Charity Finance Group urges charities to engage on new charity reporting guidelines

9th July 2013

The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) have today released a consultation draft of the guidelines for charities producing annual reports and accounts. The Charity Statement of Recommended Practice (Charity SORP) interprets financial reporting standards for the charity sector.

Caron Bradshaw, CEO at Charity Finance Group (CFG), said: “The importance of this consultation should not be underestimated and I urge all charities to take notice. These guidelines form the basis of what charities record, disclose and how they structure the information that funders, researchers, donors, beneficiaries, journalists and many more potential audiences rely on. They get to the heart of charity transparency and accountability and how charities are viewed by the public. It’s essential that charities engage with this consultation. We need those with expertise to have their say on the technical details, as well as those with a broader interest to help get across the needs of stakeholders.

“There have been a lot of changes in the accounting principles that underlie the SORP, but with these now finalised, we welcome the timely publication of this draft.”

CFG will be holding a number of events over the summer to support their members and the wider sector to engage with the consultation. The membership body also coordinates a charity Technical Accounting Forum which will drive the CFG response.

Rui Domingues, Director of Finance & ICT at Friends of the Elderly and Chair of the Technical Accounting Forum, said: “The last SORP was published in 2005, but the public benefit entity environment is different now, not only in terms of the accounting framework but also the level and type of information expected from charities by beneficiaries, the public and funders. This is a real opportunity to address charity accountability head on.

It’s also important that charities are aware of the changes in the new SORP and start planning for them. This consultation proposes a new look Statement of Financial Activities (SoFA), with some of the key headings changing. There are also a number of developments resulting from changes to the accounting principles; these may impact on some of the more niche ways that charities manage and account for their money. There will inevitably be some debate over these and other points.”

- Ends -

Notes to Editors:

1. CFG is the charity that champions best practice in finance management in the voluntary sector. Our training and development programmes enable finance managers to give the essential leadership on finance strategy and management that their charities need. With more than 2000 members, managing over £19bn, we are uniquely placed to challenge regulation which threatens the effective use of charity funds. For more information, please see www.cfg.org.uk 

2. CFG will be hosting a number of events throughout the summer on the SORP consultation. More information on SORP briefings and CFG member meetings can be found at http://www.cfg.org.uk/events.aspx 

3. The CFG Technical Accounting Forum is group of charity and corporate professionals with expertise in charity finance. This forum leads on CFG's policy work in this area and will be meeting to discuss the SORP consultation in July and September 2013.

For more information on how to get involved in the forum or to find out more about the SORP consultation please contact katherine.smithson@cfg.org.uk or call on 020 7250 8347.

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