SORP 2015

Charities have to follow a Statement of Recommended Practice (SORP) also known as the charity SORP. The last version was issued in March 2005 and is known as the 2005 SORP. New versions of the SORP were published on 16 July 2014 and will apply to the accounts of charities for financial years commencing after 1 January 2015. There are two versions:

One based on a new Financial Reporting Standard known as FRS 102, which replaces all earlier financial reporting standards and statements of standard accounting practice.
One for smaller charities with income less than £6.5m known as the FRSSE SORP. If you would like to know more about the FRSSE option read this article.
Both SORPs are published on a microsite in modular format and also downloadable as a pdf. In due course, the web-based format will allow you to select relevant sections or modules so that you can customise the SORP to your particular activities.

The Charity Commission has produced a number of helpsheets:

  • Helpsheet 1: Mapping Charities SORP 2005 into the Charities SORP (FRS 102)
  • Helpsheet 2: The main changes between SORP 2005 and SORP 2015 FRS 102
  • Helpsheet 3: Differences between SORP 2015 FRS 102 and SORP 2015 FRSSEE

Download our overview of SORP 2015 here.
The SORP microsite also contains example accounts drawn up in the new format.

What’s new

There will be little change for charities adopting the FRSSE version, but charities changing to FRS 102 will have to plan for some changes:

  • All entities have to prepare a statement of cash flows
  • Legacies should be recognised when their receipt is ‘probable’ rather than certain
  • All charities must disclose the total amount of any employee benefits received by key management personnel for their services to the charity
  • All charities must disclose the fact that there were no employees who received pay over £60,000 or disclose the number of employees remunerated above £60,000 in bands of £10,000
  • Charities are encouraged to disclose their remuneration policy in the trustees’ annual report
  • Governance costs are no longer shown as a separate row on the SoFA
  • Comparatives for each column of the SoFA required, but may be provided in notes to the accounts
  • Gains and losses on investment assets are part of the income or expenditure of the charity and therefore go ‘above the line’
  • Material items rather than exceptional items should be disclosed separately in the accounts, as should extraordinary items
  • The list of institutional grants may be provided in a separate document or on a website provided the details are given in the note to the accounts

Legacies

Summarised notes on how to apply the recognition criteria of entitlement, probability and measurement.

Publishing senior executive pay

The new SORP reflects the FRS 102 requirement to disclose the total amount of employee benefits received by its key management personnel for their services to the charity.

Pensions

FRS 102 requires entities that are members of multi-employer pension schemes to account for certain liabilities in a different way. Download this free guide from Spence and Partners here.

In addition, Spence and Partners have designed a FRS102 calculator which can be used to calculate the Net Present Value of pension contributions and also the potential reduction on that figure that could be derived from using a full FRS approach.

Strategic reports

New company legislation effective for accounting periods ending on or after 30 September 2013 requires medium and large companies to include a strategic report in the directors report. This note explains how to incorporate the strategic report into your charity’s trustees’ annual report. Further information also available from the Charity Commission.