The Charity Sleuths

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

Monday, June 26, 2006

What’s £700,000 between friends?

After going through more than 150 charities’ accounts, it would be reasonable to expect to see the odd error. A typo, a misspelling... these things are easy to forgive. Indeed, it is almost comforting to know that people, rather than machines, produce these reports.

However, this generous approach cannot accommodate some glaring errors I have found recently.

£10 million error

FORCE (Friends of the Oncology and Radiotherapy Centre): their accounts (due, I think, to a spreadsheet error) miscalculate by precisely £730,535. Bearing in mind that they spend just over £1 million per year, this amount is rather large.

However, it pales in comparison with the South England Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists. By consistently missing out a ‘1’, they understate their unrestricted funds by a prize-winning £10,000,000.

These errors do not directly reflect on the charities’ work. However, they are vexing to researchers, and must be more than a little concerning for donors



Anonymous Simon said...

I can't help wondering about the auditors who were prepared to sign this off as "a true and fair view of the state of the charity's affairs".

1:54 pm  
Anonymous Jonathan said...

Obviously *not one* stakeholder in either of those charities has looked at the accounts. Incredible, eh?

6:31 pm  

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