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Tuesday, November 18th, 2014

Legal Update: Charity accounts, returns & reports

Charity and company annual accounts, reports and returns

An update from Sandy Adirondack, expert in law for voluntary and community organisations.

Charity SORPs

Following on from the update on 13 August, further information about the new charity SORPs (statements of recommended practice) for financial years starting on or after 1 January 2015, and some new resources.

Changes to Charity Commission annual return for 2015 and online register of charities

  • For financial years ending on or after 1 January 2015, the 2015 annual return will have new questions on income central or local government, whether the charity has a staff remuneration policy, and whether the charity has reviewed its financial controls during the reporting period.
  • Guidance from the Charity Commission for charities operating overseas, where online publication of information about where they are operating and their in-country spending could cause harm to individuals or the charity.

Joint filing of charitable company accounts

The Charity Commission and Companies House have been looking at the possibility of single filing of charitable companies’ accounts, rather than the accounts having to be filed separately with the two regulators. The Commission says it has doubts about affordability but it continuing to look at options.

Company annual returns

The government plans to allow companies to check and confirm information held by Companies House at any time during a 12-month period, rather than having to complete an annual return at a set time each year.

New edition of The Charity Treasurer’s Handbook

The Directory of Social Change has just published the fourth edition of Gareth Morgan’s Charity Treasurer’s Handbook, 224 pages, £16.95. P&P £1.70 if you order from me (to order, just send an email with contact name and mailing address. Different P&P will apply if you order from DSC or online bookshops, or your local real bookshop will probably be able to order it for you.

Book details at

All legal updates from Sandy can be viewed at