MoE Strips HOIs of Financial Control and Hands It to New Position of School Finance Officer
The Ministry of Education has issued a directive to all public schools countrywide to recruit and employ a Chief Finance Officer who will be in charge of running financial matters in the school.
Teacher.co.ke has found out that the issued directive required this matter to be acted upon with urgency.
This directive has predictably caused some tension among Heads of Schools (HOIs) who feel that they have been hard done by with the powers of running the school’s finances being taken away from them.
However, the ministry has assured those concerned that this is to their own advantage because it is meant to lessen their burden of leadership in schools.
The Position of Chief Finance Officer (CFO) is set to lower school Principals to the role of being spectators when it comes to matters of finance.
However, the school principals will remain the CEOs of institutions and thus still the heads of institutions, they will be required to follow and comply with strategies and recommendations made by the CFOs on any financial issue. This means that the CFO could turn down financial demands made by the principal provided they do not meet the school’s strategic plans.
Many schools have already advertised vacancies for the post in order to comply with the MoE’s directive.
Duties of CFOs
The finance officer will be expected to report to the CEO who is the Chief Principal and the BOM secretary. The following are the duties of a CFO candidate:
- Oversee the school’s daily cash management (Planning for finances is included).
- Manage the collection of fees and make sure that all money collected is recorded properly.
- Keep accurate records of the school’s additional revenue-generating initiatives.
- Create accurate and fast bank reconciliations.
- By putting in place the appropriate cost management methods, you can ensure the responsible use of your financial resources.
- Control the accounts payable process and make sure all transactions are properly documented and traceable.
- Create yearly budgets
- Preparing financial statements on a weekly, quarterly and annual basis
- Close collaboration with auditors
- Supervision of workers who do not teach
QUALIFICATIONS FOR CFO
An ideal Chief Financial officer must have the following minimum qualities:
- Be a holder of a Business or Account degree or equivalent from a recognized university.
- Be a person of unquestionable integrity
- Data analytical skills
- Deep understanding of generally accepted accounting principles including budgeting and planning.
- Good conflict management skills
- Effective communications skills and fluency in English and Swahili
- Solid leadership and management qualities including the ability to inspire team spirit and harmony among other stakeholders.
- Individuals in this role must forecast and offer strategic direction to the organization based not only on internal data but also on external market trends.
- Have a solid grasp of modern financial technology and IT and their applications in solving financial issues within constrained time limits.
The CFO position has already caused a stir among principals and how every pans out remains to be seen.