Accountancy Services

Article modified: July 2019, 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:
  • Crowe (was 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.
  • Gotham Erskine are now part of 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: Also Bristol office: Kings House, Orchard St, Bristol, BS1 5EH, phone 0117 905 5002.


  • Bevan & Buckland works with many charities in Wales, having offices across South Wales.
  • Broomfield Alexander “leading charity accountants in Wales” has combined with Baldwins (April 2019).
  • BWMcFarlane Services to small to large charities mainly in the north west. 3 Temple Square, Liverpool, L2 5BA, phone 0151 236 1494.
  • Buzzacott Produce various charity briefings. Charity team. 12 New Fetter Lane, EC4A 1AG, phone 020 7556 1200, email:
  • Colledge Redfern New Colledge House, 2 Nascott Street, Watford, Herts, WD1 3RB, phone 01923 224445.
  • Deloitte, Non-profit unit Hill House, 1 Little New Street, London, EC4A 3TR.
  • French Duncan A Scottish firm, ‘involved for over a century in charities and voluntary sector‘. Phone 0141 221 2984, email:
  • Godfrey Wilson provides audit, accountancy, consultancy and payroll services mainly to clients in Bristol and the South West. Alison Godfrey has a charity sector background and specialism. Unit 5.11 Paintworks, Bath Road, Bristol, BS4 3EH, phone 07917 114204, email:
  • Grant Thornton has a charities and not for profit group.
  • Griffin Stone Moscrop & Cocharities info.
  • Hacker Youngcharity and not-for-profit link. Phone 020 7216 4600.
  • Hawsons Offices in Sheffield, Doncaster and Northampton.
  • haysmacintyre Provide VAT advice for CFG members through their VAT Club. Not for Profit website section. Phone 020 7969 5500.
  • HW FisherAdvisers to charities since 1933′. Acre House, 11-15 William Road, London, NW1 3ER, phone: 020 7388 7000, email:
  • Haines Watts has charity specialists in various offices around England and Wales.
  • Garbutt and Elliott York and Leeds offices.
  • Jackson and Jackson specialises in charities and the voluntary and community sector. Based in London, with a phone helpline service for clients. Phone 020 8527 6912.
  • Kingston Smith Have a charity sector speciality. Devonshire House, 60 Goswell Road, London, EC1M 7AD, phone 020 7566 4000.
  • Knox Cropper A nine partner practice, operating from a City office and also Surrey and Hertfordshire.
  • Kreston Reeves (was Spofforths) London and south east, especially Sussex.
  • Linden Accountants accountancy services for the south west, based in Bristol.
  • Mazars ‘Have given advice to over 350 charities’. Dedicated Charity Sector Group.
  • Moore Stephens – includes the merged Chantrey Vellacott charity specialists.
  • PKF Francis Clark “act for over 250 charities throughout the South West, both large and small”.
  • PKF Littlejohn.
  • Price Bailey chartered accountants is heavily involved in the Charity/Not for Profit sector. Offices in Bishops Stortford, Norwich, Cambridge, Ely.
  • RSM, previously Baker Tilly. Particular interest in schools, learned societies as well as general Charities and Social Enterprises.
  • Saffery ChampnessNot-for-profit group. Offices in England and Scotland.
  • Slade and Cooper specialises in work with charities, cooperatives, and other not-for-profit entities in the North of England. 6 Mount Street, Manchester, M2 5NS, phone 0161 831 0100.
  • Smith & Williamsoncharities and education team. Various offices in England, Glasgow, Belfast, phone 0800 484 0484,
  • Alison Ward Accountants specialise in audit and accountancy related services to the charity sector. Based in Essex/North East London, phone 020 8505 4201.
  • Whiting & Partners Accounting, audit and payroll services for the voluntary sector in East Anglia. 41 St. Mary’s Street, Ely, Cambs, CB7 4HF, phone 01353 662595.

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:
  • Graham Taylor A specialist Charity Finance and Management service dedicated to charities for more than 20 years. Phone 020 7538 1893, email:
  • 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:

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

  • CBR Solutions (was Charity BackRoom) is run by Voluntary Norfolk and provides a payroll service to charities and social enterprises across England. Phone 01603 756726, email:


VAT advice

Also see Tax Issues page.

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