Charities – Checks on charities stepped up

A new regime of professional standards for small charities and their independent examiners has been established by the fledgling Association of Charity Examiners.

Under current Charity Commission rules, any charity which has an income of less than #10,000 does not have to publish its accounts or undertake a financial audit.

Launching the new association, ACIE founder Gareth Morgan said: ‘We are trying to bring together anyone who works as an independent examiner of charity accounts.’ Eventually, the association will set its own professional standards and award the qualification ‘member of the ACIE’ to examiners who meet its standards.

At the association’s inaugural meeting last week in York, a committee of eight was elected from a cross-section of professional accountants and examiners. Professor Jeff McLachlan, former Dean of Napier Business School, was elected chair.

The ACIE will now seek financial assistance and draw up a full constitution.

It will address the issue of how charities can be confident their accounts can be effectively scrutinised when appointing an independent examiner.

To date, 60 people have registered as members, but the ACIE hopes to attract more from a pool of 30,000 potential examiners ranging from accountants in practice, charity treasurers, and non-qualifieds from community accountancy projects.

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