Telling your charity’s story through your annual accounts

Working in finance comes with the need to prepare a set of annual accounts.  It is, no doubt, part of your job description.  The trouble with anything routine and habitual is that it can easily become mundane.  A tick-box exercise that simply needs to get done.

But ask yourself whether your annual accounts are working as hard as they could for your organisation?

Whether you’ve worked in your current organisation for many years, have transitioned from another social purpose body, you’re starting off in your finance career, or you’ve made the jump from the commercial world, are you looking at your accounts with the scrutiny that they deserve?

By this, I don’t mean simply how detailed and accurate your spreadsheet is.  Certainly, a set of annual accounts should be a robust compliance document.  If they’re not, that’s a whole separate point of discussion!  However, if this is all they are then they may not be working hard enough for you and your professional reputation; nor are they adding the value and impact that they could to your organisation.

Ask yourself:

  • Have you looked at previous years’ accounts and questioned the relevance and appropriateness of each section within them? 
  • Have you considered how your peers in similar organisations approach their annual accounts? 
  • Have you reflected on the steps you might take to make the process of preparing your annual accounts simpler, yet with a result that is more meaningful? 
  • Does the jargon associated with not just annual accounts, but the annual accounts for charities (well known as minefield of complexities) send your mind into a spin?

Depending on how you answered those questions, you might want to consider attending our forthcoming ‘preparing charity accounts’ event.

“You’re good with numbers” is a phrase you’re almost certainly familiar with.  Don’t, however, let that be to the detriment of your story telling abilities.

A good charity finance professional will produce a robust, compliant set of annual accounts.  A great charity finance professional will provide a window into the world of that organisation that tells its story, and that isn’t just a ‘nice to have’, it’s an invaluable tool that supports the ongoing resilience of that charity.  Take the fundraising team, for example; they’re at the coalface of raising the funds that power the vision and mission of that organisation and a compelling narrative that supports them in this role cannot be undervalued.

Our ‘preparing charity accounts’ event is for YOU wherever you are in your charity finance career. 

It’ll give you the chance to work on your own set of accounts in a way that not only addresses charity accounting requirements, but which provides you with the opportunity to approach your accounts with an open and curious mind, with a desire to tackle any niggling concerns, and with the commitment to making your organisation’s next set of accounts the best yet!

Preparing charity accounts, 21 February 2024, London