Part 6 – Importance of recordkeeping

October 2023

During today’s training session, there was a lot of discussion about conducting and keeping records of meetings. Our trainer warmly welcomed us and we discussed saving and repayment collection, as well as mobilizing the collected savings fund. Despite having discussed the topic of record-keeping in our previous seven days’ training sessions, we have not been implementing it in practice.

Therefore, our trainer revisited the topic today to reinforce its importance and encourage us to start implementing it. He divided us into three groups and gave a task to perform a role play as below:

Situation 1:  Incomplete records

Sita Rai owns a small eatery shop but she did not keep a record of her earnings or expenses. One day, she realized that she needed to repay her first installment on the same day. Sita became anxious as she knew she didn’t have any money. She tried to recollect how much money she had received in the previous week and how it was spent.

Situation 2: Credit and no records

Gandhi Thakur has a small furniture shop. She sold a cupboard for 7000 Rs to a customer. When the customer collected the cupboard, he told Gandhi that he did not have all the money at that moment, but he promised to pay at the end of the month. At the end of the month Gandi tried to get her money. The customer told her that he only owed her 6500Rs, and he will not pay her more than that! A very angry discussion between the two persons followed. But Gandhi had no proof that she had sold the cupboard on credit for 7000Rs, and she had to accept the 6500Rs.

Situation 3:  Joined business and incomplete records

Shanti, Tulsa and Sita have decided to start a joined bakery shop. Shanti is dealing with all the money, Tulsa is selling in the shop and Sita is buying the necessary goods from the market. But they don’t keep records properly. How much money did Sita get from Shanti? How much money did they earn from the shop each day was difficult to know, because they did not do record keeping. Tulsa thought they had earned a lot of money, because she was the one who dealt with the customers, and she thought there should be more money in their safe box. Whereas Sita thought that she had bought lots of goods to sell in their bakery shop and cannot understand where all the earnings from these goods were. Then mistrust arose. They almost lost their hope about the business and trust in each other to continue their work. They argued and discussed to convince each other about what the money had been spend on, but they also blamed each other that they had taken money to their pockets.

After each role-play, we had fun-filled discussions and asked questions to identify problems. We learned a lot in a fun environment and committed to proper record keeping.