John Tate

John Tate

Accountant and entrepreneur

John Tate is a qualified accountant and entrepreneur. He is a columnist for Charity Finance, a visiting lecturer at Cass Business School's Centre for Charity Effectiveness and trustee of Eduserv. 

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Expenses update - a view from the top and an ex-MP

John Tate is unconvinced that charity expenses can't be abused as easily as MPs' expense claims.

Bubb's consistency of argument seems a little challenged

A new group of charity leaders headed by RNID chief executive John Low has met to discuss the role of the chief executive in corporate governance, ACEVO announced today. The group, which met on Tuesday, is to work to improve performance, accountability and professionalism in the sector, and will respond to recent comments from ex minister Alan Milburn, who is chairing the Joint Committee on the draft Charities Bill. Speaking at an ACEVO conference on May 6, he warned charities that they "cannot consider themselves immune from the general loss of confidence in corporate governance", and said that the sector should adopt "governance structures capable of guaranteeing probity and professionalism".

Bubb responds

So we have heard from Stephen Bubb – chief exec of Acevo. He has commented on the expense issue on his blog - 1,459 words, no less. Almost a book! To cut to the chase, if I read his blog correctly, he will publish his expenses to his members but not to a wider audience. A step in the right direction perhaps but with over 75% of those who responded to the Charity Finance poll saying they would like expenses published this is disappointing.

A culture of openness makes abuse much less likely

Very interesting debate. Having worked in the charity sector for nearly 20 years as a consultant I am afraid I have come across too many examples of where chief execs of charities have abused expense systems for this to be ignored. I am pleased to say that this is very much the exception rather than the rule and I am sure the vast majority of expenses claims are fair and reasonable. However there are cases when the exception applies. So let’s be transparent and above board on expenses. At the least it might stamp out some of this abuse. I think it is time for charities to be much more transparent across the board and this would be a good step in the right direction.

Does transparency actually make any difference?

John Tate asks whether the latest NCVO funding boost from the Big Lottery Fund will be spent wisely.

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