Thursday, 28 January 2016

Charity Reporting and accounting

Confused about charity reporting and accounting?  Not sure what your organisation should be doing?

Read the Charity Commission guidance here:

End of year accounts - some helpful advice from Sandy

Filing charity accounts, reports and returns
Rather late to remind you, but if you’re amongst the 50% of charities whose financial year ends on 31 March, your annual accounts and returns are due to the Charity Commission for England and Wales and Charity Commission for Northern Ireland on Sunday 31 January. For Scotland they should have been in on 31 December.

My website article covers typical problems with annual accounts; why it’s important to get everything in on time; progress towards getting Scottish charities’ accounts on the OSCR website; and the introduction of new reporting regulations in Northern Ireland, after two years of interim regs.

Thursday, 21 January 2016


Does your organisation need funding support or a Health Check?  
Have you got an issue around governance? Would your trustees like support to understand what their role is?  
Would you like to discuss potential project ideas? 

Come along for a chat to a PAVO development officer to find out how we can support you.

We will be in Llanidloes on WEDNESDAY 27TH JANUARY 2016

To book an appointment call PAVO on 01597 822191.

Hope to see you there!

Monday, 18 January 2016

Top tips for filing your annual return to Charity Commission

If your organisation is a registered charity or a CIO (Charitable Incorporated Organisation), and it fails to send the annual return on time, it will be visible on your page on the Commission website, which any potential funder can see.  

All charities can be found on the Commission website, and the traffic light reporting system is an incredibly visually effective way of flagging up any issues.

Read the article below for some top tips:

(Source: Guardian Voluntary Sector Network)

Friday, 15 January 2016

How well do you know your governing document?

One of the main roles of a trustee is to make sure that your organisation keeps to its rules.

Here's some useful Charity Commission guidance, that's useful, even if you aren't a registered charity:

Need help understanding your governing document?  Then contact PAVO on 01597 822191.


We want to know what training organisations and individuals want us to run this year. There is also a link to our training booklet with all the courses we currently offer.

There will also be a free place on a training course for one lucky person who completes the poll! 

Friday, 8 January 2016

Why charities shouldn't shudder at the thought of a governance review

If you had suggested a governance review to a chair of trustees at a charity this time last year, they would have most likely responded with something along the lines of, “Yes, good idea, we must have a look at that at some point in the future.”
Things feel rather different now. The sad and very public demise of Kids Company has been followed with a flurry of post-mortems from sector worthies and tabloid columnists alike – most of which have pointed to a perceived weakness in the charity’s governance. People who sit on, or work with, boards have told me of an almost universal sentiment at their latest meetings, with questions like “Could that happen to us, as well? Are we, as a board, getting it right?”

Wednesday, 6 January 2016


Planning and Writing Successful Funding Bids

Date: Thursday 17th March 2016 - full day
Venue: PAVO, Unit 30 Ddole Road, Llandrindod Wells LD1 6DF
Cost: £20 (PAVO members), £40 (3rd Sector, non PAVO members) & £60 (other/individuals)
By the end of the course, participants will be able to:
  • Understand the current funding climate in Wales and its impact on funders
  • Review their current approach of developing a bid
  • Apply new tools and techniques to give their bids a winning 'edge'
  • Understand and meet the expectations of funders 
To bookClick here

Monday, 4 January 2016

Charity Commission Newsletter

The latest Charity Commission news is out - if you;re not a registered charity it still holds useful information.

The Charity Commission has published a sample of excuses given by charities not filing their accounts on time.

The list of excuses reads quite comically, but there is a serious message the Charity Commission are trying to get across:

  • Nearly one-third of charities’ accounts filed of ‘unacceptable quality’.
  • Campaign to launch in January targeting charities in default.
  • Filing accounts is key to transparency and public trust in charities.
Today the Charity Commission has published a sample of excuses given by charities not filing their accounts on time. Despite all charities with income over £25,000 being required to submit accounts, thousands are in default. Excuses received by the commission include: “I don’t have access to the internet” [sent via email], “I’m not involved with this charity’s requirements, I am a trustee”; and “I already did it…last year”.
This comes after commission research found earlier this year that 32 percent of accounts submitted were not of ‘adequate quality’ in the 12 months up to 31 March 2013 – based on a random sample. This represents an improvement from the previous year analysed, where nearly half (46 percent) were inadequate.
If a charity’s income is over £25,000, accounts must be filed with the commission. Failure to do so indicates a lack of transparency on the part of the charity. It may affect the charity’s reputation and in extreme cases can jeopardise trust in charity as a whole. To avoid this, the commission advises trustees follow 3 easy steps:
  • do not wait until you approach the 10 month deadline; when you have the documents, submit them
  • ensure you have a password to access the commission’s online services or ensure that you know who within the charity has the password
  • know that submission is the collective responsibility of the entire trustee body, not just the treasurer or secretary for example
The commission receives 60,000 sets of accounts each year. Almost 7,000 are required to have their accounts formally audited. 12 months ago the commission began a 3-year programme of transformation in the way it works. When complete it will enable the commission to more effectively monitor accounts and intervene earlier when problems arise.
William Shawcross, chairman of the commission said:
Although these excuses are amusing, there is a serious point – after a difficult year for charities, it is essential they do all they can to be open about their finances. I hope trustees take note and file their accounts. If not, they could be hearing from the commission soon.
A sample of excuses received by the commission for not filing their accounts include:

I cannot file my accounts because…

  • I don’t have internet access [sent by email]
  • Your website was closed
  • I’m only a volunteer
  • Joe does this, it is not my job
  • The person with the password is in Malaysia
  • The person with the password is in New York and isn’t contactable because of a Hurricane
  • I’m not involved with this charity’s requirements, I am a trustee
  • The School provides us with office space but it’s the school holidays and they are shut
  • I cannot log onto your site, what is my charity number
  • Can I log onto your site from someone else’s Computer?
  • I already did it…last year
  • I’m not a trustee, I’m on the committee
  • My secretary schedules to file each year (on deadline day) and she is off sick
  • The accounts aren’t ready so I recorded zero income and zero expenditure so we wouldn’t show as being in default on the Register
  • It’s the accountants responsibility not mine
  • Our computer caught fire and we lost all the financial data
  • Deadline day falls on a religious holiday so we couldn’t file [sent by a multiple defaulter]
  • I’m only new
  • No-one told me when we registered
  • You never sent me reminders
  • I don’t believe in using computers
  • Computers are satanic
  • Our office was broken into and the thieves made off with the financial records
  • …and
  • My boot came open on the motorway and the papers went down the M1
  • The commission also received one set of incomplete accounts with bite marks
(Source: Charity Commission)