Our team (Chris Brown, Craig Chan and Kamal LaBreche) has spent the week getting to know our client, Descosur, a non-governmental organization that helps rural and marginalized populations. Descosur teaches farmers and small businesses how to increase crop productivity, conserve water and natural resources, improve market yields (for example, how to properly sheer Alpaca and classify their wool prior to market), and makes microcredit investments that allow families to build green houses in high altitude locations. Our job is to assess Descosur’s accounting system, and make recommendations to improve availability, security, functionality, and efficiency.
We’ve spent the week meeting with individuals throughout the organization ranging from senior executives and department managers to those who enter financial information into the system on a daily basis. Our task for this week is to understand the organization’s goals, challenges, requirements and specifically understand the accounting systems capabilities and issues.
We have a translator, but one of the challenges is finding the right word as slight nuances can cause a deviation in meaning. For example, words such as invoice, voucher, source code sometimes have to be explained to in detail if we don’t know the Spanish equivalent and often much time is invested in clarifying our understanding of the process.
Next week will be critical to our success as we meet with the programmer who created the accounting software system that is utilized by Descosur as well as the head accountant from Lima. Both will be in Arequipa for two days and this presents us with an opportunity to ask direct opportunities and help us as we evaluate the current program against other options.