Charity Commission targets poor accounting practices with new data sharing agreement

27 Jan 2020 News

The Charity Commission has signed a data sharing agreement with the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), as part of the regulator’s attempts to tackle poor accounting practices.

The agreement allows, in certain circumstances, for the Commission to share details about individual ACCA members. ACCA is also able to share data with the Commission.

ACCA, which is the professional body for accountants, has the power to carry out disciplinary proceedings against a member if required.

Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said the agreement allows the two organisations to “better serve the public interest by promoting high standards of accountancy practice in and for charities.” He added that by working together, the ACCA and the Commission “will raise the standards of the profession and the awareness of charity accounting to assist charities to thrive and inspire trust.”

He said the agreement is needed because “some of our recent accountancy reviews indicate that some finance professionals are unaware of important changes to rules on accounting, the requirements for independent examination and some of the reporting duties for those examining or auditing in charities.”

However, the agreement does not compel either body to share information. The Commission stresses that it will withhold information in some cases, such as when sharing information may undermine ongoing investigations.

Laura Murphy, standards manager of ACCA, said the agreement “reaffirms our strong commitment to working with the Charity Commission”, and that it “builds on the firm foundations established between our organisations.”

This is one of a number of similar agreements that the Commission has with other organisations, including the Information Commissioner, the Solicitors Regulation Authority, the Fundraising Regulator and the Scottish Charity Regulator.

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