Roundup of the latest guidance from UK charity regulators

By Christine Scott, Head of Charities and Pensions

20 June 2017

The UK charity regulators have been busy of late publishing new guidance for charities and their advisers, including new guidance for auditors and examiners on Matters of material significance to UK charity regulators.

In addition, the Charities SORP-making body, OSCR and the Charity Commission for England and Wales, have published an Information Sheet on Charities SORP (FRS 102) implementation issues. The Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) has also published a series of guides this year:

Information Sheet 1

Information Sheet 1 does not amend the Charities SORP (FRS 102) and is advisory in nature. Its purpose is to assist preparers, auditors and examiners of accounts in applying the recommendations of the SORP.

Each topic covered by the Information Sheet is set out with reference to the relevant section of the Charities SORP. The topics covered include the following:

Accounting and reporting by charities: the statement of recommended practice (SORP) – scope and application

  • exemption from preparing a statement of cash flows in the individual accounts of a qualifying entity

Trustees annual report – module 1

  • fundraising disclosures brought in by the Charities (Protection and Social Investment) Act 2016 – England & Wales only

Fund accounting – module 2

  • comparative figures for fund disclosures

Statement of financial activities (SoFA) – module 4

  • inclusion of governance costs within expenditure on raising funds

Recognition of income, including legacies, grants and contract income – module 5

  • treatment of funding ‘clawed back’ by funders

Disclosure of trustee and staff remuneration and related party and other transactions - module 9

  • Exemptions from disclosure of the names of related parties
  • Aggregate disclosure of the total amount of donations received without conditions
  • Inclusion of Employers National Insurance Contributions (NIC) as part of employee benefits

Accounting for impairment - module 12

  • Treatment of losses on disposal of a tangible fixed assets

Appendix 1: Glossary of terms

  • Disclosure of government grants
  • Definition of a larger charity

Appendix 3: Thresholds for the UK and the Republic of Ireland

  • Thresholds for charities reporting in the Northern Ireland under the Charities (Accounts and Reports) Regulations (Northern Ireland) 2015 and the Charities Act 2008 (Substitution of Sums) Order (Northern Ireland) 2015 – Northern Ireland only

OSCR guides

A guide to incorporation

OSCR has published A guide to incorporation for unincorporated charities seeking to incorporate as either a Scottish Charitable Incorporated Organisation (SCIO) or company limited by guarantee.

A charity seeking to incorporate must apply to OSCR to create a new charity and apply for consent to wind up the existing charity.

ICAS Charities Panel member, Tom Mitchell CA, contributed to the development of the guide through his participation in the OSCR’s Incorporation Guidance Group.

Reserves Factsheet

OSCR has published a Reserves Factsheet for the trustees of small and medium-sized charities seeking to develop or update a reserves policy for their charity.

In publishing the guidance, OSCR stated “Having a reserves policy is not a legal requirement but it can help you to meet your legal responsibilities and fulfil your charity trustee duties.”

Being a charity in Scotland

OSCR has published guidance on Being a charity in Scotland designed to make the basics of Scottish charity law easier to understand.

The guide is for:

  • charity trustees of existing charities or people working in charities, especially smaller ones.
  • people who want to set up a charity.
  • professionals who advise charities and organisations that want to become charities.

It sets out the key points charities need to know about Scottish charity law. Within the guide there are links to detailed guidance pages contained on the OCSR website and it also has information on other organisations that can provide help and advice to charities.


  • Charities

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