BIS #6255 DRISTI Kapadvanj SHGs internal audit for transparency

by Father Mayank Parmar for BISMumbai

DRISTI Don Bosco Rural Integrated Social Training Institute at Kapadvanj conducted an internal audit drive of all its 136 SHGs. A first time implementation, the idea was adopted from the MYRADA-Karnataka process, since DRISTI also believes that the SHGs are micro-financial in nature and hence a detailed internal audit is a must, to ensure transparency of its financial transactions.

The objectives were : to make the SHGs more tansparent and to ensure financial reliance; to check all records to ensure all financial transactions and resolutions are recorded as per the guidelines; and hands-on training of all staffand SHG members. DRISTI Programme Officer Shailesh Parmar and DRISTI Director Father Mayank Parmar visited all the 136 SHGs and interacted with the presidents, secretaries and other members, reviewing the maintenance of registers and accounts. The registers checked for discrepancies were: member’s primary information register, savings register, resolution book, ledger book, SHG loan register, individual loan register, and individual passbooks.

Queries and observations were made noting that: All the money should be deposited in the SHG saving account of the SHG by end of each month and no money should remain cash in hand without resolution in the register; the entry of any expense or loan given should match in the resolution book and ledger book; SHGs should move towards independent functioning as much as possible; and maintain parallel registers to cross-check and verify.

The 02-month long internal audit process brought to the notice of all involved that there are very good book-keepers though their education is just Grade 5 pass and below! It also showcased that some seniors manage their SHGs excellently although unlettered! On an average 3 SHGs were audited by a team of 02 people in a single day. DRSITI field staff found this process as a revision in handling SHGs.

Ripka Christian says, "sometimes back we were busy in implementing other projects / activities and could not closely concentrate the SHGs indepth but this internal audit gave us chance to bring the SHG back on track." Most of the SHG women leaders unanimously claimed that such kind of audit should be done twice a year.