Charity compliance update October 2018

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Hot off the heels of October’s charity fraud awareness week, Jen Gerrard reviews the latest charity compliance news, including SORP and Digital Code and new consultations galore.

Charity Fraud Awareness Week - resources

If charity fraud awareness week has passed your clients by, the charity fraud resources section on the website of the fraud advisory panel is particularly helpful with links to publications and various e-learning modules.

Trustees’ week

Hard to believe a whole year has gone by already but we’re once again rapidly approaching Trustees’ Week. Taking place between 12 and 16 November 2018, here is a handy ‘top ten tips’ guide for how to support the week.

Charities SORP (FRS102), bulletin update two

The bulletin, which was published on 5 October 2018, is a summary of the changes to the charities SORP following the triennial review of FRS 102 and a lengthy consultation process. Here is a link to the full document.

Changes will apply to all reporting periods beginning on or after 1 January 2019, although early adoption is permitted subject to all provisions of the bulletin being applied.

The ICAEW have published a nice summary of the changes here.

Changes to the ICAEW’s charity and voluntary community membership

ICAEW is changing its offering to members of the charity and voluntary community from 1 January 2019. From the New Year, members will have the opportunity to join one, or two, communities as follows:

  • Finance professionals community
  • Volunteering community

The changes reflect the ICAEW’s commitment to catering to the specific needs of its members and are in recognition that the needs of the members of the existing community vary (and therefore the relevance of community communications), depending upon their connection to the sector.

For further details and information about membership pricing changes see here.

Charity digital code of practice - update

Consultation opened 3 July 2018 and ran until 25 September 2018 and sought feedback to ensure that the code supports the charity sector in using digital effectively.

A summary of the consultation was published on 12 October 2018 and can be found here.

According to the report, most respondents (84%) were charities and 4% were social enterprises. The 12% who answered ‘other’ included consultancies, housing organisations, individuals and a funding body.

81% of those who engaged were found to be either very, or somewhat, satisfied with the Code.

The Code itself will launch on 15 November 2018.

Protecting vulnerable groups (PVG) scheme consultation - update

Disclosure Scotland ran a consultation around proposals to simplify and modernise the PVG scheme. Closure was 18 July 2018 with the results being published on 2 October 2018, which can be reviewed here.

As with all things, the summary document was the first to be opened. However – be warned – the summary runs to 60 pages with the full document standing at 85 pages. You may need to pop the kettle on before sitting down to update yourself on this one.

OSCR news

The importance of young trusteeship in Scotland - The event will explore why it is important to have young trustees on a board and will take place on 15 November. Free tickets can be obtained here.

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 Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI): Draft Strategic plan 2019-22 – opened 19 September 2018 and runs until 12 November 2018. Comments received will support the Commission in finalising a plan that will direct organisational priorities over the next three years.

Proposed action for charities that have failed basic compliance checks – opened 26 September 2018 and runs until 21 November 2018. Get involved by completing the strategic plan online survey.

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 draft guidance for charities with investments – Consultation ran until 21 September 2018. Click here for more details and to access the draft guidance. The findings and updated guidance are to be made available in November 2018.

About Jen Gerrard

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.

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