Setting up and running a charity – guidance

Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials (CC15b)

What trustees need to do when preparing trustees’ annual reports, accounts and annual returns.



This guidance explains the different accounting and reporting requirements for different sizes and types of charity for financial years ending between 1 April 2009 and 30 March 2015.

To understand what you need to do for your charity, first check:

  • whether or not your charity is also a company or charitable incorporated organisation
  • its income for the current financial year
  • the value of its assets
  • whether or not it is required to be registered as a charity

You should then establish:

  • what type of accounts must be prepared
  • what information is needed in your trustees’ annual report
  • whether your accounts need an independent examination or audit
  • what information must be sent to the Charity Commission

If you have to send your charity’s annual report and accounts to the commission, you must do so within 10 months of the end of your charity’s financial year.

For accounting periods ending on or after 31 March 2015, see Charity reporting and accounting: the essentials March 2015 (CC15c).