Charity Commission chief executive Andrew Hind has told the sector’s professional advisers they can expect less help from the regulator in future due to funding cuts.
Speaking at the Association of Charity Independent Examiners’ annual conference last week, Hind (pictured) warned that there are “too many professional advisers, some of them big firms, [such as] audit firms and law firms” which are using the Commission “essentially to do the work they then charge the client for”.
He added that he was prepared to “have a discussion on this”, but that “I don’t think we can carry on like that”.
He was responding to a request from an audience member for the Commission to set up a dedicated phone line for auditors and advisers, allowing them to circumnavigate its Charity Commission Direct contact centre.
He said that while the regulator has run an accountancy helpline for a number of years, “to a certain extent I think we’re going to have to make some hard decisions about the fact that professional advisers are going to need to take their own decisions about what they should be advising their clients on”.
He concluded: “Of course I want to help professional advisers to reach the right decisions and be consistent in the advice they give, but we may be having to do less handholding than more in future I’m afraid. I think that’s the reality in life.”
Hind is due to stand down from the role in September, having served two three-year terms at the Commission.
He also revealed that the number of inquiries undertaken by the Commission per year has fallen from around 200 in the early past of the last decade to around 15.
He said that most are now dealt with on an informal basis, which had required a “huge change in organisational culture”.