The Charity Commission has today published updated guidance setting out how to carry out an independent examination of charity accounts. Independent examination of charity accounts: Directions and guidance for examiners (CC32) updates the Commission’s previous publication published in June 2015, and takes into account comments from a public consultation on the draft guidance which ran from 3 June 2016 to 30 September 2016. Feedback from the consultation has also been published today.
The new Directions and guidance are mandatory for independent examiner reports signed and dated on or after 1 December 2017. This is to allow time for examiners to familiarise themselves with the guidance. However, early adoption is encouraged.
As proposed in the consultation, the new guidance includes 3 new Directions that must be followed by examiners:
To support examiners, detailed and clear guidance is given about how to meet each of the Directions. Having taken into account consultation responses from a number of professional accountancy bodies, umbrella charities and a working party on independent examination, the Commission has made a number of improvements to the final guidance. This includes publishing a brand new checklist alongside the guidance to help independent examiners meet all the necessary requirements when undertaking an examination. The guidance also includes a framework for the independent examination of small charity group accounts for the first time, as well as an expanded range of example examiner’s reports, advice on fund accounting, and guidance for examiners about helping charities with accounts preparation and record keeping.
Telling your story well: public benefit reporting by charities
The Charity Commission has today (21 April 2017) published the findings of its work to scrutinise charity accounts, finding that 54% of those reviewed did not meet the public benefit reporting requirement. The regulator says these charities. Click here for the full story.
Accounts Monitoring Review
The purpose of the trustees’ annual report and accounts is tell the reader what the charity is set up to do, what it achieved and how it spent its money. Three quarters of a sample of 107 sets of charity accounts filed with us provided basic information on charitable activities. They showed how the trustees had used the charity’s money and included either an audit or independent examination report. A quarter of charities failed to provide this basic information and fell well short of the standard the public has every right to expect. The main reasons why these sets of accounts failed to meet our basic standard were that either the annual report did not explain the charity’s activities to achieve its objectives or that the accounts did not balance or were incomplete. (21/04/17).
Thematic report outlines why some bodies fail to be registered as charities
A new report by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland has outlined the reasons why some charity registration applications fail.
Entitled, Refused entry to the register: understanding why, the report explains how the law is applied during the charity registration process.
Case studies are included to give those applying for charity registration a sense of what is and isn’t a charity, and what has led to the Commission refusing 39 registration applications to date. There are now over 5,500 charities on the register.
New report explains what makes a good public benefit statement
A new thematic report from the Commission outlines what makes a good public benefit statement.
For an organisation to successfully achieve charity status, it must demonstrate, successfully, that it meets the public benefit requirement. This is done through the public benefit section of the charity registration process.
The report provides four case studies – two of poor public benefit statements and two of good ones – to demonstrate to those potential charities going through the registration process how best to approach this crucial task.
Charities and Auto-Enrolment - what you need to know
The Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has produced new guidance for Scottish charities about pension auto-enrolment.
Every employer in the UK, including charities, must put certain paid employees into an appropriate pension scheme and contribute towards it. This is called 'auto-enrolment'.
This guidance is aimed at small and medium charities with paid employees. It lets charity trustees know their legal responsibilities in relation to auto-enrolment by explaining some of the basic requirements.
The guidance tells trustees:
What auto-enrolment is
What a charity has to do
Where to get more help and advice
You can view ‘Charities and Auto-Enrolment – what you need to know’ here.
Scottish fundraising regulation: what's so different?
Scotland’s self-regulatory system of fundraising was launched in July 2016.
Recently, we interviewed Alison Elliot, Chair of the Independent Fundraising Standards and Adjudication Panel for Scotland, who answered questions about Scottish fundraising regulation. Alison also gives advice to the public and charities about the fundraising concern procedure.
Claiming a top-up payment on small charitable donations
Before 6 April 2017, you could only claim on small cash donations. Cash donations can be in coins or notes of any currency that have been collected and banked in the UK.
From 6 April 2017, you can also claim on donations made using ‘contactless’ technology, such as a contactless credit or debit card.
Independent examiner's report template (SORP FRS 102) charitable company
Use this template when independently examining a charitable company's accounts.
Accruals accounts pack (CC17) - SORP FRS 102 for charitable companies
Template to help company charities with income of £500,000 or less prepare their trustees' annual report and accruals accounts in accordance with Charities SORP FRS 102.
Charity accounting templates: accruals accounts (CC17) SORP FRS 102 for charitable companies
Templates for completing a charitable company's accounts by charitable activity for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2015.
Trustees' annual report template (SORP FRS 102) charitable company
A pro-forma charitable company trustees' annual report.
Charities: detailed guidance notes
This guidance has been updated to reflect the rule changes for the Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme from 6 April 2017. Chapter 8: The Gift Aid Small Donations Scheme is now covered over 2 guides - before 6 April 2017 and from 6 April 2017
The Charities SORP has become too complex and steps should be taken to ease the burden on smaller charities, according to two bodies that represent the sector. - Click here to read the full story
Response to the invitation to comment on Research exercise on charities SORP (FRS102) can be found here. SORPResearchExercise.docx.pdf
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