The Charity Commission opened nine statutory inquiries last year into charities that had only submitted their annual accounts after being part of the regulator's ‘double defaulters’ inquiry.
This morning the Commission published a report detailing its findings from the ongoing class inquiry, which focuses on charities which have failed to submit their accounts for two successive years. It reveals that the inquiry prompted 45 charities to submit overdue accounts in 2016/17.
Charities with an income above £25,000, and all charitable incorporated organisations (CIOs), must file copies of their trustees’ annual report, accounts and external scrutiny report (audit or independent examiners’ report) with the Commission within 10 months of their financial year end.
Of the 45 charities which made good on their default in 2016/17, 34 submitted all the required documents but 11 did not meet basic requirements.
In terms of further actions, nine charities have been placed under statutory inquiry and 11 have been referred to the Commission’s risk assessment unit. Four charities were found to have no further issues while two were in the process of closing down.
Nigel Davies, head of accountancy services at the Charity Commission, said: “The public want and deserve to see how charities spend their money, and this inquiry underpins our commitment to ensuring trustees are transparent in their reporting. Today’s findings are a reminder that late filing or defaults can be an indicator of wider governance failings, which is why we flag them clearly on our register.
“We offer free reports and accounts packs for trustees and practitioners to help them comply. These are designed to assist smaller charities and we would encourage trustees who need help to make use of them.”
Education and religious charities most prevalent
Education and religious charities make up 72 per cent of all the charities in the report.
Some 16 of the 45 charities were involved in education and a further 16 were involved in religious activities, while no other type of charity was featured more than three times.