by Elizabeth Ndibile
It has been 7 months now since I joined Ndoto as the staff accountant, and it’s been a journey full of new experiences and lessons. It is true when they say that learning does not end with school.
Coming in to the organization, the team felt that the entire accounting structure needed to be overhauled. The former system was a patchwork of different systems and structures and there was a lot of room for improvement. My first goal was to set up systems and internal controls to strengthen the way funds are being managed. Security and transparency are paramount. Years ago, Ndoto staff members could be found carrying tens of thousands of shillings (hundreds of dollars) in cash on their way to a school to pay a fee. Today, the entire organization operates nearly without cash at all.
The most wonderful experience in this process has been the cooperation from colleagues. Even though they didn’t fully understand what we were undertaking, they were willing to learn and adapt to new ways to manage money. Cooperation is not something that comes easily where change is involved!
It has also been a learning experience for me too! I didn’t have a background in managing school sponsorship programs, but in the months that I have been here, I have gained a lot of experience. Of course accounting standards are the same all over, but if you don’t clearly understand the specific context, an accountant is not as valuable to the organization as they could be. Now we can see each student’s account much more clearly and we avoid potential mistakes.
With the school construction beginning, it’s also going to be a new undertaking for me. I am the kind of a person who loves new challenges. Last year I renovated the accounting system for an organization that had been operating for more than a decade. This year I get to develop a whole new system for a school. It’s going to be fun and a challenge!
|Most of the Ndoto team at a recent retreat. Elizabeth is fourth from right.|
Only God knows the plans he has for Ndoto and for this team working here, but in all of this, we can only expect the best: the best experiences, the best lessons, and the best achievements.