As the holiday season draws to a close, Jen Gerrard reviews the latest in the world of charity compliance matters. Read on to stay abreast of new consultations, SORP news and the Charity Commission’s accounts monitoring reviews.
Charity Commission publishes outcomes of accounts monitoring
On 3 September 2018 the Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) published the following accounts monitoring updates:
- Telling your story well - public benefit reporting for charities
- Charities annual reports and accounts meeting the readers’ needs
- Small charities annual reports and accounts meeting the readers’ needs
Follow the links above to peruse the full update documents. Alternatively, I have reviewed and responded in an article which includes relevant recommendations for charities – big and small.
Charities SORP – update
A consultation was launched on 20 February 2018 (which ran until 4 April 2018) focusing on 21 proposed amendments to the SORP which were considered necessary because of the changes made in December 2017 to FRS 102.
Latest news on the charities SORP is that the four charity regulators (across the UK and the Republic of Ireland) have decided to hold a governance review of the constitution and composition of the SORP committee and the SORP making process. This will feed into the development of the new charities SORP from 2019 onwards.
The purpose of the governance review is:
- to gain assurance that the SORP-making process commands confidence and addresses the transparency and public confidence challenges facing charities; and
- to assure the Financial Reporting Council (FRC) that any revised arrangements adhere to the FRC Policy on developing SORPs.
CFG and AIM – three-year partnership
The Charity Finance Group (CFG) and the Association of Independent Museums (AIM) have launched a new three-year partnership. The key objective is to spread financial best practice across the museums sector by pooling resources to mutually benefit members of each organisation. Supported by Arts Council England this sounds like an amazing opportunity.
The Association of Independent Museums’ director Emma Chaplin said the partnership “opens up a great wealth of expertise and resources in financial management for our members to draw upon.
“I urge members to make sure they sign up quickly to discover and use the benefits that CFG membership can bring them.”
Andrew O’Brien, director of policy and engagement at Charity Finance Group said:
“Dealing with the finances of a museum can be a lonely business. This partnership will enable AIM members to benefit from our network of nearly 1,450 charities as well as hundreds of corporate partners so that they are not alone.
“National infrastructure bodies need to do more to reach out to all charities, not just waiting for organisations to come to us. I hope that this partnership will be the first of many that we will be able to strike with sectors that need more support, such as museums.”
Which of your clients could benefit?
KPMG reports sector “trust deficit” in relation to data sharing
In other news this month, Third Sector reports that a recent survey conducted by KPMG has found that people were less likely to give their data to charities than to pharmaceutical companies, to which 15% said they would give their personal information.
Rather worryingly, nine types of organisation that came below charities in a suggested list, were internet companies, media companies (both 8%) and political organisations (7%).
Read KPMG’s full report “How the UK can win the AI race” for their perspective on what they are calling ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution’.
Consultations open or pending a response
Here’s our monthly round-up of (and links to) key consultation opportunities and those closed, pending feedback.
The following consultations are currently open and inviting a response:
Charity Digital Code: The Charity Digital Code of Practice – Consultation opened 3 July 2018 and runs until 9am on 25 September 2018. Seeking feedback to ensure that the code supports the charity sector in using digital effectively. Have your say via:
OSCR: Draft guidance for charities with investments – consultation opened 13 August 2018 and runs until 21 September 2018. Click here for more details and to access the draft guidance.There is also a blog introducing the consultation here.
The following consultations are closed with feedback analysis pending – watch this space for an update in future briefings:
Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW): The use and promotion of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM): making decisions about charitable status – closed on 19 May 2017. This consultation is about the Commission’s approach to deciding whether an organisation which uses or promotes CAM therapies is a charity.
Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI): Annual monitoring return 2018 – closed on 21 November 2017. Changes to apply to charities’ financial years starting on or after 1 January 2018. A full consultation report was due in Spring 2018 but has not yet been published.
OSCR: Consultation on disclosure regime - proposals to simplify and modernise the Protecting Vulnerable Groups (PVG) scheme. The full consultation document can be found here. Closure was 18 July 2018.
You can hear more from Jen Gerrard in AccountingWEB's recent No Accounting for Taste podcast. Jen talks about how she decided on the charity niche, the challenges of pricing, and what software she uses for charities. Click the play button below to listen to the podcast.
About Jen Gerrard
Jen is a Fellow of the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (FCCA) and the founder and managing director of Gerrard Financial Consulting, a specialist accounting firm for the charitable sector. She has over 17 years’ experience working in accounting and finance and has also worked as an accountancy tutor for a leading training provider.
Jen has been a trustee of the Southville Community Development Association (2014 to 2017), Self Injury Self Help (SISH) (2013-2016), the Oswestry Food & Drink Festival and Impact AAS (2007 to 2010). In addition to being a current Trustee of Women’s Aid Federation of England, Jen has been a registered volunteer with Volunteer Bristol for four years and is a Member of the ICAEW Charity & Voluntary Sector Specialist Group.
Jen sits on the South West & Wales Regional Engagement Forum of the Charity Finance Group and makes regular contributions to articles in national publications – most recently AccountingWEB and Charity Finance Focus (produced by the CFG). She is also a regular speaker on charity finance and governance matters.
Her firm is a corporate member of the Charity Finance Group and was shortlisted in two categories for the AccountingWEB Practice Excellence Awards 2016. This is in recognition of the company’s innovative work with charities and NFPs to streamline their finance functions through adoption of new technology.