Charities

The charities and Not for Profit sector faces countless financial challenges – not only do you have to raise and maintain funding in what is an increasingly difficult economy, but you also have to contend with changing regulations and complex tax treatments.

We have built a strong reputation as accountants to charities, and not for profit organisations. We ranked nationally as a Top 30 charity audit firm in the Charity Finance league table. We are proud that 14 of our team hold a Diploma of Charity Accounting, so you can be reassured that you will be receiving advice from experienced, well-qualified and genuinely well informed charity specialists.

We aim to help our clients become more effective and deliver more for their beneficiaries. Our reputation is built on an established track record of delivering value for our clients and providing a personal service, as has been proved to be the case since 1919.

Through our tailored audit and advisory services, we provide trustees with the assurance that their charity is managing its resources effectively. As well as being commercial accountants, our team has an in-depth knowledge of the governance and management of charities and social enterprises. They can advise on a range of business activities to help your organisation achieve the best financial outcomes, whilst being mindful of your objectives. 

We place great importance on CSR with our staff regularly participating in charitable events and as a firm, we have set ourselves a goal of raising £100,000 for charitable causes during 2019, our centenary year. Examples of recent and forthcoming charity fundraising and community project include, Title partner of the Bath Half Marathon, Three Peaks Challenge, English Channel relay swim and Young Enterprise, our chosen firm-wide charity.

How we can help with charity sector advice

Audit & Financial Reporting (SORP)

We’re one of the top 30 auditors in the UK. Creating value that makes a real difference to a client’s business – year after year – is intrinsic to our audit approach. The service we deliver matches strict compliance requirements without interfering with clients’ need to run a successful charity. This means minimising any disruption caused by the audit process, and maximising the potential to bring you meaningful insights on activities and financial controls within the organisation.

We submit ourselves to regular third party reviews as well as regulatory visits by the Quality Assurance Directorate (QAD). A tightly controlled system of audit licensing within our firm means that your audit will be performed by fully qualified and appropriately experienced audit specialists.

Our audit service is individually tailored to our clients, and we adopt a risk based approach. This allows us to concentrate on key issues to make the audit as efficient as possible. We have invested in some of the most advanced audit software available, which provides an audit-integrated tool for producing financial statements for charities and for undertaking data analytics.

Independent examination 

Not all charities and not for profit organisations require an audit. If you are below the threshold, we can assist you be completing an Independent Examiners’ report.

Charity VAT

Many organisations have multiple income streams that may be taxable, exempt from VAT or outside of the scope of VAT altogether.

Add to this other areas which require specialist tax advice such as gift aid, sponsorship, governance, mergers, reviewing budgets and investment management procedures and it’s easy to see why this is one of the most complex areas charity, education and Not For Profit organisations have to face.

Bishop Fleming is unique among regional accountants in having a dedicated VAT Director with a keen personal interest in the sector who has saved and retrieved huge sums for charity, education and Not for Profit clients.

Charitable trading subsidiaries and corporate tax

It may be that creating a trading subsidiary for your charity is the best way to mitigate your exposure – but corporate tax is a very complex area and if you’re not careful, this can easily backfire. Many of our prize-winning tax team members directly advise our charities department, so you can be sure that your organisation is always getting the very best tax advice.

Governance

There is undoubtedly more pressure to demonstrate good governance than ever before.

Treading the path between not getting too involved in management of the charity, but not being so removed that a trustee is not aware what is happening is a difficult line to follow. A well prepared and regularly reviewed risk register will enhance governance, as will the formal review of the Board’s collective skills and regular trustee appraisal processes. Charities should have good processes for managing conflicts of interest.

Governance Standards

With charities coming increasingly under the spotlight, it is more important than ever that good governance arrangements are in place. It is good practice to undertake a review of arrangements from time to time, encompassing policies and procedures, and a skills audit of the board members, to identify recruitment and training needs.

Governance Reviews

We have significant experience in providing a wide variety of governance reviews ranging from a review of the corporate structure through to the use of committees via a scheme of delegation. We can help you develop a framework to enable you to deliver your objectives in the most efficient and effective way. We would be pleased to discuss this with you in more detail.

 

To find out how we can help you or your business with Charity sector advice, please contact a member of our team.

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