The Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) has recently undertaken a review of a sample of charities accounts. The report published on 28 August 2019 starts with the following comment:-
“The auditors and independent examiners’ of charity accounts are our second line of defence, after the Trustees, against mismanagement in charities. We rely on them to scrutinise the accounts that the Trustees have appointed them to audit or examine and to report to us any significant concerns that they identify in the course of their work. However, the results of our annual survey of the quality of charity accounts show that some auditors and examiners are failing to identify significant failing in the accounts that they are reviewing.”
The CCEW have published a benchmark of Minimum Standards and it was this that was used when reviewing the accounts.
The results were disappointing particularly the £25,000 to £250,000 income group where only 37% met the external scrutiny benchmark. Although the accounts are the responsibility of the Trustees, Auditors and Independent Examiners should be reviewing them for compliance.
In times of increased funding difficulties it is important that the accounts available to funders are accurate. Many Funders will be put off making grants to charities with accounts that are incomplete or contain errors.
It is important when appointing an Independent Examiner that Trustees ensure they understand charities and the reporting requirements.
The Association of Charity Independent Examiners (ACIE) is the only membership organisation that exists solely for Independent Examiners in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. Members are able to act for charities subject to restrictions on income levels depending on their experience and ability. Training courses are provided by ACIE to improve the quality of their work and to meet charity needs.
The preparation and scrutiny of charity accounts is a specialist area. For Independent Examiners membership of ACIE will help you achieve and maintain standards looked for by the CCEW (and Commissions in Scotland and Northern Ireland) through support, training and advice which is available.
There will be news of new training events shortly.
Overview: Join us in Perth to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and update yourself on all things Independent Examination (IE). This event provides an opportunity to reflect on the contribution Independent Examination makes to good governance and financial transparency. In addition, our workshop programme will give you a chance to update your skills and knowledge, whatever your level of experience.
Who should attend? Anyone who carries out, or who is thinking about carrying out, Independent Examination. This event will also be of interest to Charity Trustees, Treasures and Finance Officers.
If you are new to IE, this event is great chance to ‘test the water’ and learn more about the roles and responsibilities of an examiner.
If you are already carrying out examinations, this event can help with your CPD, update your knowledge base and refresh your skills. Our event is an excellent opportunity to network with other examiners.
Confirmed speakers include:
Pricing: Until 9th July 2019
ACIE Members ‘Early Bird’ £120 - ACIE VIE ‘Early Bird” £66 - Non-Members ‘Early Bird’ £155
Pricing: From 10th July 2019
ACIE Members £155 - ACIE VIE Members £85 and non Members £180
Book online or email firstname.lastname@example.org
The Institute of Fundraising has updated it’s guidance around General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR).
First published in 2017 ahead of the launch of the new regulations that came into effect May last year, this update includes amendments, latest thinking and additional tips and advice. Plus new information around minimising data protection risks, advice on when to consider employing a data protection officer and all new top tips on how to assess whether you have a legitimate need to carry out direct marketing under GDPR.
You can read the updated guidance by clicking here.
Making Tax Digital Webinar from CFG
It's completely free you just need to register to attend
Wednesday 1 May
Join CFG for an informative session with Rosie Durham, Tax Projects Manager at Cancer Research UK as she talks through how Cancer Research UK has made the changes to ensure they are compliant with the requirements of Making Tax Digital.
With Making Tax Digital coming into force for many charities for the VAT periods starting on or after the 1 April, we are sure you will find this free webinar a useful way to understand the practical steps your charity will need to take to meet the requirements.
KM invite Trustees and Senior Representatives of Charities and Community Amateur Sports Clubs (CASC) to a Training Day to be held on Thursday 23rd May 2019 at The Life Church, Burnley, BB12 6QP - 09:30 - 15:15
Topics to be covered:
Fees: £30 per delegate. This includes lunch and refreshments.
For further details click here or email email@example.com
Our partners, the Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers have launched their 2019/2020 training programme. Topics include:
For more details go the the ACAT website
Bookings are now open for our annual conference 2019
Venue: NCVO 8 All Saints St, London N1 9RL
Overview: Join us in London to celebrate our 20th Anniversary and update yourself on all things Independent Examination (IE). This event provides an opportunity to reflect on the contribution Independent Examination makes to good governance and financial transparency. In addition, our workshop programme will give you a chance to update your skills and knowledge, whatever your level of experience.
Who should attend? Anyone who carries out, or who is thinking about carrying out, Independent Examination. This event will also be of interest to Charity Trustees, Treasures and Finance Officers. If you are new to IE, this event is great chance to ‘test the water’ and learn more about the roles and responsibilities of an examiner. If you are already carrying out examinations, this event can help with your CPD, update your knowledge base and refresh your skills. Our event is an excellent opportunity to network with other examiners.
Nigel Davies, Head of Accountancy Services (Charity Commission for England & Wales)
Professor Gareth Morgan, The Kubernesis Partnership LLP
Mark Heaton, K M Business Solutions Limited
Charlie Cattell, Social Economy Consultant
Susan Robinson, Kreston Reeves
David Potts, The Association on International Accountants
Gillian McKay, Head of Charity and Voluntary Sector ICAEW
Chris Harris, Partner MHA MacIntyre Hudson
John O’Brien, Community Accounting Plus
Regulatory update from the Charity Commission
The history of IE and its future
Governance issues for faith based charities
Fraud in charities: prevention and identification
Reporting and recognising income - including SORP and other reporting requirements that apply to charities
Introduction to Independent Examination and Receipts and Payments accounts
AML: A guide for Independent Examiners
A guide to ACIE Full Membership
ACIE Members ‘Early Bird’ £120 - ACIE VIE ‘Early Bird” £66 - Non-Members ‘Early Bird’ £150
Booking opens 20th March 2019. Book online or email firstname.lastname@example.org
This guide will steer you through the logistics of setting up a charity in simple steps. We will be with you on your journey – from that initial idea, calling or passion, to when you reach an income of £1 million (if you want to) and use your experience to support other small charities in the coalition. Click here to find out more.
All Scottish charities are required to prepare annual accounts. These consist of numerical information and also a Trustees’ Annual Report which is narrative information explaining what the charity has been doing in the year and providing details that cannot be expressed in financial terms.
Under statutory requirements, the accounts of Scottish charities must be externally scrutinised. That is, someone who is independent of the charity has reviewed the accounts and produced a report, attached to the accounts, that highlights any issues to the reader.
The formal requirements for accounts and external scrutiny are contained within charity law. The requirements differ depending on the constitutional form of the charity, the level of the charity’s income and also any relevant provisions contained within the charity’s governing document.
The formal requirements under the Charities Accounts (Scotland) Regulations 2006 for the form of accounts to be prepared by Scottish charities are:
In brief terms the formal requirements under the Regulations for external scrutiny are:
It is the responsibility of the charity trustees to appoint an appropriate person to carry out the role of auditor or independent examiner and they must consider the skills and knowledge required to undertake the role – this will depend on the complexity of the charity’s accounts and the operations of the charity.
Where the charity’s accounts are independently examined, the examiner must be a member of a relevant professional body where the charity has prepared fully accrued accounts – the professional bodies are listed in section 5 of our independent examination guidance.
Where independent examination is carried out on receipts and payments accounts, the examiner does not need to be professionally qualified but needs to be able to understand the legal requirements for charity accounts, the information contained in the charity’s accounting records and the relationship between the accounting records and the accounts.
Critically the person appointed to be the independent examiner must be independent of the charity. This means they cannot be one of the charity’s trustees or anyone else involved in the management, control or administration of the charity. The examiner cannot be connected to anyone in that position either – so they cannot be a member of a charity trustee’s family for instance. We explain more about the requirements for independence in section 5.3 of our independent examination guidance.
The Association of Charity Independent Examiners (ACIE) invites you to attend our 'best practice' guide to getting your IE right. We are running two events:
This course is for people with some knowledge of charity accounting who wish to undertake IEs, or improve their practice, in independent examinations.
At the end of the course participants will understand the legal requirements and good practice set out in the Charity Commission’s Directions for Independent Examiners and feel more confident about how to apply these practically in their work.
There will be a mixture of informal ‘lecture’ style & workshop sessions with plenty of opportunity for exchange of ideas and experience
The course will cover:
Your trainer will be Rachel Cooper (ACA).
Registration begins at 09:30 for a 10:00 start. Lunch and refreshments are provided. The day finishes at 16:30.
Please go to our Events page to register or email email@example.com
The Association of Charity Independent Examiners
Registered Company Limited by Guarantee 7461134Registered in England at1st Floor, Block C, The Wharf, Manchester Road Burnley BB11 1JG
Registered Charity in England & Wales No: 1139609
Registered Charity in Scotland No: SC039066
Telephone: 0131 659 9751 or 07899 891616 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Address: 19 Windsor Place Edinburgh EH15 2AJ