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Trustees asked to help shape the future of ‘alien’ accounting guidelines

23 Oct 2020 News

Trustees are being asked to take part in a survey to help develop the next version of accounting rules for charities. 

ICSA: The Chartered Governance Institute, which is responsible for gathering the views of trustees in the United Kingdom and Ireland for the charity regulators that set the Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP), launched a survey today

The Charities SORP is guidance for those preparing charities accounts, which details the legal requirements and best practice for producing accounts.

Louise Thomson, head of policy (not for profit) at ICSA, said: “The SORP can be an alien document to many charity trustees: too long, too much jargon, overly technical or unrelatable to the work of the charity. This can mean that many charity annual reports and accounts are non-compliant, of poor quality or otherwise unhelpful to a range of readers.”

ICSA also reminded trustees that the production and approval of annual reports and accounts is “the responsibility of all the charity trustees, not just the trustee with an interest, or expertise, in finance”.

The committee has started the process of creating a new version of the SORP. In order to do so it has created a number of engagement strands, including the trustee engagement strand which is overseeing the survey.

The survey is aimed at current or recently retired trustees of charities registered or operating in Wales, Scotland, the Republic of Ireland, Northern Ireland and England.

It aims to gauge their awareness of the SORP; how, if at all, they engage with the development of their charity’s annual report and accounts; what resources trustees need to help prepare their annual report and accounts; and what aspects of the charity annual report and accounts are unhelpful or otherwise unnecessary.

The survey can be completed anonymously here until 7 December 2020.

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