New set of material matters for charity auditors proposed

A SET of new and amended material matters to be reported to the regulators by auditors has been put forward by the government in a consultation.

Charities across the UK report to their respective regulators, and while the legislation varies in each jurisdiction, there is a broad requirement that material matters must be reported to the regulator.

However, The Charity Commission for England and Wales (CCEW) and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR) previously developed a single list of matters which was consistent for England and Wales and Scotland.

In the consultation document, the government outlined its belief that it is important to have “a single list to simplify reporting requirements and ease the burden upon auditors or examiners acting for charities which work in multiple jurisdictions”, particularly given the establishment of the Charity Commission for Northern Ireland (CCNI).

In all, three new material matters are proposed, with a further seven amendments and one clause deleted.

The proposed additions are:

On making a modified audit opinion, emphasis of matter, or issuing of a qualified independent examiner’s report identifying matters of concern to which attention is drawn, notification of the nature of the modification/qualification/emphasis of matter or concern with supporting reasons including notification of the action taken, if any, by the trustees subsequent to that audit opinion/examiner’s report;

Evidence that, without reasonable cause, trustees have not taken action on matters identified by the auditor or examiner in their scrutiny of accounts for a previous year;

During the audit/independent examination evidence that conflicts of interest have not been managed by the trustees in accordance with guidance issued by the charity regulator and/or related party transactions have not been fully disclosed in all the respects required by the applicable Statement or Recommended Practice.

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