CHARITIES – ACAT to guide Church ‘sums’

A report on the crisis faced by UK charities without financial management structures has led to the launch of the Association of Church Accountants and Treasurers (ACAT).

Due to be launched next month, ACAT will work in partnership with churches and charities to offer support and guidance with their accounts, tax and other financial issues.

Jeremy Hopkinson, a partner at Binder Hamlyn, was instrumental in the development of the ACAT. ‘We were aware of a demand for an organisation of this nature. Churches and charities were having difficulties with their accounts, as they don’t have the knowledge or expertise,’ he said.

Hopkinson said his firm would only play a minor role: ‘We will be providing some input but the organisation was put together by the churches and charities themselves. We are helping local parish treasurers, so we will not be charging large fees for our input.’

Accountancy Age recently reported on charities facing uncertain futures because of a lack of financial management (12 March, page 4).

Research by the Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) found 57% of all charities had no access to training in voluntary sector finance. The CAF warned the future of 25% of the UK’s charitable organisations was in jeopardy due to the lack of financial expertise.

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