The Charity Commission, the independent regulator of charities, is advising charities of changes to charity audit thresholds which are aimed at reducing the regulatory burden for charities. The changes come into force on 31 March 2015.
The Government changes include increasing the basic audit threshold from £500,000 to £1 million, meaning less charities will be required to have their accounts formally audited. Those charities can instead have their accounts looked at by an increased pool of Independent Examiners, ensuring that the level of assurance remains high.
Other changes that come into force include:
- increasing the aggregate group income threshold at which parent charities should have group accounts from £500,000 to £1 million
- increasing the preparation threshold for group accounts from £500,000 to £1 million
- adding the Institute of Financial Accountants and the Certified Public Accountants Association to the list of recognised professional accountancy membership bodies whose appropriately qualified members can carry out independent examinations of the accounts of charities with incomes that are more than £250,000
The changes follow consultation by the Office for Civil Society with charities and the accounting sector. It is hoped that the changes will make it easier for charities to find a qualified Independent Examiner.
Charities are encouraged to look at the changes and see if they can benefit from these changes, particularly those whose financial year has recently ended.
The commission has updated guidance to reflect these changes. Charity reporting and accounting - the essentials March 2015 (CC15c) is available on GOV.UK.
Notes to editors
The Charity Commission is the independent regulator of charities in England and Wales.
Our mission is to be the independent registrar and regulator of charities in England and Wales, acting in the public’s interest, to ensure that:
* charities know what they have to do
* the public know what charities do
* charities are held to account