Finance and Account Department is a service department of Examinations Council of Zambia. It superintends over all financial resources of the Institution. The Department draws its mandate from the Examinations Council of Zambia Act of 1983 Section 23 – 26 which section outlines on how and where the Institution can mobilize it’s financial resources (income streams) and how such resources are supposed to be accounted for. The Department is headed by a Chief Accountant who report directly to the Director and is assisted by three (3) Accountants and Six (6) Supporting staff. The Department has two (2) broad functions. These are Financial Management and Financial Reporting Roles.
- The Financial Management roles include;
- a. Cash Collection and receipting
The Council provides a number of services to members of the public and these services are paid for. The Finance and Accounts Department is authorized to receive service fees and issue receipts through an Accounts Officer (Cashier) whose office is adjacent to the main gate.
- Cash banking
The Department is responsible for all bank-related transactions including deposit and withdraws of cash.
- Cash flow management
This entails estimating the amount and timing of payments for expenditures and receipts for incomes. Cash flow planning ensures that funds are available when they are required by user departments.
- Preparing and making payments
The Department is responsible for preparing and making payments to both external and internal claimants as approved by management.
- Preparing payroll
The Department is responsible for preparing monthly payroll and ensuring that employees are paid their salaries by the 21st of each month. It is also our responsibility to ensure that the institution complies with the various statutory obligations associated with payroll and other financial transactions.
- Budget preparation and monitoring performance
Budgeting is a process of estimating financial resources required to undertake activities in fulfilment of the organization’s objectives, identifying sources of funds and adopting measures to ensure that funds are available to fulfill the objectives. Every year Council prepares estimates of income and expenditure based on departmental annual activity work plans. These estimates are presented to the Finance and Administration Committee of the Council for approval. Upon approval by the committee, the report on Estimates of income and expenditure is presented to Council for debate before the same is approved. The budget is finally approved by the ministry for implementation. It is the responsibility of the department to coordinate the activities of preparing the budget.
- The Financial Reporting roles include;
- Preparing Financial Management Reports
To aid management and the Council make informed financial decisions, the Finance and Accounts Department prepares periodic financial reports. Management Accounts are prepared and reported to the Finance and Administration Committee of Council on a quarterly basis. Once approved by the committee, the Management Accounts are tabled before Full Council for consideration.
- Preparing Annual Statutory Accounts
Our fiscal year runs from January to December of each year. Therefore, Annual Financial Statements are prepared and submitted for audit by The Auditor General’s Office at the end of each year. The auditors are required to express an opinion on whether the financial statements present fairly the affairs of ECZ or not. At the conclusion of each audit, the auditors present their findings and results of the audit to Management through a Management Letter. Among other things, the Management Letter report on identified weaknesses and deficiencies in the internal control systems. It is the responsibility of the department to respond and act on the auditors’ recommendations regarding internal control weaknesses in our financial management system.
- Facilitating and coordinating annual statutory audits
It is the responsibility of the Department to facilitate annual statutory audits by the Auditor General’s Office. The 2010 financial statements have been audited and the accounts signed off by the auditors. The audited statements together with the auditors’ opinion have been submitted to management.