Annual charity reporting – getting ready for the 2018 deadline

13 Dec 2017 Denise Copeland    Last updated: 13 Dec 2017

This New Year's Day, over 1,000 charities will be notified by the charity regulator that they have 10 months in which to submit their annual accounts.  

The Charity Commission for Northern Ireland, will send three deadline reminders to the key contact person on the charity register.  However, if charities do not keep their contact details up to date on the charity register, then there is a possibility that this reminder could be sent to someone who is no longer involved in the charity. 

All charities are urged to check their details on the charity register to ensure that not only is the key contact details up to date, but also, that any new trustees have been added and any retired trustees removed. 

Please check the charity register to ensure your charity’s details are up to date and that the correct information has been filed.

Some reporting issues

To date, the Charity Commission has identified that 139 charities have not submitted their annual monitoring return and accounts within the required timeframe.  These charities are now marked in default on the charity register.

The Charity Commission has indicated that quite a few smaller charities which are eligible to prepare receipts and payments accounts, have not included a statement of assets and liabilities as part of the accounts which they are required to do.  The Commission has stated that charities are at risk of further regulatory action if they do not comply with the requirements.

The Commission has suggested the inclusion of the following wording in a statement of assets and liabilities for those charities that do have any other assets or liabilities aside from their bank account:

“Other than our bank account, we have no other assets or liabilities”.

The regulator has also highlighted that simple mistakes are being made such as incorrect figures being inputted and uploading of wrong documents such as bank statements.    All charities, large and small are being urged to check their details on the charity register soon after they’ve submitted the annual return and notify the Commission if they’ve made a mistake. 

 Help and support

The Commission has published several pieces of guidance for charities to help them with the preparation of their accounts and annual report.  It has also published specific guidance on independent examination which will be of interest to both the trustees in choosing an independent examiner but also for the independent examiner who must follow the twelve directions which are laid out in the guidance. 

Please see the Commission's full suite of annual reporting guidance for more's picture
by Denise Copeland

Governance and Charity Advice Manager

[email protected]

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