IFR4NPO in Ethiopia – Reflections of the Country Champion

Meti Busha, Financial Management Trainer and Consultant, AGAR Development Partners

The IFR4NPO Country Champion in Ethiopia, Meti Busha recently hosted a meeting for anyone with an interest in non-profit financial reporting. We asked her to share her reflections.

IFR4NPO in Ethiopia – Reflections of the Country Champion

The interest so far looks very good for those who understood the project intention, But it will take time. The participants mentioned some benefits such as:

  • Guidance to address NPO issues, in a way that IPSAS does not: relevant guidance for the sector very important and needed.
  • A common standard in the sector, applicable in many countries
  • Probably lower adoption costs compared with IPSAS

The most important stakeholders are the regulatory bodies such Auditing and Accounting Board of Ethiopia (AABE), the Agency for Civil Society Organizations (ACSO), and the NPO/NGO sectors/organizations in Ethiopia. There were few challenges mentioned as indicated below:

  • The reporting requirements from donors, have a strong influence on NPOs’ accounting and reporting practice.
  • ABEE lacks resources to build capacity of Ethiopian NPOs to comply with international standards.
  • AABE shared that some Ethiopian NPOs have recently adopted , or are in the process of adopting IPSAS – too much change in a short a space of time could be very disruptive. The timing and details of any possible future transition will therefore need to be carefully considered.

Since the adoption of IPSAS by Ethiopian NPOs/NGOs is only at 5%, the IFR4NPO Guidance would seem to be an excellent and viable opportunity for Ethiopia. The key message was that stakeholders in Ethiopia should make sure their voices are heard in the consultation process, so that their needs can be understood.

I am sure that developing the Guidance is a lot of technical work. But the job of engaging stakeholders is also involving – identifying the right people who would be interested in this issue, and gaining a critical mass was more challenging than I expected. But having put in the effort, I feel proud to have put Ethiopia on the map in this international initiative.

We are so grateful to Meti Busha and all our Country Champions for their wonderful voluntary service in reaching out to stakeholders all over the world! You can find details of the meeting, including a video recording here.