Charity Commission push to improve financial governance

The Charity Commission is on a drive to ensure trustees understand their basic financial responsibilities when running a charity, and is calling on financial professionals and accountants to take a leadership role in the renewal of financial governance in the charity sector

The regulator has also refreshed its guidance in an update to Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25) to reflect updates on law and regulation and make the document more accessible and readable.

Speaking at the ICAEW’s annual dinner in London, Paula Sussex, the Charity Commission chief executive, said the regulator is making a conscious push to ensure trustees are best placed to protect their charity’s assets and resources.

Sussex said: ‘We’ve seen in our casework that weak financial governance can be extremely destabilising for charities, affect their ability to operate, and leave them vulnerable to fraud and abuse.

‘We are making a concerted and deliberate effort to support trustees where we identify weaknesses and providing readable and easily understandable guidance is vital to this.’

Addressing attendees at the event, she called on ICAEW members, trustees and those engaged with charities as auditors, advisers, or supporters, to play their part in improving standards and stewardship.

‘We want to see you helping raise trustees’ game, really making a difference to charity governance and financial management,’ Sussex said.

Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25), originally published in 2011, covers the most common areas of managing charity resources including internal financial controls, charity reserves, and staff and volunteers, signposting further reading where required.

The Commission is conducting a wider ongoing review of how it supports trustees in this area, including working with external partners and umbrella bodies and improving navigation to its online guidance.

Charity finances: trustee essentials (CC25) is here.

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