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The 'Triple A Series' #5: Developing financial accountability - some key ingredients

By Alan Hough | 19 March 2019


The issue


St Paul considered financial accountability to be very important, as shown in 2 Corinthians chapter 8. Whilst still focused on mission he was very keen:


  • to avoid criticism about the handling of giving;
  • to be seen to do what is right in the eyes of man as well as God.


10 Things To Remember For Churches Claiming Gift Aid

By Alan Hough | 18 July 2018

Gift Aid is a long established scheme and generally well understood and used by churches.  Here is a list of 10 do’s and don’ts to help make sure you are operating the scheme well.


GDPR - A heads up!

By Alan Hough | 9 January 2018

GDPR - A heads up! - a blog from Stewardship

General Data Protection Regulation or GDPR for short is currently one of those governance “flavours of the month” and with so many column inches, briefings, seminars and conferences devoted to it, we would be most surprised if you had not heard anything about it. The regulation is European in origin, but as it will be enacted into UK legislation, it will not in any way be influenced or changed by Brexit. GDPR is coming and takes effect from 25 May 2018.


Change again? The 2018 Annual Return

By Alan Hough | 9 January 2018

Seemingly in every aspect of charity governance, regulators are looking for greater professionalism and demanding more information. Following proposals by the Charity Commission towards the end of 2017 it appears that the charity annual return for 2018 (AR18) is no different.  The return, which will apply to charities with an accounting period starting on or after 1 January 2018, will build on the current return delving deeper into a number of areas.


Independent Examinations are changing...

By Alan Hough | 13 November 2017

independant examinations are changing - a blog from Stewardship

Unless an audit is required, independent examinations are a way of life for most charities. Although less rigorous than an audit, independent examiners must carry out their examination in accordance with Directions and guidelines issued by the Charity Commission.  These Directions do not change often, but in September 2017 they were amended for the first time since 2009 and apply to independent examinations where the examiner’s report is signed and dated after 1 December 2017.


Risk management - just another business tool?

By Alan Hough | 13 November 2017

Risk management - a blog from Stewardship

Without the many examples of risk-taking written about in the Bible (e.g. David, Esther and Ananias to name but three) history may well have taken a somewhat different course. Quite often it appears as if a degree of risk-taking is necessary in order to break down barriers and advance God’s kingdom.  This means that for some modern day churches there is real concern that any form of risk management will inhibit risk-taking and will serve to constrain God working through the church.


Why should a church budget?

By Alan Hough | 13 November 2017

Why should a church budget - a blog from Stewardship

In our experience, churches which apply the principles of strategic planning and resource management are far more likely to meet their goals than those churches where projects, initiatives and activities are cobbled together quite literally on a wing and a prayer.


Gifts to members: church as charity and as family, simple?

By Alan Hough | 30 August 2017 | Comments (4)

Gifts to members - a blog from Stewardship

We believe that church is a family and families often give to each other. However, most churches in the UK are also charities and as such are governed by Charity Law. Now for much of what we do as churches these two concepts overlap each other. Church operating as a family meets the legal requirements of church operating as a charity, but…


Persons with significant control: What is it? Who are they? What do we need to do?

By Alan Hough | 30 August 2017


Persons with significant control - a blog from StewardshipMost of us can probably think of people in our churches that have a significant influence on how they operate: pastors, elders, trustees and even some prominent congregational members. However, are you aware that for charities that are companies (that does not include Charitable Incorporated Organisations  (CIO)), there is a Companies Act legal concept of persons with significant control (PSC) and a legal requirement to maintain a register of all PSCs?


Receipts and payments accounts; you might want to give it another look

By Alan Hough | 17 July 2017

Receipts and Payments - a blog form Stewardship[

Every year changes are required in the disclosure or format of accruals accounts in order to meet new regulations or to reflect changes in emphasis or best practice. However, as the full impact of the FRS 102 Charity SORP is felt for the first time, this reporting season has seen more changes than usual. For some of our own clients this has required minor changes, for others quite significant ones.

Contrary to the views of some church treasurers and trustees, for most churches the receipts and payments basis of accounting is perfectly acceptable and may save you a lot of stress and time. Here’s why…