Pecket is a user led voluntary organisation. We are a charity and company limited by guarantee run by and for people who have difficulties with reading, writing an/or numbers. Our constitution states that the majority of directors must have these difficulties themselves. Other directors are academics and educationalists (paid or unpaid) who are committed to promoting best practice in education, addressing inequalities in literacy/numeracy and increasing awareness of the impact on lives e.g. social/financial /health. (We were previously known as ‘Pecket Well College’). All information is read aloud and discussed at meetings to make sure every Director can make informed decisions. This means we work hard to provide information in different formats as and when needed.
Some Directors find traditional table format difficult to understand. Some need text in large print and/or reports printed on different colour background paper. We wanted to find better ways of presenting our financial reports so that everybody understands them.
Helen from WYCAS has helped us to produce financial reports in graph format. We followed good practice guidelines in the use of bar charts and produced a variety of layouts using various bars/columns. Our treasurer Malcolm has a visual impairment and found the column charts difficult to scan visually. Some other Directors asked for us to show exact amounts of each item of income or expenditure – rather than them having to calculate it along the side or bottom of the graph. He needs a horizontal bar chart with text next to each line stating what the income or expenditure item is. This was tricky but Helen (with help from WYCAS colleagues) persevered and together we have come up with an alternative format that people understand.
This took some time but we now have an alternative layout. This means all Directors are now involved in financial matters and can make informed decisions. You can see a brief video of the discussions with WYCAS about the final tweaking to the reports here.
“Working with WYCAS is good because they try hard to understand how we work. We call it the ‘Pecket Way’ – we work hard to show financial information in different ways and make sure everybody understands every penny coming in and going out.” – Malcolm Burnside (Joint Treasurer)
“A lot of people here and in other organisations say yes and don’t admit they can’t understand finance reports. I’ve been involved in an organisation that got its fingers burnt because we didn’t all understand the financial information. Helen from WYCAS works with our coordinator and Treasurers to make all information accessible which is vital to the smooth running of our organisation.” – Nick Pollard (Chairperson)
The work between WYCAS and Pecket has helped influence the development of our ‘Reporting financial and other management information effectively’ Good Practice Guide.
You can find out more about Pecket at their website which includes their oral history and on-going archives.