If you are under 50 years of age, you may not remember a TV advertisement for H&R Block which featured a tax agent at her computer. To the voiceover, “Margaret just found a large tax saving for her client”, the agent gives a silent fist pump, then looks around before returning to her work. Accounting is not often described in terms of excitement, but several developments in my [Keith] work of late could at least be considered momentous.
Coming into the Finance manager role carried some concerns, particularly that as an organisation with its administrative base in the USA, many of the financial principles are different from those applied in Australia. With one exception….
When an issue came up related to GST processing, my comments on how to approach it were met with glazed looks. It turns out that Americans do not necessarily have a firm grasp of GST complexities. I had found my niche! Further investigation soon revealed that the organisation had a GST credit with the PNG Government totalling 750,000 kina around AU $300,000 and there had neither been an effective means of reporting on this, nor a clear intent to resolve the issue. [ In case any accountants are reading this….. it’s a long story, but just understand that Government procedures in PNG differ from those in Australia. ]
Together with one of my PNG accounting staff, and the input of IT support, we have corrected some errors with various computer systems and can now submit the appropriate reports to recoup the funds. We have offset around 90,000 kina so far this year, and are aiming to have the entire amount recovered by September.
Exciting? Perhaps not. Momentous? It certainly makes a difference in our operational budget for the year, and anything that extends the capacity of SIL to advance Bible translation in PNG is momentous in my estimation.
Please pray …
• praising God that He has equipped us to serve in PNG
• that Keith can make time to recruit and train staff in the Finance Office
• that SIL continue to show good stewardship in administration areas, that the work of Bible translation is effectively supported