The Charity Sleuths

What the Intelligent Giving researchers are uncovering, and whose turn it is to make the tea

Friday, June 16, 2006

Charities that can't count

We have now reviewed a wide range of types and size of charities: over 300 to date. We can therefore report with some authority that, on the whole, their Annual Reports and Accounts are rubbish.

It is not just us who think this. Our contacts throughout the voluntary and commercial sector agree that the general standard of charity financial reporting is woeful. A former Financial Times analyst compares the charity accounts of today with company accounts he was analysing decades ago in... Jakarta.

One of our subjects had miscalculated its accounts by £700,000, and while mistakes of this magnitude are not common, rarely a day goes by when some inconsistency or error doesn't rear its befuddled head.

Companies could never get away with this. No-one would invest in them and they would die a quick and painful death. In the future, as accountability becomes more and more important to donors and the Charity Commission, charity accountants will have to sharpen their act.

Neill

5 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When do we get the list of the 1000 charities then?

5:31 pm  
Anonymous Michael said...

Are you focussing on charities established in England and Wales, or UK-wide, and if it's the latter, do you think that the OSCR regulations that have come into force in Scotland will have a positive effect?

1:52 am  
Blogger The Intelligent Giving Team said...

Anonymous,

You will get to see the charities that we have reviewed when we launch our web site later in the year. We will keep you posted.

8:42 am  
Blogger The Intelligent Giving Team said...

Michael,

We are focussing entirely on charities established in England and Wales.

8:44 am  
Anonymous Mmchael said...

In that case, I wonder if you would keep an eye out to see if there is any apparent effect on the reporting.

Charities established in England but operating in Scotland will have an extra set of reporting and regulations to follow, and some argue it will have a positive effect on their Uk reports, others that it will do the opposite.

7:06 pm  

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