Better Boards Conference 2024

Better Boards Conference 2024 Master the Art of the Boardroom SYDNEY, 14 & 15 JUNE 2024


Financial Literacy, Reserves and Accountability: Financial Fitness for Directors in the Boardroom

Dr Craig Furneaux

Associate Professor with the School of Accountancy, Faculty of Business and Law at QUT

Craig leads the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies and is also Subject Area Coordinator for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies.

Craig has over 30 years' experience leading innovation in, and researching with, nonprofit organisations. Craig's research focus is on accountability, capability and change in nonprofits organisations and social enterprises. He is also interested in faith-based charities.

His research is available for free here:,_Craig.html

Dr Bernd Irmer

Senior Lecturer with the School of Management, Faculty of Business and Law at QUT

Bernd has more than 25 years of applied research and consultancy experience in areas of organisational and workforce strategy development.
His research focus is on understanding how people manage paradoxes, tensions, and competing priorities in organisations to promote organisational effectiveness and employee well-being.

Dr Jackie Bettington

Researcher and lecturer within the School of Accountancy, Faculty of Business and Law at QUT

Jackie has over 25 years of experience as a board director, researcher, educator and consultant in the governance, information management and heritage.

Her research focus is on understanding how director motivation and capability influence board and organisational performance. Jackie teaches governance, business law, ethics and social enterprise at both undergraduate and post-graduate levels.

Ensure your financial fitness in the boardroom with this essential session, delivered in partnership with this year’s Academic Partner Queensland University of Technology.

Dr Craig Furneaux, Dr Bernd Irmer and Dr Jackie Bettington will cover accountability, financial reserves and director financial literacy, then form a panel for discussion and clarification on points of interest.

Session 1: Presented by Dr Craig Furneaux,
  Nailing accountability challenges for future fit governance

Accountability is a key element of governance. However, accountability can be a challenging thing to nail down, possessing as one commentator termed it “chameleon like qualities”. Additionally the sheer number of stakeholders can make accountability a challenging activity to contemplate, let alone undertake. In our first session we provide an accountability framework which is actionable and comprehensive.

Session 2: Presented by Dr Bernd Irmer,
  Optimising your reserves for financial stability and sustainability

We will examine research concerning the optimal level of financial reserves and the capacity to meet ongoing operational needs. We will discuss not-for-profit case studies exploring how stakeholders’ perceptions of an ideal level of financial reserves vary based on their professional backgrounds. Additionally, we will explore the criteria they employ to define this ideal level. We will discuss implications for effective board functioning and decision making.

Session 3: Presented by Dr Jackie Bettington,
  Becoming future fit financial governors

Our research has found that while most not-for-profit board directors are diligent over 80% lack the requisite financial capability for financial monitoring. Collectively as the board most directors discharge their financial monitoring responsibilities by relying on the director perceived to be the most financially capable. However, this widespread practice can jeopardise their organisation’s financial stability and sustainability. It can also render directors more vulnerable to duty breaches and associated liabilities. Our final session explores the practical implications of this situation and provides practical tips, tools, and resources for helping boards and individual directors to become future fit financial governors.

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Conference Partners

HLB Mann Judd
Virtual Support Specialists
Integrite Insurance
Australian Ageing Agenda
Russell Kennedy Lawyers