Olivia Carling, who is part of our audit team answers the question ‘Why I enjoy working with charities’:
Working with charities is a fun and engaging challenge. While audit has a reputation of being repetitive, charity audit could not fall further from this reputation. Every client we work with is unique in terms of their activities, revenue streams, legal structure, and their individual risks. When I explain I work with charities, most people assume I only audit charity shops – they are shocked to hear that our clients range from those involved in financial services, public health, they may be commissioned to provide research or may manage significant endowment funds. Of course, some do also have charity shops. Clients range in size from tiny to very large and have a wide range of legal set ups, such as being a trust or Royal Charter, with many of our clients set up as charitable companies, CIC or CIOs.
Our clients may also have trading subsidiaries. The variety is wonderful as it encourages you to genuinely learn, rather than relying on audit software, and to think carefully about the organisation as an individual entity, allowing you to understand the organisation better.
Each one of our clients exist due to a need arising, and motivated, passionate people deciding to do something about it. At Sayer Vincent, I am so fortunate to work alongside people who are dedicated to improving the lives of other; and I am continually amazed each time I get to know a new client and meet the staff supporting the amazing work being carried out.
Supporting a vital sector
The charity sector plays a significant role in our society; far more than it is often credited with. Charities across the UK support stakeholders and provide services across all industries, services, and to a huge scope of individuals, both within and outside the UK. In fact, due to the research conducted, the community service provided, and the community cohesion charities bring – you would be hard pressed to find anyone not impacted in some way by the work of our clients. It is motivating to contribute to the charity sector through conducting audits. If you are one of our clients reading this, you would not be alone in finding the annual audit to be a bureaucratic box ticking exercise, but in truth, the audit supports charities by building trust in donors, service users, and the general public. In a year where some charities have come under fire for poor governance, the audit process supports better systems which enable the charity to work at its best capacity.
Our clients are constantly in the news or popping up on reels talking about their life changing work, on adverts highlighting fantastic work they carry out, or being talked about by your friends and family. It is rewarding knowing you are working with well-known names making positive change. It makes your work feel more tangible – this is particularly unique working in audit, a B2B service, which can risk being somewhat faceless.
I have been extremely lucky to train with Sayer Vincent, and work towards my ACA alongside such a varied group of truly wonderful clients.