Updates from the Charity Commission

By Stephen Mathews | 30 September 2019

 

The Charity Commission continues to publish inquiry reports where it has investigated weaknesses in charities. Here we highlight just two. The first deals with apparent failures in accountability and financial administration; the second has similar themes also incorporating significant payments in cash and payments made to trustees.

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Charities SORP governance review 2018/19

By Stephen Mathews | 25 September 2019

 

The Charity SORP has been with us for around 35 years, setting out the reporting requirements for charities that report on the accruals basis. In general, it applies to all charities that are structured as companies, all charities with gross income above £250,000 and any other charity that chooses or is required to follow accruals accounting.

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The 'Triple A' Series #4: How can churches develop a 'good attitude' to money?

By Stephen Mathews | 30 August 2018

Billy Graham once said that a person’s wallet was the truest statement of their theology. Even if only partially true, what churches say and do about money is always an important sign of what is valued.

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The 'Triple A' Series #3: What could happen if a church handles money poorly?

By Stephen Mathews | 30 August 2018

My role in Stewardship is an interesting, but sometimes, a sad one. I am involved with churches (leaders, trustees and treasurers), with regulators (HMRC and the Charity Commission) and sometimes with the media.

Why can this be sad?

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The 'Triple A' Series #2: What is the 'Triple A' in a church context and why is it biblical?

By Stephen Mathews | 11 June 2018

A blog from Stewardship: What is a Triple “A” rating in a church context and why is it biblical?

Alphabetical ratings have long been used in the financial sector to assess the strength of investments. AAA (better known as 'Triple A') is the highest possible rating indicating financial strength. At Stewardship, we have taken the concept of the 'Triple A' rating and applied it to churches. Here it is not a measure of financial strength but is shorthand for three attributes important for churches and church leaders to live by when it comes to handling money.

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The 'Triple A' Series #1: Why is the way the church handles money important?

By Stephen Mathews | 11 June 2018

The Triple A Series: a blog from Stewardship

Money, sex and power. Three of the most significant and enduring dangers facing churches, church leaders and Christians. Jesus spoke extensively on all three topics with many of the New Testament letters addressing unhealthy situations caused by them. Still today, modern media feasts on churches where scandals and failures arise in these areas or where Christians seem to fall below the high standards of the gospel.

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Three Measures of a Healthy Church - Introducing the 'Triple A'

By Stephen Mathews | 27 February 2018

At Stewardship, we want to see thriving and healthy churches all across the UK. We recognise our role is often seen as financial, and we take pride in that. However, we believe good financial stewardship is not simply about ticking boxes to please the regulators (although it’s important we do that), it’s also about transforming the culture of money within the church.

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Budget simplifies Gift Aid Donor Benefit rules

By Stephen Mathews | 9 January 2018

Budget simplifies Gift Aid Donor Benefit rules

Donor benefit rules exist to limit the amount of benefit that a charity can give to a donor (or people connected to them) and still be able to claim Gift Aid on a donation. Generally benefits take the form of small gifts given by the charity in appreciation for the donation. As announced in the November 2017 budget, the rules around this are changing.

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Going concern: what is it and how churches can look out for the warning signs

By Stephen Mathews | 22 February 2017

Going concern: what is it and how churches can look out for the warning signs - A blog from Stewardship

Thankfully, history tells us that the financial collapse of churches is rare and that for most trustees, most of the time, a going concern assessment is fairly straightforward. However, two recent changes; the introduction of FRS102 Charity SORP for accruals accounts combined with the Charity Commission’s new Directions to independent examiners, have raised the profile of going concern for all charities!

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trustee requirement to consider going concern

By Stephen Mathews | 12 December 2014

Going concern is a fundamental assumption underpinning financial reporting.  When applied to charities, it means in general terms that the trustees expect the charity to continue operating as normal for the foreseeable future, able to meet its obligations as they fall due, and that they have no plans to close the charity or to significantly curtail its operations.

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