Financial management is frequently perceived as being ‘just for accountants’ or ‘too difficult’. In fact, it is important to recognise that financial management is for everyone involved in achieving an NGO’s objectives, it helps us to do more with our your money.

This online course series is intended to provide an accessible, plain language introduction to the four building blocks of financial management: financial planning, keeping accounting records, financial reporting and internal control. The course modules were developed by LINGOs and Mango and mirror Forum Syd’s Partners Financial Management Manual. The modules are available in English, French and Spanish.

There is no restriction on the number of people who wish to study the course independently.

Objectives of the learning modules

Each module has specific learning objectives aimed at building understanding and awareness of the four building blocks of financial management: financial planning, keeping accounting records, financial reporting and internal control.

The general objectives of the financial management essentials modules are to:

► be introduced to the key concepts and minimum standards of financial management for NGOs.

► use a self-assessment health check to assess their financial management systems

► Identify further training needs.

Intended audience

The modules are designed for anyone within Forum Syd partners (SVEO/LEOs partnerships) needing a basic grounding in the four key financial management systems. They are especially suitable for entry-level finance staff and programme staff.

Entry criteria

► Language: A good all round reading and comprehension ability is required to study the course materials. The modules are available in English, French and Spanish.

► Commitment: Each module takes up to 2 hours, depending on the pace of study. The modules can be taken at any time and do not need to be completed within a specified period of time, unless the learners wish to take advantage of the one-to-one support.

► Computer skills: Applicants must be confident to use self-paced, slides-based learning tools.

► Technology: Participants will need access to a computer to run the modules, either online (so need internet) or offline.

How do the online learning modules work?

The modules are designed for asynchronous (ie not in real time) self-directed study. Learners can access the modules directly online through the Forum Syd eLearning Course Catalogue.

What are the benefits of the Last Mile Learning approach?

The approach has many benefits, for example:

► The learning process is supported by an experienced Forum Syd trainer

► The learning process is linked to a self-assessment finance health check

► Learners have the opportunity to study at their own pace, to reflect on their learning and to ask questions during the set period of study

► The format is great for fitting the training into busy schedules

► Learners new to online learning get to practice working with the approach and build confidence with the technology.

Core content areas

There are separate modules on the following standard topics:

► Introduction to financial management: including key principles, organising tools, key policies and coding structures

► Financial planning: including the planning process, the purpose of budgets and key stages in building a budget

► Accounting records: including what records we need to keep, the importance of supporting documents and key accounting routines

► Financial reporting: including who needs reports, what financial reports tell us and how to read the reports.

► Internal control: including how to minimise losses due to theft, fraud and carelessness.

How do I register for this course?

Anyone who is interested in following the course should do the following:

  • Visit forum syd virtual learning platform at
  • Request for an account by clicking the “Apply here” link
  • You will receive an email notification with your login credentials
  • Use your log in credentials to access the Last Mile Learning Course on financial Management in the Course Catalogue
  • Enroll for the course and wait for an approval notification. The approval process will take within 24 hours.

Learning will be undertaken as self-directed study with no coaching – learners are only required to inform Forum Syd which modules they plan to do and by when through the application system. Forum Syd trainers will follow up to find out which modules you completed and what further support you require.