Thumbs up for SORP review

As the deadline for the SORP consultation exercise passed on Monday, Adrian Randall, head of the charities group at Moores Rowland, said he agreed with the commission’s stance that a fundamental review was not necessary.

‘What is necessary is that some areas of the SORP need clarification and others need to be more specific to remove anomalies,’ said Randall.

The SORP provides non-statutory guidelines for charity accounting and is part of a framework approved by the Accounting Standards Board. The review was launched as a consultation exercise in September and is designed to update the original 1995 recommendations.

Among the responses, many charity finance directors argued that recommendations on trading subsidiaries, and the details of the charities’ statement of financial activity, both need clarification.

ACCA also urged the commission to provide more guidance on accruing for legacies income, fundraising disclosures and publicity spending.

Richard Martin, secretary of the ACCA charity panel, said that despite some misgivings, the SORP had enhanced the comparability and the usefulness of charities’ accounts.

‘But there is scope for clarification, improvements and harmonisation with accounting standards, and we support the proposals for setting in motion a review and revision of the SORP at this time.’

The commission is establishing a committee under the chairmanship of charity commissioner John Bonds to examine the responses. A further public consultation exercise on proposed amendments will follow next year.

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