Charity reporting

Charity reporting

What are my legal reporting obligations?

If your charity is registered, you are required to report annually to the Commission on your charity’s finances, resources and activities. This is known as “annual reporting” and is a legal requirement. If your charity is on the deemed list and has not yet been registered, you do not have to send information to the Commission (yet).

Through the annual reporting programme registered charities will be required to complete and submit an online annual monitoring return form, attaching the charity’s:

    trustees’ annual report
    report from independent examiner / auditor, as applicable.

What happens if I don't comply with the regulations?

Failure to meet your reporting obligations can have serious consequences for your charity.  As recently as 28 February 2017 the Charity Commission published the names of 38 charities in default, that is, they failed to submit their Annual Monitoring Returns.
Once this has happened, your charity risks losing the confidence of the public, it can be harder to get individual donors, and you would find it very difficult to get corporate or government funding once you are identified as being non-compliant.
Furthermore, the Commission has stated it will pass on the the details of those charities who fail to meet their annual reporting obligations to HM Revenue and Customs, which could mean that further action may be taken. 

Independent Examination of Accounts

New law, The Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015, relating to charity accounting and reporting commenced on 1 January 2016. This legislation applies to all registered charities and sets out:

    the form and content of charity accounts (receipts and payments or accruals accounts)
    the form and content of the trustees’ annual report
    the level of external scrutiny required, that is, whether you can have just an independent examination or you require a full audit.

All registered charities are required to comply with these regulations for each financial period beginning 1 January 2016 or their date of registration with the Commission, if later.

In short, regardless of the size of your charity, you MUST have your accounts examined by someone who is independent of the charity's trustees.

Reproduced from The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland. NIICE is not affiliated with or endorsed by the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland
 Where can I get more information?
Detailed information about your reporting obligations and how the new regulations affect you is available at The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland's website.  You will find all you need to know about registering your charity, and your reporting and accounting obligations.  Remember, your must have your accounts examined every year by an independent examiner.

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