Updated Guidance for Trustees from Charity Commission, October 201925-Oct-2019
The Charity Commission recently published a study that explored the extent to which charity accounts are examined by auditors and independent examiners.
By assessing the accounts of over 250 charities against a new external scrutiny benchmark which was developed by the Charity Commission, the study looked to determine whether a minimum standard of scrutiny by auditors and independent examiners had been met.
The benchmark for the assessment was based around the requirements of the (2011) Charities Act, the Charities Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), auditing standards and the Commission’s Directions for independent examiners.
It was found that 3 out of the 4 charities that were assessed with income over £1 million met the benchmark. This was reduced to just over half when compared to charities that had an income between £250,000 to £1 million, and further still to 37% for charities with income below £250,000.
Amongst various findings, the assessment reported that party transactions for charities were found to be incomplete and that some charitable companies had either failed to provide a separate summary income and expenditure account or failed to mention that this was included in the Statement of Financial Activities.
However, it was noted by the Charity Commission that accounts reviewed by an auditor met the benchmark more often than those reviewed by an independent examiner.
Because of these findings, as well as making available the Commission’s external scrutiny benchmark, the Charity Commission made available updated guidance for trustees on independent examination (CC31).