Charities Act 2011 comes into force
14th March 2012 is the commencement date
The Charities Act 2011 comes into force on 14th March 2012.
In one sense, this is not that dramatic. The Act is a consolidating act which combines the 2006 Act, the 1993 Act and one or two other pieces of legislation, but it does not alter the underlying law.
However, in another sense it is very important.
A set of charity accounts contains a large number of statutory references. These are in the Trustees' Report, the Examiner's or Auditor's Report, in the Balance Sheet and the notes.
From 14th March 2012, all these references must be to the Charities Act 2011 and not to previous legislation. This means the wording of all sets of accounts finalised on or after 14th March 2012 must be altered.
Unlike many other changes in legislation, these changes do not refer to any particular year end. They refer to all accounts finalised after 13th March 2012.
ANY set of accounts finalised before 14th March 2012 must be in accordance with the previous legislation. ANY accounts finalised after 13th March must quote the new legislation.
There is, however, a transitional permission in the Schedules to the 2011 Act, which validates accounts commenced before 14th March and finalised after 14th March. These can still quote the old legislation and be within the law.
Finalised for this purpose means where the audit report,examiner's report or accountant's report is signed off.
The charity templates puiblished by Sorpaid comply with the 2011 Act.