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Charity Digital – Accounting Trends Round-up, July 2022

Newscaster Charity Digital have released articles which look at the automation of charity finances and new changes to accounts disclosure proposed for charities.

The Automation of Charity Finances
As charities continue to evolve and adapt themselves to the new landscape left by COVID, organisations are now looking to use new technologies in place of traditional methods, particularly in their finances.

With the growing scope of safe and reliable platforms and secure providers out there, organisations are beginning to engage with these modern methods to get their work done without worrying about data leaks or breaches.

They can track and report more accurately as the capturing and relaying of costs is more precise. Organisations are seen to have more control and more visibility, which should make their operations more transparent, say, for reporting to Commissioners.

Automation should also make it easier to track funding and check progress because records and reports are all in one place, and so makes preparing for the audit of a charity less daunting, as well as offering real-time information for finance managers to make more informed or long-term decisions.

It is also said that automated charities are more likely to save costs.

Newscaster Charity Digital have produced a guide introducing charities to this digital practice which also explores its importance and benefits available at their website.

New Changes in Charity Accounts Reporting
The UK Government’s Charity Commission are proposing a series of changes to the Annual Return which are planned to be put in place for 2023.

The Annual Return is the online form that nearly all charities are expected to complete within 10 months of the end of their financial reporting period.

The Return hasn’t really changed that much since 2018, but The Commission has reviewed the form and is now looking to update the questions that charities will need to complete.

If approved, these changes will be put in place from the beginning of 2023 onwards.

The Charity Commission have said these updates to the Annual Return are a vital step in their aim to become a more data-driven regulator, with a long-term goal of making sure the nature and volume of the charity data it gathers serves three purposes:
  • To allow The Commission to better identify risks and problems in the sector
  • To help the public make informed and confident choices about charities, and
  • To allow policy-makers, researchers, the sector, and the public gain a richer understanding of the Charity Sector in England and Wales
The proposed changes will mean that charities answer a greater number of questions, but The Commission have said these would be simplified and clarified in many cases.

Overall, the Commission is looking to make sure the time burden on charities to complete the Return remains modest and fair.

Newscaster Charity Digital have produced a guide exploring the new proposed changes which is available on their website.

MVA continues its efforts to provide coverage of local and national news and events for the Voluntary and Charity Sector.
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