Key Actions by:

Standard 13: Effective financial management during project implementation.

Achieve financial consistency, accountability and stewardship through adequate, continuous financial planning, monitoring, controls and reporting.

Monitor sub-recipients' finances, and accompany partners to implement financial management capacity strengthening plans.

  • Why

    CRS considers regular financial monitoring to be an integral part of upholding the agency guiding principle of stewardship, and meeting our commitments to donors. The strength of sub-recipients’ financial management and internal controls affects:

    • CRS’ and sub-recipients’ ability to deliver project outputs and achieve project objectives
    • Donors’ and other stakeholders’ evaluation of CRS and sub-recipients as good stewards of resources.
    • Regular sub-recipient monitoring and ICIP implementation support to partners further strengthens overall project financial management.  
  • Who

    • Primary responsible: Head of operations (HoOps), or operations manager
      • The HoOps (or Ops manager) oversees the sub-recipient monitoring and internal control improvement plan (ICIP) implementation process, and is ultimately accountable for compliance with CRS’ Subrecipient Financial Management Policy.

    • Others involved: Finance manager (FM) or designated finance staff; project manager (PM) or Chief of Party (CoP) or CoP’s designate
      • The FM or other designated finance staff leads sub-recipient financial monitoring and provides financial management accompaniment to partners as needed;
      • The PM/CoP manages the overall relationship with the sub-recipient, providing support to finance on monitoring, accompaniment and accountability.

    In addition to the roles and responsibilities outlined above, follow the country program RACIA RACI matrix defines who is Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed for a particular action. matrix developed to guide implementation of the sub-recipient financial management policy.

  • When
    • Per the requirements in the Subrecipient Financial Management Policy (SRFMP) and individual partners’ Internal Control Improvement Plans (ICIPs)
  • How

    All aspects of the implementation of this key action are guided by CRS’ Subrecipient Financial Management Policy (SRFMP).

    Follow these steps to ensure strong monitoring of sub-recipients’ finances, and appropriate support and accompaniment to partners in implementing ICIPs:

    1. The HoOps or Ops manager works with finance staff and the PM/CoP to ensure that CRS schedules and conducts sub-recipient financial monitoring visits in accordance with the SRFMP (see SRFMP section 7). The HoOps also designates a “monitoring team leader.”
    2. The PM/CoP (or CoP designate) coordinates with partners to confirm monitoring visit dates per the frequency indicated in the SRFMP. 
    3. Designated finance staff conduct monitoring visits using the Monitoring Checklist and other monitoring materials from the SRFMP. Ideally, the PM/CoP (or CoP designate) also participates in the monitoring visit.   
    • Per the SRFMP, each financial monitoring team should conduct a planning session before a visit (see SRFMP section 7.6). The planning session should include a review of the Monitoring Checklist tasks and culminate in the selection of focus areas for the monitoring team, including specific support and capacity-strengthening priorities based on the sub-recipient’s ICIP (see CRS’ Institutional Strengthening Guide, Chapter 6).

    Financial monitoring and partnership: Consistent with its approach to partnership and capacity strengthening in general, CRS approaches financial monitoring and ICIP implementation accompaniment as opportunities for ongoing mutual capacity building and relationship strengthening. CRS should use financial monitoring visits as opportunities to introduce new or updated financial management practices, and as occasions for mutual learning.

    1. Country program staff (the individual specified in the country program SRFMP RACI matrix) communicates deficiencies, weaknesses, irregularities, questioned costs, or disallowed costs identified during the monitoring visit to the sub-recipient’s management team, along with corrective actions needed, and attaches this communication to the Financial Monitoring Trip Report (see step 5 below).
    • If the monitoring visit identifies the need for development of an ICIP or an adjustment to an existing ICIP, the HoOps is responsible for ensuring that it is submitted by the sub-recipient within the timeframe stipulated in the policy.
    1. The finance team completes the Financial Monitoring Trip Report within the timeframe stipulated in the policy and distributes the report to the PM/CoP, head of programs, and HoOps. 
    2. The PM/CoP (or CoP designate) works with finance and the partner to incorporate appropriate activities related to corrective actions into the project’s detailed implementation plan.
    • The monitoring visit may identify project management risks or issues, or updates on previously-identified risks or issues related to sub-recipient financial management. The project team should discuss this information as part of regular project management meetings, and the PM/CoP should update the project risk register and issues log accordingly.
    1. Finance staff upload actual visit dates, monitoring plans, approved field visit trip reports and monitoring checklists to the Monitoring Schedules, Sub-recipient Partner Relationship and Institution Assessment Summary records in Gateway.
  • Partnership
    • This action focuses exclusively on partners; see the "how" steps above.
  • When CRS is a sub-recipient
    • Follow the same process when CRS is a sub-recipient and has implementing partners.
  • Emergency projects
    • Refer to the SRFMP (section 2.3) for exceptions in emergency situations, if needed. Otherwise, follow the same process.