A practical guide
John Cammack
January 2014
Practical Action Publishing
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The success of any venture, whatever its size, depends on proper financial control. This book offers a step-by-step guide to basic accounting and financial management techniques. It is written in plain language for people who have no previous experience of accounting and book-keeping. Using simple case studies, the author shows how to construct a budget and cash-flow forecast; record and control cash payments; draw up an analysed cash book, and a receipts and payments account; operate a bank account; and prepare a budget and actual statement. Each section is followed by activities to practise the material covered.

Full solutions and notes for trainers and facilitators are also included. Basic Accounting is suitable for training non-governmental organizations in an international development context. However the procedures described in this book are not specific to development programmes. This book should be useful to any small group that needs to keep accurate records of its financial transactions.


Basic Accounting for Community Organizations and Small Groups is much needed for the NGO sector. Many organisations are small and therefore this book fills their need. It is written in a simple manner from a layman’s perspective, and will be very useful. This book can be summarised as “the power of keeping things simple”.  Sanjay Patra, Executive Director, Financial Management Service Foundation, New Delhi

John Cammack says that one of the key qualities of a book-keeper or treasurer for a community organization is being “able to explain financial matters to those who have less experience”. John just does that in this book. He sets out clearly how anyone, whether they have previous experience of finance or not, can follow simple steps to keep good accounts. This books shows that managing money well can be simple and is possible for everyone and every group. Tim Boyes-Watson, Director of Mango (Management Accounting for NGOs)

John Cammack has a unique talent of being able to explain complex accounting in an engaging and accessible manner. This is another invaluable tool for small organizations that are striving to achieve good financial management. Neil Jennings, Founder of Accounting for International Development

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