The Charity Commission has launched its MyCharityCommission account as an important new digital tool for trustees – one they call their “new front door for charities”. As at September 2023, the rollout of this innovative platform is underway and set to change the way charities in England and Wales manage their administrative tasks and interact with the regulatory body. The old digital service we are familiar with was decommissioned on 31 July 2023.
MyCharityCommission Account: A Closer Look
The MyCharityCommission account is a user-friendly digital platform designed to streamline administrative processes for charity trustees. It offers a suite of features aimed at simplifying compliance and enhancing transparency within the charitable sector. Here are some key aspects of this platform:
Registration and Access: Charitable organizations and their trustees can register for a MyCharityCommission account, providing essential information for verification. Once registered, they gain access to a secure online dashboard tailored to their charity. Previously, there was essentially one login and account per charity; now all trustees, advisors (such as lawyers and accountants) and charity contacts will each have their own account. The charity’s main contact should have received an invite by now, and different levels of access can be set.
Filing Annual Returns: One of the standout features of the platform is the ability to submit annual returns and financial accounts electronically. This functionality eliminates the need for paper submissions and simplifies the compliance process.
Document Repository: The MyCharityCommission account provides a centralised repository for important documents related to the charity, including governing documents, financial reports, and regulatory correspondence. Trustees can access these documents easily, promoting transparency and accountability.
Direct Communication: MyCharityCommission is meant to facilitate direct communication between trustees and the Charity Commission. Trustees can seek advice, request clarification on regulatory matters, and receive updates through the platform.
As at September 2023, the initial rollout of the MyCharityCommission account is finally underway. All main charity contacts should have received an invitation from the Charity Commission to set up a new account. If you haven’t, contact them on:
Telephone: 0300 066 9197 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm)
Email: [email protected]
The main charity contact can set up trustees with individual accounts, and also give access to third parties.
Challenges and Future Developments
Despite its potential, the MyCharityCommission account rollout is not without challenges. The Charity Commission has experienced high levels of enquiries to its contact centre, which has also impacted response times for other types of queries. Some contacts have struggled to access their accounts, contributing to the high levels of queries and long call times. The Commission has encouraged customers to email [email protected] if they need a new link to sign up.
Secondly, some smaller or less technologically inclined charities may encounter difficulties adapting to the digital platform. Charities will need to make sure that all their trustees are able to access this resource when that functionality becomes available – particularly those who need extra help in dealing with digital platforms such as this.
Lastly, the 2023 annual return is not yet live on the new account (as of the middle of September 2023). This was expected in late August, so may be imminent! Charities can prepare by reviewing the question set (see link below), but should keep an eye out for updates from the Commission about when the new return becomes available for completion.
https://www.gov.uk/guidance/setting-up-my-charity-commission-account (this link has useful videos explaining the process!)
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