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Recently, the ACCA and British Council hosted a breakfast seminar at Arthur Lok Jack Graduate School of Business on the topic Civil Society and Capacity Challenge. The event was a success as I was pleased to meet several NGOs and learn more about their work.

NGOs are the backbone to getting our society in a better place. It is about people passionate about helping a common cause to make Trinidad and Tobago a better place for us as a society. Over the past thirty years, I have worked with several NGOs and I always encourage my business colleagues and teams to find a passionate cause and make a contribution by sharing their expertise.

Generally NGO’s are started by a group of people who want to help in a specific area but may not have the requisite skills to make the NGO sustainable. It is important to build a team or a Board of Directors who have the following skills – Legal, Accounting, Marketing, Human Resources and Technical skills. As accountants we can help NGO’s keep proper records for them to be able to have access to international funding. Accountability of financial resources is important.

Another key area for NGO’s is to have Board of Directors that are well networked to facilitate getting things done. Through those relationships, the Board can get donations for the NGO both is cash and in kind. By active involvement Directors can provide support for advocacy.

Accountants are always in demand to help NGO’s and this is also a way in which accountants can have the opportunity to build their own relationships while helping to build our society. Above all it is a great feeling when you are helping someone that is less fortunate than you and you are making a difference. At Aegis, we continue to support our community and I wish to encourage our young budding accountants to get involved in helping to build the capacity of NGO and ultimately our Civil Society.