Reducing the burden of administration in brigades/rural fire forces is a key Fire and Emergency NZ Year One Initiative.
Adoption of a common general ledger structure and reporting requirements for volunteer brigades/rural fire forces will bring efficiency to financial processes and make it feasible for the UFBA to provide centralised support and advice.
An easily managed finance system will reduce administration for volunteers in:
- Meeting regular reporting requirements to Fire and Emergency NZ, and in
- Providing annual returns to Charities Services by brigades/rural fire forces that are registered charities.
These efficiencies will allow volunteers to spend more of their valuable volunteering time on activities that directly serve their communities.
Xero Rollout Pilot
Fire and Emergency NZ has engaged the UFBA to provide financial management training and support for a pilot using Xero financial software—a cloud-based system.
Working together with our accounting consulting firm Grant Thornton, we plan to convert the current financial system of 50 brigades/rural fire forces to Xero with standardised General Ledgers, accounting practices, and financial reporting during the next 12 months. Further brigades/rural fire forces will follow after.
Fire and Emergency NZ will provide Xero to the 50 brigades/rural fire forces participating in the pilot free of charge for the first year. We are negotiating with Fire and Emergency NZ to cover costs after that time.
The next steps
- Ask for expressions of interest for taking part in the pilot through a survey. We recently sent the survey to brigades/rural fire forces who have previously expressed interest in Xero. To obtain this survey and express your interest, please email Jane
- Develop templates for reporting to Charities Services and Fire and Emergency NZ, along with a standard chart of accounts
- Provide training at a local level.
If you have any queries about the Xero Rollout Pilot, please contact UFBA Membership Support Coordinator Jane Davie by emailing her here
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