Charity accountants offering complete compliance
Managing the finances of a charity requires a pragmatic approach with a clear understanding of the compliance issues of the sector. As charity accountants, we specialise in supporting the finance team through the legal requirements that come with charitable status.
Our clients range from new start-up charities to centuries-old, from clubs and membership organisations to social enterprises. From independent schools and academies to service delivery charities, from grant-givers and endowed foundations to theatres and cultural organisations.
Some of our team are trustees themselves to charitable or not-for-profit organisations and this brings added value in terms of providing practical solutions to clients.
The services we offer
- annual accounts preparation (in accordance with the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) and the Charities and Companies Acts
- annual audit
- independent examinations (IE)
- specialist grant return certification audits
- internal audit
- specialist VAT advice
- advice in respect of trading subsidiaries and tax
- accounting software advice and support
- management accounts and payroll
- PAYE/NIC and VAT health checks
- due diligence
- advice on gift aid
- advice on forming a charity and the structure that best fits your organisation
- governance process reviews
- training for trustees and boards
Specialist charity accounting for not-for-profits
With decreases in government funding and increased competition for a share of available donations, charities need to think harder about sustainability and complying with governance.
Our highly qualified and committed specialist team of accountants keep fully up-to-date with changes in not-for-profit accounting, auditing, tax, VAT and other legislation affecting charities and not-for-profit organisations, meaning you don’t have to.
With a deep understanding of the challenges and opportunities that your organisation faces, as experienced charity accountants we can ensure you meet regulatory requirements and advise on effective changes in operations to help you run more efficiently.
Charity accounting compliance and assurance
Legislation requires that most charities conduct an external audit or an independent examination of charity accounts.
HWB’s dedicated team can meet your charity audit requirements, offering compliance with the Charities Act and Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) with services ranging from an annual audit to independent examinations of charity accounts, or specialist grant return certification audits.
Charity Tax and VAT
VAT for charities can be a particularly complex area where our specialists are equipped to tackle your VAT position whether it be related to property, partial exemption or fundraising ventures. As charity accountants we have detailed knowledge and experience of charity tax exemptions and relief and how to structure your activities in the most tax-efficient way.
We can help to introduce systems and procedures for VAT management and effective tax planning or offer a VAT health check service. Providing you with a clear understanding of your obligations, we can help you to avoid any potentially expensive mistakes or sanctions from HMRC and ensure that VAT reliefs and opportunities are maximised where possible.
Primary purpose and non primary purpose trading
There are many restrictions on trading activity of a charity. There are of course situations where a charity may trade goods, which may or may not be ancillary to their primary purpose, such as trading within a charity’s café, charging for attendance to courses or selling tickets to a charity event.
Primary purpose trading is that which is carried out to fulfil the charity’s objectives, and any profits made from primary purpose trading are exempt from tax. Whereas non-primary purpose trading is designed to simply raise funds, profits of which will fall below the charity’s small trading tax exemption limit. But there are ways to address this.
Use of a charity trading subsidiary
Those charities wanting to trade on a substantial or regular basis for the main purpose of raising funds may wish to separate out those activities by use of a charity trading subsidiary. This means there will then be no limits on how much it can trade, and commercial risks are isolated to the subsidiary.
By allowing a separate company to trade as a subsidiary, a charity can avoid paying corporation tax on any of its profits. This can be achieved by gifting the majority of its profits to the parent charity and claiming back charitable donations relief.
If your charity carries out any type of trading activity, then our specialist charity accountants at HWB can help you with any tax requirements that apply. The profits made from trading can generally be exempt from tax providing that certain conditions are met which we are able to advise you on.