Ray Jones, visiting lecturer at Cass Business School and not-for-profit adviser at Kingston Smith
Expert advice

Life after the FRSSE-Sorp

8 Apr 2015

Ray Jones provides a detailed guide to the latest proposed changes to accounting standards.

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Life after the FRSSE-Sorp

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Budgeting for one

A radical change in social care funding designed to empower recipients will challenge charity accounting systems, say Mark Brend and Brendan Smith. From 2005 onwards a number of central government policy initiatives heralded the most radical reform of social care for half a century. Notably, in December 2007 Putting People First established the principle of personalisation of social care services, giving people more control over their own lives and services. These initiatives will have a profound impact on the charity sector, as much social care is provided by charities that get most of their income from public money, allocated via local authority contracts.

Help to review

Gareth Jones examines the role of investment advisers for charities The Trustee Act 2000 holds that before exercising any power of investment, trustees must obtain and consider proper advice, unless the size of investment funds are so small that it would not be cost-effective to do so. It was the introduction of this provision coupled with the loss of funds by many charities in the bear market of 2003 which have led to the rise of the dedicated investment adviser, bridging the gap between the charity and the fund management community and offering an objective eye. While once this profession was mostly limited to advice on handling pension funds, now the role can encompass every element of the creation and implementation of a successful investment strategy.

A fresh pair of eyes

An independent operational property audit can highlight payment discrepancies and help charities recoup thousands of pounds, says Katie Beckett Property auditing is a specialised form of independent auditing that all charities with a property portfolio ought to be undertaking as part of their commitment to good governance and in line with their duties to trustees and beneficiaries. Experience has shown that oversights can easily occur in day-to-day property management, regardless of how expertly and efficiently the portfolio is managed and even with a full property team overseeing the management of the portfolio.

More about mergers

Anne-Marie Piper completes her overview on the subject of charity mergers In the last issue I began this overview of charity mergers. I explained the duties of charity trustees in relation to mergers and then examined the various steps in the merger process including the exploratory discussions and preliminary checks, the “in-principle” decision to merge and the process known as due diligence and at some of the issues that it can throw up including staff, pensions, VAT and material contracts.

The widely held view that charities should stick to doing good works and stay clear of campaigning is a recipe for social stagnation. The world has changed, charities need to change with it and speak truth to power about what it takes to solve root causes of societal ills rather than pussyfoot around problems.

» Liberal influence: Andrew Hind interviews Lord Rennard

Coram's Campus grows up

With 270 years of serving the needs of children behind it, Coram has ambitious development plans for its central London site. Biman Mittra explains.

Investing in property - still an option for charities?

Gavin Acheson reviews the scene and considers the merits of pooled investment vehicles and equity sharing leases In the last 12 months the whole world has changed.

Recession tonic

Mike Greensmith advocates getting a clear picture of the detail – and asking all the right questions – to steer you through a recession

Reduce your rent

Yonni Abramson explains how to make your charity more cost-efficient by rental restructuring History teaches us that declines in charitable donations lag any collapse in the broader economy by at least 12 months. On this basis, therefore, sector finances are likely to reach their nadir next summer. Charities that use current economic trends as a bellwether for their own financial projections can act now to future-proof their finances. Overheads are an excellent start point and it is now possible to significantly reduce rents, even mid-lease, with the right approach and advice.

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Directory

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The Civil Society Directory is a comprehensive and effective resource for finding organisations and people in the sector.

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