The importance of accounting and reporting

The need for transparency in terms of a charity’s activities and finances has always been crucial to ensure public accountability. This principle is embedded within the law, which ensures the availability of information to the public with the following requirements: any charity with an annual income of more than £10,000 is required to submit an annual return each year; any charity that is registered with the Charity Commission but has an income of less than £10,000 is required to inform the commission of its income and expenditure and about any changes that may take place (for example, if there is a change in trustees); charities with an income of greater than £25,000 must provide a copy of their accounts at the same time as submitting their annual return; and the annual return and accounts (if applicable) must be submitted within 10 months of the end of the charity’s financial year.

So what are the consequences of not complying with the above? At the moment, any breach would be highlighted on the charity’s records available on the Charity Commission’s website, in the hope that this will provide sufficient embarrassment to incentivise prompt filing…

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