Finance Count FAQs

Click on the links below to view FAQ responses:

What is benchmarking?
How will it help me / my organisation?
Who else takes part?
What is included in the price of the study?
We don’t have all the data to complete every part of the questionnaire, is it worth taking part?
Can my colleagues and I share the workload?
How long does it take to complete the questionnaire?
How do I know I’m comparing like with like?
Will my data be shared with other bodies?
Can I amend my data once it has been submitted?
Can I change my peer selection?
How frequently should an organisation take part in Finance Count?
Who can I contact for help?
Who chooses my benchmark peers and on what grounds?
Who chooses the questions?
What are the benefits of the ‘good practice’ questions?

 

What is benchmarking?
Benchmarking is the process of comparing your organisation to others in the sector and your peer group on key metrics.

How will it help me / my organisation?
Benchmarking key metrics of your organisation provides early warning signs of potential issues and gives reassurance for what is already working well. The hard evidence helps determine priorities for action and provides evidence to support change, which enhances your ability to report back to management and trustees. You can also gain new insights on good practice and is our benchmarking studies are an excellent networking opportunity.

Who else takes part?
Over 100 charities of different sizes and sub sectors have taken part in Finance Count over the last few years – and we are hoping to grow this with Finance Count 2017/18. Previous participants can be viewed here (pdf).

What is included in the price of the study?

  • Telephone support when entering your data
  • Volume 1 report – a scorecard of your organisation’s scores against those of your peers and the whole sample
  • Online drill down reports
  • Executive Summary
  • Good practice material from participants
  • Access to online Contact Zone to share good practice and network
  • Sector-wide and Detailed Statistics reports by key topics
  • Invitation to results events, product training workshop, webinars and action learning sets to support you to understand your results, use your data and implement changes
  • Telephone or webinar consultation with a consultants tailored to meet your needs and deepen your understanding of the reports

We don’t have all the data to complete every part of the questionnaire, is it worth taking part?
Certainly. Many organisations find it helpful to take part as it is a good way of identifying gaps in their data collection. The only mandatory fields in the questionnaire are the basic ones about your organisation’s size and location. The average response rate is 70-80%. However, you will need to complete sufficient data to be eligible to receive the reports.

Can my colleagues and I share the workload?
Yes. We will set up a lead user to the online system and from there you are able to assign other users from your organisation. This is helpful as a person’s name appears beside any data they have entered which helps you to keep an eye on progress.

How long does it take to complete the questionnaire?
The time taken to complete the questionnaire will vary from organisation to organisation and will depend on how easy it is to acquire the information from your own internal systems. For most participants 3.5 person days of effort are required.

How do I know I’m comparing like with like?
We provide detailed guidance notes for each question. We ask that all participants pay close attention to these notes whilst completing the questionnaire to ensure consistency.

Will my data be shared with other bodies?
As part of participating in the study, you agree for your data to be used in sector-wide reports but no data will be attributed to your organisation. We do not share an individual organisation’s data with any other body and only CFG and Agenda Consulting, the researchers working on this, will have access to the data.

Can I amend my data once it has been submitted?
Yes, you can update your data submission as many times as you like throughout the year and re-run your Volume 1 report.

Can I change my peer selection?
We ask you to choose your peers carefully as we cannot allow you to change your peers.

How frequently should an organisation take part in Finance Count?
The CFG Finance Count survey will run every other year. This provides an opportunity for you to implement changes as a result of your data and learning and then see how your results have changed.

Who can I contact for help?
For any questions about the study or signing up to take part, please contact financecount@cfg.org.uk or 0845 345 3192. When you have registered you will be provided with further information about help available to fill out the questionnaire and select your peers.

Who chooses my benchmark peers and on what grounds?
You can choose between 7 and 20 organisations to benchmark against. You can choose peers based on size or sub-sector or a mixture of the two. All measures in the Volume 1 report are split by size and sub-sector as well so you get a really clear picture of your scores compared with others’.

Who chooses the questions?
The questionnaire has been shaped by a steering group of professionals from within the sector. If you would like to participate in the steering group or would like to contribute any feedback, please contact financecount@cfg.org.uk

What are the benefits of the ‘good practice’ questions?
Good practice questions are an opportunity for you to share with other organisations what is working well for your organisation and learn from others. These questions are not mandatory and so there is no obligation to complete them. The responses will be attributed to your organisation for other participants only. Only those taking part in the study will be able to see which organisation has said what. There is also the opportunity to get in touch with an organisation to network and share good practice as each organisation nominates one person to appear on the contact list alongside their job title and an email address. 

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