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Charity bookkeeping and internal control systems

The SORP lays down stringent requirements for reporting information about charities in the published accounts. Sorpaid

The Charity Commission also require specific systems of internal control to be applied by charities (see booklet CC8 at Many donors have specific requirements about monitoring performance

This poses two challenges for trustees, charity administrators and accountants in practice.

The obvious one is how do you prepare a set of accounts that discloses all the information stipulated. Less obvious, perhaps, is how do you efficiently and accurately record the detail of analysis that is required by the SORP, or by donors, so that when the accounts are prepared they show the correct information at the lowest possible cost in management time and accountancy fees.

Our VT Charity templates can help you to produce SORP compliant accounts, and Sage Line 50 software can also assist.

However, software tools require a deep understanding of the concepts of charity accounting before they can be usefully employed. Our training videos and CDs, and our courses and seminars can help with this.

However, as a part of our suite of services, we can offer a consultancy approach.

With the new emphasis on analysing performance by activities rather than by nominal headings, many existing accounting and reporting systems will struggle to meet the requirements, and an in depth review will often be necessary. The sooner such a review is undertaken the better, because the costs of analysing historical information to meet the SORP disclosure requirements might be high, if the systems are not put in place as soon as possible.

By visiting a charity, and understanding what it is attempting to achieve, and how it is operating, we can design an overall system of internal control. Such a system might involve controls over cash income, system to monitor trading income , systems of delegation and so on, and would be tailored to the needs of the particular charity. Even a very small charity could benefit from such an exercise, and the costs will always be proportionate to the size of the charity.

Peter Brown & Co can also carry out regular internal audit checks and one off investigations.


As with all our services, our fees are highly competitive. Our offices are set in a rural location, and therefore we have low premises overheads. This means that we are able to offer the highest quality services, very often at the lowest price.

For further information, please email or complete our Enquiry Form


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