a tight ship, but then it makes these visits go very smoothly. I know I’ve kept accurate records of the use of their funding, and so they’re always happy with the accounts.
Written by Di Köhne