Timely, regular and accurate reporting results in better decision-making and improved regulatory compliance.

Reporting allows management to make good decisions based on up-to-date and relevant information. Reporting of expenditure against budget allows remedial action to be taken to address delays, budget overruns and reprogramming of activities.

Reporting to other government entities or donors not only ensures compliance with legal and regulatory obligations, but also provides accurate data that may attract additional funding.

UNDP’s approach

UNDP has assisted health programmes to improve reporting systems by working with ministries of health and civil society organizations to improve existing national systems and procedures and establish a system of timely and accurate reporting within health programmes. In particular, UNDP’s support includes:

  • assisting organizations to realize the benefits of timely and accurate reporting, not just to result in increased compliance with reporting deadlines, but to facilitate better decision-making.
  • leveraging innovative IT systems and technologies, which interface with existing systems, to provide easy-to-read financial reports.
Automating financial reporting in Sudan

In Sudan, UNDP worked with the Federal Ministry of Health to ensure that the newly implemented financial management system automated the production of reports for internal ministry use and produced quarterly reports for Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance (Gavi) and the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund). The soft ware was procured and installed at key Ministry of Health directorates and configured to pre-set parameters for standard reports. UNDP held a series of training sessions for federal and state finance staff on how to use the soft ware, and this was complemented by further medium-term technical support (six months) for UNDP to work closely with the Ministry of Health to assist with financial reporting, while providing on-the-job support and training to financial staff.

  • enhancing systems for real-time reporting to support accountability and transparency, as well as faster and more accurate decision-making.
  • working with finance and other senior management to design a chart of accounts (used for data users to better understand and articulate their data needs), as one of the essential pre-requisites for financial accounting and reporting to facilitate fast, flexible data analysis.
  • helping to design reports that are readily understood by all, including non-financial managers, exception reports, and detailed financial reports for use mainly by finance managers, as poorly designed financial reports often remain underused, with finance departments investing time in reports that do not fully meet the internal (management) and external (donors) needs.
  • assessing the main challenges to timely and accurate reporting, to identify practical solutions and measures to overcome bottlenecks.
Reporting in Global Fund programmes

The Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) requires each grant to report financial information on income, cash outflow, cash balance and commitments, and to provide information on expenditures, split by module and intervention, cost category/cost input and implementer. UNDP has developed reporting tools that expedite the reporting process and ensure data integrity is maintained. UNDP is able to mobilize a team of strong finance professionals to support development of financial reports meeting the requirements of the Global Fund.

Suggested capacity-development indicators

Suggested indicators to monitor improvements in financial reporting include:

  • Policies and procedures manuals are approved and available.
  • The Chart of Accounts is available and facilitates fast and flexible data analysis.
  • Financial transactions and reporting data are accurate and timely.
  • A certain percentage of departments/regions are using accounting and financial software systems.
  • A certain percentage of reports are submitted on time.
  • A certain percentage of reports are used for decision-making.
  • Submitted reports do not contain misstatements.