The difference between reading and understanding financial reports is profound. The board member or CEO who looks at the tables of numbers and is overcome by the mystery of what they mean, is a liability for the organisation. How much more valuable would they be if they could discern red flags for error or fraud, or understanding the impact of decisions being made now on the long-term viability of the organisation.
Every member of the board holds an explicit fiduciary duty and is legally bound to be able to read and understand the financial reports. This duty extends to activity - doing something - to make decisions to ensure that the organisation is solvent, and will exist and be succesful long after they have retired.
Training for Board members can't be of any value if its offered as an hour workshop or webinar. One needs to get the basic concepts of how reports are constructed, and then building to the presentation and interpretation.
Accounting for Good delivers this type of training from time to time in Sydney, so shout out if you want to attend our next workshop, and if you are in Victoria, we recommend getting in touch with Non Profit Training who run an excellent series on this topic.