Deputy Chair Susan Robinson writes: The Times and Sky News have been focusing on the amount of ‘money’ some of the large military charities have been sitting on. The analysis of these reports is somewhat flawed as they have not fully understood the difference on unrestricted reserves and free reserves nor the longer term requirements of the work that they will be doing with beneficiaries over a number of years. What it does emphasise is the importance have having a clear stated and understandable reserve policy in the Trustee Report. Further the report should be clear on what they are doing and will need to do in the future.
Times article here.
In light of recent criticism aimed squarely at the auditing profession, the FRC has beefed up its going concern requirements for audits commencing 15 December. In the first of a two-part series, Steve Collings takes a look at some of the changes.
Full article here: https://www.accountingweb.co.uk/business/financial-reporting/frc-toughens-going-concern-requirements-part-1#.XZ2fNlQD-Dw.twitter
The Charity Commission have released a check list: "governance, finance and resilience: 15 questions trustees should ask."
CONFERENCE, Thursday 7th November 2019, Edinburgh
The Scottish Government's consultation on proposals to change Scottish charity law closed on 1st April 2019 with its response and recommendations to come once all responses have been considered. Read more about the conference here.
Featuring Lindsay Montgomery CBE, Board Chair, OSCR; Pat Armstrong OBE, Chief Executive, ACOSVO (Association of Chief Officers of Scottish Voluntary Organisations); Anna Fowlie, Chief Executive Officer, SCVO; and Dr Sophie Flemig, Chief Executive, The Cattanach Charitable Trust and Member, Accounts Commission for Scotland, this conference will examine the Scottish Government's proposals to change that law.
The conference will:
Featuring speakers from OSCR, ACOSVO, SCVO and the Catanach Trust
Read more about the featured speakers here.
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Read more about the conference and agenda for the day on our website
To book a place, use the button above or
contact Gail at email@example.com or on 0131 556 1500.
If you are a small charity or voluntary organisation,
and the cost of this conference will make it difficult for you to attend,
please contact Gail to discuss and we will see what we may be able do.
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Neil Webb from Accountingweb reports on the implications.
Following our earlier message about the delay in trustee elections I can now update you.
Eileen Houghton’s three year term came to an end and Eileen was happy to stand again and has been appointed as a trustee for a further three years term.
Mark Heaton, known to many of you as a previous chair of trustees, has agreed to be co-opted to the board.
The current Board of Trustees is:
At the end of June next year more than half of the trustees come to the end of their term of three years. All will be eligible to stand again but we may some vacancies. Can I ask you to consider whether this may be a role that you could undertake. If you would like more details of the role and the work involved please contact Farah, email@example.com
This week the Daily Mail and the The Times released reports that the RNLI were spending their donors' money inappropriately by supporting overseas projects (swimming lessons, and creches in areas of Tanzania and Bangladesh with very high rates of drowning). The RNLI were able to demonstrate that these projects were all clearly demarcated and supported by restricted funds. Details of their global projects are here; https://rnli.org/what-we-do/international/the-global-drowning-problem
he Charities SORP-making body has today set out plans to change the way the charity accounting framework, the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP)*, is developed so that it better meets the needs of users of charity reports and accounts.
The group is introducing changes to the development process of the SORP following a comprehensive governance review, which recommended that it must change in order to meet “new public expectations”.
The review was led by Professor Gareth Morgan and its findings and recommendations are available on the SORP website.
Full report here.
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.
The Association of Charity Independent Examiners
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