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Top tips for charity trustees

Managing financial difficulties and insolvency

Trustees are expected to know and understand their charity’s financial position so it can continue to operate effectively. See the Charity Commission’s guidance which explains the key elements of effective financial management and details the role and potential liabilities of trustees.

Changes affecting the SORP from 2016

Honorary treasurers of charities preparing their accounts using The Charity Commission and the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator’s SORP should be aware that for accounting years beginning on, or after, 1 January 2016, a move back to just one SORP is being proposed in order to simplify charity accounting. See www.charitiessorp.org for more details.

Trustee declaration form

The Charity Commission has revised its trustee declaration form. If you are applying to register a new charity make sure you complete the latest version of the form to avoid applications being delayed or returned.

Updated guidelines on public benefit

The Charity Commission has updated its guidance on ways that trustees of fee-charging educational charities, including charitable independent schools, can ensure they are running their charities for the public benefit. It has also updated its sample trustees’ annual report for charitable schools, can ensure they are running their charities for the public benefit. It has also updated its sample trustees’ annual report for charitable schools, to reflect the recommendations in the updated guidance. This report can be downloaded at www.gov.uk

Kate Hickey is a corporate lawyer with a charities & not-for-profit focus. Working alongside partner Margaret Austen, she handles a range of matters, including regulatory and constitutional issues. She also works with colleagues in the firm's property and employment teams to advise charities on contractual matters.