For many years now, many mid-sized UK charities have been required to subject their annual statutory accounts to independent examination. For such charities, with income within the range of £25,000 to £1m and gross assets of less than £3.26m, an independent examination is a lighter touch of independent scrutiny than a full audit. As many charities fall within these size criteria, independent examinations are very common, so it comes as no surprise that the Charity Commission have now updated their guidance on what is involved:
Compared to the previous 2015 guidance, Independent Examiners are now required to:
- Check for any conflicts of interest that may prevent them from carrying out the independent examination.
- Check that related party transactions in ‘SORP accounts’ are properly disclosed.
- Check whether the trustees have considered the charity’s financial circumstances when preparing the accounts, and for ‘SORP accounts’ whether the trustees have made an assessment of the charity’s position as a going concern.
- Report matters of material significance to the respective charity regulator.
As we live in an age of poor charity governance becoming news worthy, perhaps no surprise.