Accountancy Services

Article modified: December 2017, Author:


Basic issues

For the voluntary organisation which is a registered charity or company, conforming to accounting requirements imposed by the charity SORP (developed by the Charity Commission with sector professionals) and/or company law (largely overseen by Companies House) can be one of the least rewarding aspects.

There are Community Accountancy schemes dotted around the country.

Failing the above, a number of specialist units in small to large accountancy firms can save you money in the medium to long term. They can help develop systems which can cope, and ensure your good intentions aren’t undermined by complexity. Equally there are some who only have a superficial understanding who will still pitch for your business. In this field, it is pretty essential to take up references (from some organisation in a closely related field if at all possible) if you are inexperienced or unsure. All those below, with one exception, are qualified to audit accounts for any type of organisation.

The one exception relates to ‘independent examiners’, defined under the charity SORP as being able to provide an alternative to a full audit for those charities with an income of under £250,000 in England or Wales, £100,000 in Scotland (as long as they aren’t limited companies as well). There is an Association of Charity Independent Examiners. Plus we reproduce an article on this subject from Gareth Morgan, who originally launched ACIE.

Audit/accountancy firms

The UK 200 Group of small to medium sized chartered accountancy firms has launched a charities group, which provides a pool of expertise for its members. This should help increase the understanding of particular charity issues within those firms. Contact the UK 200 charities group via 01252 333511.

The list of members firms at the Charity Practitioners Forum is also worth checking.

Some audit/accountancy firms we know best

  • BDO The useful charity newsletter is mailed to clients and often others who express an interest. Contact Don Bawtree or Kate Kirkland (the latter is their governance expert). Charity Unit, 8 Baker Street, London, W1M 1DA, phone 020 7486 5888, email: don_bawtree@bdo.co.uk
  • Crowe Clark Whitehill (was Horwath CW) The charity team is led by Pesh Framjee, one of the most familiar faces at charity finance events, and he knows his stuff. Pesh is Special Advisor to Charity Finance Group and has produced many briefing papers for CFG which can be obtained from the web site. The firm runs the CFG and ACEVO helplines and the non-profit sector accounts for over 25% of the its business. St Bride’s House, 10 Salisbury Square, London, EC4Y 8EH, phone 020 7842 7100.
  • Peter Gotham and Simon Erskine and their specialist Not for Profit Team (formerly Gotham Erskine) are now at Macintyre Hudson, New Bridge Street House, 30-34 New Bridge Street, London, EC4V 6BJ, phone 020 7429 4100. They continue to provide services for small to large charities, including management and insolvency advice. A monthly newsletter is available from the website.
  • Sayer Vincent Work closely with Directory of Social Change on Charity Accountants Conference, training courses and publications; produce newsletter. Some charity accounts information on the website, which is continuing to develop. Specialist IT and management consultancy services. 8 Angel Gate, City Road, London, EC1V 2SJ, phone 020 7841 6360, email: info@sayervincent.co.uk. Also Bristol office: Kings House, Orchard St, Bristol, BS1 5EH, phone 0117 905 5002.

Others



Management accounting, Support

  • Accounting Solutions for Charities Run by Steve Brown, who has 20 years voluntary sector experience, including 10 years at Finance Director level. A range of financial management support to organisations in the London area.
  • Peter Howlett ACMA. Independent financial consultant with 10 years financial management experience in the voluntary sector. 34 Bartlemas Rd, Oxford, OX4 1XX, phone 01865 251161, email: PeterHowlett@Moneyinsight.org
  • Graham Taylor A specialist Charity Finance and Management service dedicated to charities for more than 20 years. Phone 020 7538 1893, email: graham@gtcharityfinance.co.uk
  • Nigel Tinsley. Annual reports and accounts to SORP standards, Monthly and quarterly management accounts, Budgeting, Cashflow forecasts etc. for voluntary sector in West Midlands area. 82a Wrottesley Road, Wolverhampton, WV6 8SH, phone 01902 750301, email: nigel.tinsley@virgin.net

Payroll and Bookkeeping Services

The internet opens up new opportunities for payroll services. You may still find it useful to check whether a local CVS does this for groups in its area (for a fee) but potentially it is cheaper and more flexible over the web. CASH-online advises small charities and voluntary groups to use a payroll service and save a considerable administrative burden. If you want to do it yourself, see our Payroll Resources section.

Mainly accountancy

  • Charity Accountancy Services Accounting and back office services for charities up to £1 million turnover. Based in London.
  • Community Accountancy Service Ltd is in Manchester.
  • Daniel Hull of High Peak Bookkeepers has a charity background and is offering bookkeeping, payroll and office services in Derbyshire/Manchester area. Phone 07826 111964.
  • NfP Accountants is a small accountancy firm in London dedicated to providing financial management support for small charities.
  • CASE – Community Accountancy Social Enterprise – is/was trading arm for Community Accountancy Self Help, but problems with website at March 2014 indicate it could be defunct. Provided back office accountancy support to community groups across London.

Mainly payroll

Voluntary sector specific

  • Scottish Training Foundation Payroll A Glasgow based charity providing a comprehensive payroll service to small businesses, charities and voluntary organisations. Phone 0141 572 4326.
  • Charity BackRoom is run by Voluntary Norfolk and provides a payroll service to charities and social enterprises across England. Phone 01603 756726, email: enquiries@charitybackroom.org.uk

Others

VAT advice

Also see Tax Issues page.

  • Centurion VAT – South Wales and West.
  • Liaison now appears to be entirely focused on NHS VAT (used to have good charity knowledge too).
  • The VAT Consultancy Offices in Hampshire and London.
  • The VAT People A VAT consultancy based in Stockport. Charities page.
  • VAT Advice Les Howard is based in Cambridgeshire and has long experience, including reclaims for various churches and charities, especially on new builds.
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