The United Fried Brigades’ Association (UFBA) is currently running a pilot programme for volunteer brigades and rural volunteer fire forces providing training on how to use Xero accounting software.

Financial management is one area that volunteers have said they find challenging and the initiative is one of a range of Volunteer Support Year One initiatives which aim to better support volunteers.

The unique UFBA financial package provides templates for hassle free reporting to Fire and Emergency and Charities Commission, as well as training modules to make sure that all users have a good understanding of how to use the software to their full advantage. The programme will assist brigades in reducing the administrative burden of financial management and reporting.

The pilot has a tiered approach with five brigades already engaged to get a better understanding of their needs and to test the programme in a controlled environment.

This first phase is expected be completed by the end of February, and then a further 15 brigades, from across the regions, will be added to test a variety of different scenarios. Once the system has been fully tested the UFBA intend to offer training and support to an additional 30 brigades by June 2018.

If you have any queries about the Xero rollout pilot or would like to be part of the initial 50 brigades/fire forces involved in the pilot, please contact UFBA Membership Support Coordinator Jane Davie, phone 04 237 2683 or email jane.davie@ufba.org.nz.

These members will be added to the database of interested participants and will be contacted as soon as the system is available. Priority will be given to those with the greatest need and from a variety of demographic regions and capabilities. The UFBA will be selecting a mix of brigades from rural and urban environments. Those who are involved in the pilot project will receive the training, templates and subscription at no cost.

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