Forthcoming change to the charity accounting regime
Financial Reporting Standard 102 (FRS 102) has been published in its final form and will be effective for financial years commencing on or after 1 January 2015. It replaces all financial reporting standards and statements of standard accounting practice and is designd to apply to all entities, other than those reporting under the FRSSE or international financial reporting standards. Download a copy.
The revised charity SORP based on this will be published as a consultation document in July 2013 by the Charity Commission and OSCR. The revised SORP will have a core text that applies to all charities, but then will have guidance for smaller charities using the Financial Reporting Standard for Small Entitites (FRSSE) as well as guidance for those adopting the new FRS 102.
The current charity SORP requires more than the FRSSE and so it has not been helpful to adopt this for charity accounts. Under the new SORP, if your charity is small as defined by the Companies Act (put simply, small entities have income of less than £6.5m) then you may adopt the FRSSE version of SORP. If your charity is not small, then you must adopt the FRS 102 and the correct version of SORP matched to that standard.
From time to time charities have to select an auditor or other professional advisor and usually they rely on some written material and a structured interview – the beauty parade. This article suggests ways in which the selection process can be enhanced so that it is more effective and reduces the reliance on subjective feedback from the interview panel.
Reviewing auditors: Ten questions for trustees
Guidance from the Institute of Chartered Accountants in England and Wales suggests that the Board or the Audit Committee of a charity should regularly review the performance of their auditors. Good communication and an honest feedback session are more likely to keep your audit relationship on track rather than regular changes in the firm undertaking the work. This article suggests questions that trustees could ask themselves to undertake a review to ensure that they are getting the most from the audit relationship.
VAT cost sharing groups
This is a new VAT measure to allow charities to share services without incurring additional VAT costs. To take advantage of the VAT relief, a group of charities need to set up a cost sharing group (“CSG”). The group can then undertake services and recharge the cost to its members exempt from VAT provided various conditions are met. This update provides guidance on the various conditions of the cost sharing exemption and some complexities if you wish to set up a CSG in conjunction with an existing or proposed VAT group.
Risk registers that actually help you to manage risk
Kate Sayer explores drawbacks to conventional risk registers and the best approach to manage operational and strategic risks
VAT place of supply
The “place of supply” rules determine which country’s VAT rules apply and where output VAT is due when services are supplied across national borders. Please note that the rules explained below apply to cross border supplies of services, different rules apply to cross border supplies of goods. This guide outlines the place of supply rules insofar as they are likely to affect the majority of UK based charities and voluntary organisations. The guidance is as at February 2012. For a basic introduction to VAT see the Sayer Vincent guide VAT made simple.
How to correct a VAT return walks you through what to do if you discover you have made a mistake in a past VAT return, and whether you should make a disclosure to HMRC.
Penalties for incorrect VAT returns summarises the penalties that HMRC can charge if you make a mistake in a past VAT return and explains the meaning behind reasonable care, careless, deliberate and concealed.
The Bribery Act 2010 is effective from 1 July 2011. This guide summarises the key ways in which this Act affects charities and the principles on which organisations should decide how to manage their procedures to prevent accusations of bribery being committed on their behalf.
Assessing grant applications: beyond the balance sheet looks at the aspects to bring into your grant assessment that go beyond a simple review of the financial accounts, considering people-based perspectives as well. It also looks at how you might define the extent of the assessment you choose to do
Protecting credit card data - Quick guide to PCI-DSS Does your organisation process or store credit card data? The Payment Card Industry Data Security Standard (PCI-DSS) exists to reduce credit card fraud. Make sure that you are, and stay, compliant.