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The statutory reporting obligations of all charities has been updated under the new Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015. What does this mean for your charity?

Who is affected?

All charities registered with the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland must comply with the new law relating to charity accounting and reporting.

When?

Get your skates on, the new regulations apply to financial years commencing after 1 January 2016.

The required information must be filed with the Commission within 10 months of the charity’s financial period end.

What does it mean?

Under charity law, all charities must file the following information with the Charity Commission:

  1. Submit an online monitoring return
  2. Submit the charity’s annual accounts*
  3. Submit the charity’s trustees’ annual report
  4. Submit an independent examiner’s or audit report**

The minimum requirements in regards to the reports are dependent on the level of gross income the charity receives. This is demonstrated by the below table:

Gross Income threshold Accounting basis* External scrutiny**
< £250,000 Receipts & payments or accrual accounts in accordance with SORP

 

Independent examination by an independent person
£250,001 – £500,000 Accrual accounts in accordance with SORP Independent examination by a prescribed / qualified person

 

> £500,000 Accrual accounts in accordance with SORP

 

Statutory audit by a registered auditor
Group income

> £500,000

Consolidated accounts on an accrual basis in accordance with SORP Statutory audit by a registered auditor

Why?

The aim of the legislation is to promote the transparency and accountability of the charitable sector. The reality is further administration and reporting obligations for small charities.

If you’re involved with a small charity, it is likely that accounts are kept so that the costs are broken down as far as possible. This is not the format the commission will want to publish on public records. The commission wants to receive a more consolidated payment and receipts schedule, that classifies the charities income and expenses to its activities and accounts separately for each unrestricted, restricted and endowment fund that they manage. Further to this, the accounts must include a statement of assets and liabilities., unlikely something a small charity is currently keeping a record of.

Want to know more? RBL are always on hand to provide up to date advice. Contact us today 02895320155 or email us info@rossboyd.co.uk. We look forward to hearing from you.

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