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Head Of Charity Commission Calls On Accountants To Offer More Help

Dame Suzi Leather, Chair of the Charity Commission for England and Wales, has called on finance professionals to help charities respond to public demands for accountability and transparency.

Speaking at the annual Charities Day of the South Western Society of Chartered Accountants she said “Charities and their advisers will need to respond to increasing public scrutiny of their finances”.

Dame Suzi went on to say that accountants have an important role to play in helping charities respond to the economic downturn, which has affected 59% of charities so far. She urged finance professionals to challenge charities to cut costs and improve their effectiveness, for instance by collaborating with other charities or moving more services online.

The perception of a well run charity starts with the very basics, such as submitting annual returns and accounts to the Commission on time. A red mark appears automatically against a charity on the Charity Commission website when a charity fails to meet the deadline and this could have a seriously detrimental effect on that charity”s public standing. While most charities are well aware of this requirement too many charities are failing to file on time.

Many accountants do act for small local charities and prepare accounts. However few are focused on delivering more than the basics for charities. There are many types of charities in different sectors and they all require specific advice in terms of structure and delivery of service through to fundraising and performance measurement. Without a track record of advising charities over many years it is difficult for accountants to provide the type of service that charity trustees can rely on.

Ward Goodman has been advising charities for over 25 years and has a team of charity advisers that can ensure that not only the basic accounting and compliance requirements are met but can also provide proactive advice and support.

Please contact Ian Rodd on 01202 875900 for more information on the team and how Ward Goodman can help your charity.

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