When we use the word accountancy or accountant we are talking about more than just yearly accounts. There is so much more that charity accountants can offer than just the year end accounts. Budgeting, ratio analysis, gift aid returns independent examinations .... the list goes on. Working out which services would benefit your accounting structure the most can be complicated especially when it comes to something like Ratio Analysis. What does that even mean to some one who isn't an accountant?
As a charity accountant practice it is our job to make accounts understandable to people with no accounting experience. This is often a difficult task for any accountant as we sometimes assume every one else knows what we are talking about. No matter what role you play in a charity never be afraid to ask questions of anything you don't understand.
As accountants we will always endeavor to be as accountable to your organisation as if we were members of staff. We are happy to attend AGMs to present accounts and to report regularly to trustees meetings. This will take up an accountants time so we will have to charge for attending these meetings. If you let us know how many meetings you would like us to attend during the year they will be included in the quote we provide. In general we will always be contactable and happy to explain or help with anything we can.
Trustees are the force behind a charity. The force that makes the key decisions the tough choices and keeps the vision alive. They also have responsibility for ensuring the accounts are correct and completed. This also includes making sure the accounts are either independently examined or audited and that the accounts and trustee reports are filed with HMRC and the Charity Commission on time.
It is not necessary for trustees to be accountants or have an accountancy related background to run a successful charity. That is why there are accountants like us. It is however, very essential as a trustee to understand the importance of sound accounting practices.
Trustees have a legal duty to look after their charity’s money and other assets.
DIRECT FROM THE CHARITY COMMISSION WEBSITE
LONG TERM PLANS
Budgeting for the next year is important for the financial planning of the charity. But does your organisation have a solid focused long term plan? I suspect the distant future plan is probably the first thing that gets pushed to one side in a busy accounting period. If this has happened bring the future plan back in to focus and make sure it is updated every year along with the budget.
Long term plans help focus the whole organization on what needs to be achieved. Going from year to year with no fixed vision hinders the work of a charity and makes everything seem erratic. Keep your charity focused and stead fast with clear well defined goals for the future.
PAYING FOR a charity ACCOUNTANT
Obviously if you are a charitable organisation that is just starting out you do not want to be faced with large accountants bills. Once your income reaches £25,000 pounds however you will have to look for outside help in the form of professional accountants. The benefits of using a paid charity accountant are that you are guaranteed a professional and timely service. Another benefit of having a qualified accountant is our ability to help with all aspects of the charities accounts for example budgeting, income generation and fraud prevention.
Clearly, as a charitable organization, you don't want to be paying ridiculously high fees to an accountant just so they can work in a swanky office! Chadmin offers rates that are fair and will always charge less than quoted for if possible. We want to help charities with the work they do not hold them back and that is why we have chosen to be a charity accountant.
Start up charities will not need to worry about having an independent examination until their income reaches £25,000 on an annual basis. Once you are at the stage where you need to find an independent examiner you will have to find an accountant with the right knowledge and qualifications. We think that leaving out the noise of businesses gives Chadmin more chance to focus on accounts and accounting procedures just for charitable organisations.