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wycas e-bulletin

Thursday 27 April 2017

'Qualified' accounts misunderstood by most small charities

A concern we’ve raised previously now has some hard evidence to support it. Almost 96 per cent of small charities which say their accounts are “qualified” when filing them with the Charity Commission have wrongly answered the question, according to research by Sheffield Hallam University. 

Their study, found that many small charities wrongly believed “qualified” to mean there were no issues with their accounts – rather than the actual meaning that the auditor or examiner had some reservations. 

Qualified accounts risks damaging a charity’s reputation, possibly prompting regulatory action by the Charity Commission and adversely affecting potential success with funders. So please don’t tick the qualified box unless it really does apply.

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House of Lords Report “Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society”

The House of Lords Select Committee on Charities was set up to study the sustainability of the charity sector.  It’s final report Stronger Charities for a Stronger Society was published 26 March.  Peers have warned that the commissioning landscape does not work for small charities and have recommended a number of improvements, including a move to more grant funding. 

The report said that that “the commissioning landscape is skewed against smaller charities” and recommended that practices be reformed to open up the space to smaller organisations and to encourage genuine partnerships.  It also recommended that core costs should be included in contracts, and that the focus on Social Impact Bonds was ‘disproportionate’.

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Charity Commission scrutiny of accounts

Last week the Charity Commission published the findings of its work to scrutinise charity accounts, finding that over half of those reviewed did not meet the public benefit reporting requirement. The regulator says these charities are missing a vital opportunity to tell their story and explain their impact. Separately, the Commission also looked at the overall quality of the accounts of a random sample of 109 small charities – finding almost half unacceptable.

The Commission recommends the use of accounts templates to improve quality. All WYCAS prepared accounts use our own tried and tested templates which are regularly updated meaning that charities can avoid these pitfalls.

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2016/17 Annual Evaluation

A bit of advance warning! – We’ll shortly be sending out our annual evaluation survey to all the organisations we have supported during 2016/17. As in previous years, it is a very short 2 minute e-questionnaire (paper copies will be available also as required). If you receive an invitation, please do tell us what you think about the services we have given you. We want to make sure that our services continue to improve and meet your needs.  The volume of responses is also really important in convincing funders that there is an on-going need for finance and accounting support. Thank you!

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Trustee Vacancy – Treasurer for Cancer Support Yorkshire

There is a volunteering opportunity available with Cancer Support Yorkshire based in Bradford.  If you might be interested please contact their Senior Administrator Rachel Taylor or via 01274 776688. Further details of the charity can be found here.

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WYCAS now on Facebook and Linked In!

WYCAS has been tweeting for some time however we know that some people prefer to follow Facebook or Linked In so do see our pages and follow us.

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Our e-bulletin is issued on a monthly basis and sent directly to registered subscribers. It is also available from our website. Please note that information and resources contained in the e-bulletin are general in nature and not intended as specific advice or recommendations. We welcome any feedback on the content and format so that we can improve it and make sure it meets your needs. Please let us know  if you have any comments or suggestions.

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Our services

WYCAS provides a range of specialist services designed to meet the needs of the third sector:

• One to one support and training
• Preparation of year-end accounts
• Independent examination
• Financial training courses and workshops
• Computerising accounts
• Bookkeeping and management accounts
• Advice and information
• Bespoke consultancy projects

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