Charity Commission to challenge charities not meeting their reporting requirements – "no excuses for not filing accounts"

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The Charity Commission have launched a campaign, as of January 2016, targeting those charities in default of their filing and reporting duties. This comes after Commission research found that 32% of accounts submitted were not of 'adequate quality' in the 12 months leading up to March 2013.

They have emphasised the fact that if a charity's income is over £25,000, accounts must be filed and failure to do so shows a lack of transparency and could damage the charity's reputation as a whole. It is an essential requirement which falls within a number of the six core trustee duties: complying with your charity's governing document and the law, ensuring your charity is accountable, and acting in your charity's best interests.

To access the Charity Commission guidance on a charity's reporting and accounting requirements, click on the following link: - https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/charity-reporting-and-accounting-the-essentials-cc15b.

The Commission has advised trustees to follow three steps to prevent them from being in default with the Commission: -

  • Do not wait until the 10 month deadline for filing your accounts approaches; as soon as the documents are ready, submit them.
  • Ensure you have the password to access the Commission's online services or ensure that you know who within the charity has the password.
  • Know that submission of accounts is the collective responsibility of the entire trustee body, not just one individual i.e. the Treasurer or Secretary.

The Charity Commission has also provided information on how to check which charities are in default of their filing commitments at any given time in a certain local authority area. They urge individuals to challenge charity trustees where they are in default of filing their accounts, and encourage them to consider carefully before providing financial assistance to a charity. This information can be found at: - https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-commission-tackles-charities-that-have-failed-to-meet-reporting-requirements.

For further information, please contact our charities team