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MC Canada: Independent financial assessment leads to recommendations

   

September 9, 2003
-Dan Dyck

Lloyd Plett

Winnipeg, Man.—A comprehensive review of MC Canada’s financial operations has resulted in several key recommendations.

The review was conducted by Ruth Dueck Mbeba and Neil Janzen of Mennonite Economic Development Associates (MEDA) Their recommendations included:

  • Hiring an Interim Financial Consultant.
  • Improving financial reporting to all stakeholders.
  • Updating financial policies and procedures to reflect current structures.
  • Implementing a staff performance management system.
  • Strengthening and enhancing the roles and responsibilities of the Financial Policy and Audit Committee
  • More clearly defining the role of the Support Services Council

The objectives of the assessment were to review lines of reporting, flow of information, budgetary process and controls, determine and evaluate the skills required in the finance department, and identify any additional skills required for smooth functioning for appropriate and timely financial reporting. In carrying out the assessment, Dueck Mbeba and Janzen also observed that:

  • The annual audit process has generally been well-managed.
  • While accounting skills are satisfactory, more weight needs to be placed on financial management and strategic thinking in financial leadership.
  • Although the organization is solvent and carries financial strength, the re-building of unrestricted cash reserves is needed to mitigate future financial risks.
  • Staff are “committed people who love the church, the organization, and its mission.”
  • “… the organization places a high value on efficient administration.”

Lloyd Plett has been appointed to the position of Interim Financial Consultant . Plett has over 25 years of experience in financial management. He will provide guidance, leadership, monitoring, and risk management analysis of MC Canada’s financial operations. Plett, a semi-retired Certified Management Accountant, most recently filled the roles of Corporate Vice President and Vice President – Finance at Loewen Windows, a 1200-employee window and door manufacturer in Steinbach, Man. He continues to oversee Loewen family investments. Plett attends Prairie Rose Evangelical Mennonite Church in Landmark, Man.

Of his goals for this assignment, Plett said, “When I’m done, I hope confidence will be restored in Mennonite Church Canada. There is good work being done here, it deserves support.” Plett will work up to 7 days per month for up to 18 months.

Dan Nighswander, general secretary of Mennonite Church Canada said, “The review by the MEDA Consulting Group has provided a valuable external assessment of our financial management, with commendation as well as good counsel for improvement. With the changes already implemented and now with Lloyd Plett’s appointment as a consultant we want to raise the standards of our financial management.”