The Charity Commission are going through a formal consultation process concerning changes they wish to make to the annual return required from a charity who has an annual income of £10,000 or more.
Their stated desire is to become a more data-driven regulator which will allow it to better identify risks and problems; help the public to make informed and confident choices and to ensure a greater understanding of the sector generally.
The proposed additional questions focus on reliance on types of income or single source funding; roles, responsibilities and governance; ‘deserts’ i.e., more geographical data to recognise areas not covered and staff numbers /payroll costs to allow the public to see how donations are utilised.
The Commission undertake sample checks of reports files, usually from those with income of £25,000 per annum of greater. This allows them to monitor the quality of returns submitted and to establish the number of defaulters.
The Commission supplies proforma accounts on its website and trustees are encouraged to know what they are supposed to do. As a charity has to make a number of declarations within the accounts ensure that you know what is required or that you appoint someone who does.
The Commission has a purpose stated to be to ensure that charity can thrive and inspire trust so that lives are improved and society strengthened. The public interest is said to be front and centre.
It has stated in its recent business plan that it wishes to establish a new online portal for trustees, so that they can be supported and to encourage engagement.