Every Thursday, the Buyobo leadership, including Olive (Director), Jackie (Assistant Director), Grace (Operations Manager), and Agnes (Assistant Operations Manager), meet with Melissa (East Africa Finance Director), to review the BWA operating budget. They have been learning the function of 32 tabs, and the computer skills to create each tab from scratch.
During her first year in Buyobo, Melissa concentrated on the finances for Buyobo Women’s Association, making sure all transactions are properly tracked on computers, and creating a detailed operating budget. This year the focus is on sustainability, making sure that everyone in the BWA leadership team is familiar managing the budget, and will be able to create a new one in 2016.
With four bank accounts, four quarterly loan cycles, and over sixty loan groups depositing both loan payments and savings twice a month, it is no simple business to track! The budget is also separated into three major categories– loan hub operations, ancillary village programs, and reimbursable expenses from WMI for Buyobo staff to establish and support the other loan hubs across Uganda, Kenya, and Tanzania.
Recently, budget lessons have focused on creating account registers, identical to PostBank bank statements at the end of each month, to make sure each deposit and withdrawal matches BWA records, and to check that neither bank or loan hub made any mistakes.
This week, ladies created an Operations Account register, combining all loan deposits, withdrawals, and fees for the month of February in a single table. As Olive transferred all February deposits and copied the equation to keep a running balance total, Melissa asked her: “When you took your first loan in the Blue group, did you think you would one day be doing all of this?” Olive sat back and shook her head. “No, I did not!”