Karen Szotek BSc ACCA
Joanna Grant BSc ACA
The regulatory requirements for charities and their accounts are many and complex. We have dealt with many different charitable organisations, some for over 20 years and have a wealth of experience and expertise which we can place at your disposal.
Annual accounts will have to be prepared in the required format dependent on the size and structure of the charity. The smallest charities can prepare accounts on a receipts and payments basis but larger charities must use accrual accounting and may need to have the accounts checked by an independent examiner or audited.
There are a variety of possible legal structures which may be appropriate for a charity depending on a variety of factors including size and complexity of operations. We work with a range of different types from unincorporated charities, to charitable groups with commercial trading subsidiaries.
Most charities have little or no liability for corporation or income tax but many do have to deal with the complexities of VAT, gift aid, and payroll taxes. Expert advice in these areas is invaluable.
Charities tend to rely heavily on the voluntary support of their Trustees. Most Trustees give as much time as they can but usually have other commitments which sometimes will take precedence over their charity duties often leaving gaps in the system of control. Trustees may also only serve for a limited period and continuity can become an issue. We see our role as providing the continuity which might otherwise be missing and ensuring that systems of control are applied consistently.
Many people are surprised at the level of sophistication and detail needed from the bookkeeping and accounting system of many clubs. Most of the sporting and social clubs we act for generate hundreds of thousands of pounds of income produced from at least half a dozen different sources. This is equivalent to a decent sized, and quite complex, commercial operation.
There are usually no statutory obligations determining the form and content of club accounts and it is up to the committee to decide how best to provide the information which the members need. The bookkeeping system must feed into the annual account requirements as well as providing useful information to the committee on a more regular basis.
While most clubs will not have any liability for corporation tax it is quite easy to fall foul of the complicated rules. The wide variety of income sources and varying rates tax make good VAT planning essential and, like any business with employees, the operation of a payroll and all that it entails can place a significant burden on limited resources. Professional advice must be sought.
Clubs rely heavily on the voluntary support of their committee members. Most committee members give as much time as they can but often have other demands on their time which may take precedence over their club duties often leaving gaps in the system of control. Committee members are likely only to serve for a limited period and continuity can become an issue. We see our role as providing the continuity which might otherwise be missing and ensuring that systems of control are applied consistently.