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Financial Management Training for Co-operative Businesses in Western Division

Twenty-one co-operative business owners and sole traders participated in a Financial Management Training held on June 5-6, 2024, at the Chamber Hall of the Lautoka City Council in Lautoka.

The training was conducted by the Business Assistance Fiji (BAF). The main aim of this training was to equip participants with crucial financial management skills and knowledge, empowering them to foster the financial health and sustainability of cooperative businesses across Fiji.

On Day 1, participants explored the topic of understanding financial basics. They learned about the definition and importance of financial management for cooperative businesses. The session provided an overview of essential financial statements, including the income statement, balance sheet, and cash flow statement, and introduced key financial ratios and their significance.

Under the topic of budgeting and forecasting, participants learned about the importance of budgeting in cooperative businesses. They were guided through a step-by-step process for creating a budget and introduced to various forecasting techniques for better financial planning. The session included practical exercises and case studies to reinforce the concepts and enhance their understanding.

In the afternoon session, participants focused on cash flow management. They learned the importance of cash flow and its role in cooperative businesses, discussing strategies for maintaining a healthy cash flow, as well as techniques for cash flow forecasting and monitoring. Additionally, they learned about the importance of keeping accurate records for financial reports and audits.

On Day 2, the participants of the Financial Management Training went through the Advanced Financial Management topic which focused on financial decision making, capital budgeting, where they learned to evaluate long-term investment opportunities. The session also covered topic such as financing decision and cost profit and price analysis to better understand the financial implications of various business strategies.

Furthermore, the participants went through the Financial Analysis and Reporting topic where they had the opportunity to learn about the importance of interpreting financial statements for decision-making, using financial ratios to assess performance and effective communication of financial information to stakeholders.

The participants also learned the importance of internal controls in cooperative businesses and methods for identifying and preventing financial fraud. Lastly, they went through financial management tools and software, emphasizing compliance with regulatory requirements and effective financial management practices.

During the afternoon session, Mr. Christopher Douglas from Fiji Development Bank (FDB) led participants through financial knowledge and skills for effective money management, covering budgeting, savings, borrowing, and investing. He also discussed assisting cooperatives in accessing funding and bridging the gap for the unbankable community.

During the two-day training, the participants went through some case studies and participated in group discussions.

ENDS

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