Brace yourself for...the Charities SORP (2019)

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By Christine Scott, Assistant Director, Charities and Pensions

13 October 2016

Christine Scott looks ahead to the next edition of the Charities SORP (FRS 102) which is expected to be in place for accounting periods commencing on or after 1 January 2019.

The charities sector is bracing itself for the next edition of the Charities SORP (FRS 102). 

It's not due for implementation until periods commencing 1 January 2019, which may seem far enough away not to think about. However, in the world of charity accounting, four years between SORPs is rather short, with 10 years between the Charities SORP 2005 and the Charities SORP (FRS 102).

ICAS is actively engaging in the research exercise on the Charities SORP (FRS 102) being undertaken by OSCR, the Charity Commission for England and Wales and CIPFA.

We hosted a discussion event on 10 October so that those leading the consultation could hear the views of ICAS members and other finance professionals with charity expertise. Views gathered at this event, other similar events across the UK and from responses to the invitation to comment, which closes on 11 December 2016, will inform an exposure draft of a revised SORP, which is to be published for consultation in 2018.

This whole process is designed to dovetail with the FRC's triennial review of UK and Ireland accounting standards – approach to changes in IFRS (really a quadrennial review this time), which was launched in September 2016 with a view to delivering an update for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2019. The deadline for consultation responses to the FRC is 31 December 2016. The FRC has also invited feedback on FRS 102 to inform its future development more generally and this window closes on 31 October 2016.

There are challenges with starting the process of reviewing the Charities SORP (FRS 102) at this early stage, as filing deadlines for the first tranche of FRS 102 accounts have just been hit and use of the popular FRSSE only ceased for periods commencing on or after 1 January 2016.  It will be the experience of charities using the FRSSE until its final year which will really test how suitable FRS102 is for the majority of charities preparing true and fair accounts.

Among those participating in our discussion event, there is a great deal of goodwill towards the Charities SORP which is generally viewed as useful both in terms of the preparation of the trustees’ annual report and the preparation of accounts. 

However, delegates highlighted that accounts are now much longer and questioned the value of additional disclosures. Concerns arose around a number of issues arising directly from FRS 102. For example, the earlier recognition of income from legacies, accounting for pensions, the valuation of financial assets and liabilities, the use of discounting and the lengthy financial instruments disclosures.  

If you share any of these views or have other concerns or points to raise, please contact us at accountingandauditing@icas.com. The ICAS Charities Committee will be responding to the research exercise on the Charities SORP (FRS 102) on behalf of our members.

Topics

  • Charities

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