Volunteer your accountancy skills

Picture of volunteers

10 June 2016

Accounting for International Development (AfID) is a charitable organisation that offers opportunities to support non-profit organisations around the world – specifically for accountants.

Already over 1000 accountants from 45 countries have worked with more than 500 partners to increase their financial management capacity.

Founded by One Young CA 2016 judge Neil Jennings, AfID assignments can vary from two to 12 months, and involve training and streamlining the financial operations of the micro-finance organisations, hospitals, and schools that are trying to eradicate poverty and inequality in their country.

Financial reporting, bookkeeping, complex donor relations, and managing resources for beneficiaries are a small subset of the varied role you can undertake to smooth the journey of these grass-roots organisations; they struggle to employ qualified accountants or access training that will satisfy the accounting requirements of international donors. Volunteers will often work with existing employees to guide them through software and procedures to fulfil contracts and streamline efforts.

Some organisations will require a highly skilled CA with strategy background, while others require basic accounting skills – there are opportunities for every skill level. There are also opportunities closer to home with the UK Volunteer Accountant Programme, requiring pro-bono expertise from qualified accountants.

Already 52 ICAS members have volunteered with AfID and there is opportunity for our readers to join in.

To become an AfID volunteer, it is not essential to be a qualified accountant. However, you must satisfy one of the following criteria:

  • 3 to 5+ or more years relevant accounting experience
  • Membership or affiliation to a UK or overseas accounting institute e.g. ICAS, ICAEW, ACCA, CIPFA, CIMA
  • Part-Qualified or AAT Accounting Technician with 5 or more years of relevant work experience
  • You will need to provide evidence of your qualifications, accounting experience i.e. references, as part of the registration process
  • If you are still unsure, please drop AfID a line to answer any questions.

Typical assignments include:

Organisational needs assessment; Understanding financial statements; Cash management; Budgets; Cash flow forecasting; Audits; Management information systems; Risk management; Internal controls; Trustees; Remote consultation; and Credit management.


If you would like to volunteer in the UK, please email ukvolunteers@afid.org.uk.

Overseas volunteers can apply here.


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