SWISSAID meets all the accounting regulations defined by ZEWO and in the Swiss NPO Code, guaranteeing that donated funds are dealt with meticulously. SWISSAID submits its accounts in accordance with the SWISS GAAP FER 21 / Core-FER regulations. An external auditor checks the accounts during an interim and final review. SWISSAID subjects itself voluntarily to the more stringent ordinary auditing practices and standardised reporting in the ICS (Internal Control System) area in particular.
With donated funds of CHF 9.3 million, SWISSAID's results in 2011 were down slightly on previous years. Operating revenue remained very stable at over CHF 16 million. Operating expenditure was above the long-term average due to the expansion of the core business (projects abroad). SWISSAID consciously invested in projects among the poorest members of society in developing countries and pledged CHF 13.2 million to development assistance projects, significantly more than in previous years.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) contributed about 36% of SWISSAID's funding. These funds are ring-fenced for projects in developing countries and are used exclusively for work in the Southern Hemisphere.
Appreciation of our work
Local authorities, cantons, town and city councils, foundations and, above all, thousands of donors throughout Switzerland supported us generously in 2011, contributing the lion's share of our financial resources. A big thank-you to you all! We consider this support to be proof of people's trust in the work that we do and a mandate from them to implement the projects even more effectively and efficiently.
Handling financial resources carefully is very important to SWISSAID. We support our partner organisations in developing countries in steps to improve the quality of their administrative processes. This leads to improved financial supervision of the projects and increased transparency.
Decisive advantages in the long term
SWISSAID invests continuously in these processes. While the individual steps might seem modest, this progress will make a difference in the long run.
The clear division of duties between the Bern branch office and SWISSAID field offices in the Southern Hemisphere prevents duplication of work. Continual monitoring, according to business management principles, is undertaken to check that projects are conducted efficiently and fundraising measures are worthwhile. Yet professional management and project monitoring, controls and quality assurance, fundraising itself and transparent accounting represent an important investment in the future both for the foundation and for our partners in the South.
Optimising our use of resources
These basic administrative tasks accounted for less than 15% of our total costs in 2011, which represented a further improvement on previous years. Streamlining the processes and workflows and designing them efficiently is an ongoing challenge we face.
SWISSAID has a workforce of 132 people around the world, 31 of them in Bern and Lausanne. In the countries of the South SWISSAID works mainly with local specialists and refrains from bringing in expensive experts from Switzerland.