It is a legal requirement that trustees of registered charities must report each year in their trustees’ annual report on how they have carried out their charity’s purposes for the public benefit. Trustees of smaller registered charities (where gross income does not exceed £500,000) must report on public benefit by:
• including a brief summary setting out the main activities undertaken by the charity to carry out its charitable purposes for the public benefit
• including a statement as to whether they have complied with their duty to have due regard to the commission’s public benefit guidance when exercising any powers or duties to which the guidance is relevant
Public benefit reporting, when done well, can be an effective tool for trustees as it helps a charity to
• stay focused on what their charity is there to achieve (its purposes) when planning activities
• demonstrate what their charity does and the value of its work, particularly when applying for grant funding or fundraising
• link with impact reporting and demonstrating the charity’s transparency and accountability
• improve the overall quality of reporting on the charity’s work
More details can be found here
Paid annual leave is a legal right that an employer must provide. Most workers who work a 5-day week full time must receive at least 28 days’ paid annual leave per year. This is the equivalent of 5.6 weeks of holiday.
Getting paid instead of taking holidays
The only time someone can get paid in place of taking statutory leave (known as ‘payment in lieu’) is when they leave their job. Employers must pay for untaken statutory leave (even if the worker is dismissed for gross misconduct).
If an employer offers more than 5.6 weeks’ annual leave, they can agree separate arrangements for the extra leave.
Taking holiday before leaving a job
By law, you have a duty of care to protect your charity’s assets and resources. Depending on what your charity does, you can buy insurance to protect its money, property and reputation.
Examples of types of insurance that might be needed to cover a charity’s property against loss or damage are:
- buildings insurance
- contents insurance
- event insurance
Examples of types of insurance that might be needed to cover against a charity’s third party liabilities are:
- professional indemnity insurance
- public liability insurance
Charities that employ staff are required by law to buy employers’ liability insurance. Charities that own or operate motor vehicles are required by law to buy motor insurance.
For insurance purposes, charities are advised to treat volunteers in the same way as they do their employees and to ensure that they are covered by the usual types of insurance a charity might buy, such as employers’ liability or public liability cover.
More details can be found here, and here
Many congratulations to
who are the winners of the 2018 Andrew Buxton Memorial Award for the best-kept set of accounts. Well done to the whole team there!
The award will be presented to them in September by Mrs Janet Buxton
About corporate structures
Some charity structures are corporate bodies. If you choose a structure that forms a corporate body, the law considers your charity to be a person in the same way as an individual.
This gives your charity the legal capacity to do many things in its own name that a person can do, such as:
- employing paid staff
- delivering charitable services under contractual agreements
- entering into commercial contracts in its own name
- owning freehold or leasehold land or other property
If a charity structure is a corporate body, generally its trustees aren’t personally liable for what it does.
If your charity isn’t a corporate body (‘unincorporated’):
- the trustees are personally liable for what it does
- it won’t be able to enter into contracts or control some investments in its own name
- two or more trustees, a corporate custodian trustee or the charities’ land holding service will have to ‘hold’ any land on your charity’s behalf
More information can be found here
Receipts and Payments Accounts is the simpler of the 2 methods of accounts preparation and may only be used where a non-company charity has a gross income of £250,000 or less during the financial year. Receipts and payments accounts contain a statement summarising all money received and paid out by the charity in the financial year, and a statement giving details of its assets and liabilities at the end of the year. Charitable companies are not allowed by company law to adopt this method.
Templates are available to help eligible non-company charities prepare their trustees’ annual report and receipts and payments accounts. When fully completed these meet the requirements of the law and can be used for submission to the Charity Commission. The pro forma receipts and payments accounts can be used in one of two ways:
(i) where trustees do not wish to design their own annual accounts they may enter the relevant details and amounts from the cash book (and other) records of the charity on to the forms
(ii) trustees who want to produce their own form of receipts and payment accounts can use the forms as a checklist.
Very useful Receipts and Payment Accounts Introductory Notes can be found here
Templates for preparing Receipts and Payments Accounts can be found here
A cash flow forecast is an estimate of the amount of money you expect to flow in and out of your charity and includes all your projected income and expenses. A forecast usually covers the next 12 months, however it can also cover a short-term period such as a week or month.
The most important reason for a cash flow forecast is to make sure that the charity can afford to pay suppliers and employees. Suppliers who don’t get paid will soon stop supplying the charity – it is even worse if employees are not paid on time.
A cash flow forecast can help you:
plan out how much income you expect to have this year
plan how much you expect to spend in costs
understand when cash will come into your bank account and leave it
Armed with this knowledge, you will be well placed to make important decisions about your charity. Here are some questions that a cash flow forecast can help you answer:
Could you offer a new service?
Could you start providing services in a different location?
Can you afford to employ new members of staff?
Should you outsource some of your day-to-day tasks?
If you need more space for your charity, can you afford to rent an office rather than working at home?
Are you at risk of running out of cash? Should you look at borrowing money?
If you require further help with this subject, please contact us here
Tax codes that are applied on a cumulative basis means that tax calculations look at the entire tax year when performing the tax calculation. Using a tax code on a cumulative basis means that every payday, the calculation performed is to work out the tax due on an employee’s earnings for the (tax) year to date then deduct from it the tax they have already paid on their earnings that (tax) year. The remaining figure is the tax due for the pay period.
A Cumulative Tax Code allows for an individual’s weekly / monthly Tax Free Allowance to be carried forward if it is not used. As an example – if an individual were to have a break from work (for example, due to unpaid leave or sickness etc), when they resume, it is often the case that they will pay little or no Tax until they have caught up with their Tax Free Allowances.
A non-cumulative tax code would be signified by an “X” or “W1/M1″ following the code. In these cases the tax would be worked out purely on the taxable pay for each individual pay period. Each payday is treated as if it is the first week or month of the tax year. Previous pay and tax details are ignored.
Our Spring Newsletter should have arrived with you by post – if it hasn’t please let us know by emailing us here, or download it here:
Newsletter Spring 2018
In this edition we cover HMRC Rates and Threshold Changes, Independent Examination of Accounts, Charity Governing Document, Claiming Tax Back on Donations, Gift Aid