New Forest


Improving the quality of charity accounts

OSCR has published a report following a review of charity accounts that are submitted to them. Based on a random selection of 90 charities of varying sizes the survey has helped the regulator identify areas where improvement is frequently required. The four main issues they discovered were:

  • Failing to include a trustees’ report completely, or providing inadequate information so that the report does not meet legal requirements.
  • Failing to ensure that the accounts are subject to the appropriate external scrutiny, whether it be an audit or independent examination, with a failure to comply with an audit requirement in the charity’s governing documents noted as a recurring issue.
  • Not providing sufficient comparative information.
  • Failing to provide the required notes to the financial statements, specifically around the disclosure of trustees’ remuneration & related party transactions, grant-making activities and the nature & purpose of funds held.

It’s likely that these findings would be equally true of charity accounts prepared elsewhere in the UK.

The publication of this report highlights the continuing struggle regulators are having with charities that do not meet their reporting obligations, and the need for charities to ensure that they are appropriately advised by persons familiar with charity reporting requirements.

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