The Charity Commission’s external scrutiny benchmark seeks to ensure a basic minimum standard of which all audits and independent examinations by charities are expected to meet – the aim of which is to ensure that account can be read with greater public confidence and trust. In late August, the Charity Commission published a new study that found that only around half of the charities reviewed by the Commission had met the minimum standard set out by the benchmark.
The key points highlighted by the Charity Commission in this study were as follows:
- The Charity Commission has asserted concern regarding the disclosure of related party transactions. The study showed that in 77 cases whereby related party transactions were not properly disclosed, in no instances was this reported to the Commission by auditors or independent examiners.
- The above has further led to fear by the Charity Commission that there has been an under-reporting of trustees failing to manage conflicts of interests.
- The study found that accounts which were reviewed by an auditor met the benchmark in more instances than accounts reviewed by an independent examiner. The qualifications of the examiner also shaped performance, with only 18% of unqualified examiners meeting the benchmark, versus 44% of qualified examiners.
To read more of the Charity Commission’s study click the following link: https://www.gov.uk/government/news/charity-regulator-concerned-by-quality-of-external-scrutiny-of-charity-accounts
For a refresher of the Charity Commission’s benchmark, click here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/a-benchmark-for-the-external-scrutiny-of-charity-accounts