ATESEA holds  Conference for Finance Managers

The Conference for Finance Managers organized by the Association for Theological Education in Southeast Asia (ATESEA) was held at Bangkok Christian Guest House, Bangkok, Thailand on November 21-24, 2017. Twenty-one (21) participants from Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, and Thailand attended the said gathering. The event was intended  1) to assist and acquaint seminaries with the financial challenges and opportunities faced by the seminaries in Asia today; 2) to identify the latest trends and best practices in Financial Management; and 3) to determine major issues in Financial Planning and Analysis relevant to theological institutions.

The following panelists shared their own experiences on “Opportunities and Challenges of Being a Finance Manager”:

  1. Ms. Sheila Tipon, Administrative Assistant of ATESEA, Philippines; and
  2. Ms. Dawn Lee, Administration and Finance Manager of Trinity Theological College, Singapore.

Dr. Danny Rantung, President of Asia-Pacific International University in MuakLek, Saraburi Province, Thailand lectured  on “Personnel and Human Resource Issues – Selection, Placement and Trainings.” Dr. Rowena Libo-on conducted a lecture  and workshop on “Budget and Financial Planning” and “Accountabilities – Records, Cash, Facilities.” Dr. Libo-on is currently the Director of Transnational Program, and Lecturer of the Graduate Program of College of Business and Accountancy in Central Philippine University, Iloilo City, Philippines. Representatives from the seminaries led the daily morning devotions.

The activities during the conference became avenues of new learnings. The exchange of best practices inspired everyone to note the relevant policies and procedures from the different institutions which are applicable in their own seminaries. These built closer ties among the different theological institutions. Some of the encouraging feedbacks  of the delegates were :

  • “We were  able to have a deeper appreciation on the role of a Finance Manager in the fulfillment of the mission and vision of the institution.”
  • “We gained additional knowledge about financial management and personnel matters.
  • We learned to be creative in making budgets.”
  • “We learned from  the good experiences shared  by  the speakers.”

Moreover, partakers of this conference formulated the course of actions that they will undertake and to be shared with their respective seminaries. These comprise the formulation of policies on records retention and disposition, restructuring of the Finance Department for proper segregation of duties, implementation of internal controls in the institution, conducting a performance review and preparing operations and procedures manual for the seminary. Truly, the participants were challenged to be more efficient financial stewards.

The participants look forward to a follow through – level 2 of this enriching conference. Congratulations ATESEA  for achieving the objective to enhance the knowledge and skills of Finance Managers! May God bless you for fulfilling a significant role in theological education!

by Ms. Leticia Ngoslab, Conference delegate from Philippine Baptist Theological Seminary, Philippines

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