More great advice from the Charity Commission

The Charity Commission has recently published their latest advice Protecting Charities from Harm as part of their online compliance toolkit for Charity trustees.

Developed in partnership with the charity sector, this toolkit gives trustees practical advice on how to hold, handle and move money around both in the UK and internationally.

Harri Lloyd Davies

Harri Lloyd Davies Partner

As Harri Lloyd Davies of our Charities team explains: All charities need money or financial assistance of some kind. Charities raise and spend money in a variety of ways within the overall objective of fulfilling their charitable purposes. This includes direct spending on charitable projects to help beneficiaries and supporting governance, administration and fundraising. Charities which work internationally often move money across international borders, encountering different financial systems and needing to use different currencies. Whatever the charity, its trustees are legally responsible for ensuring their money is used for legitimate charitable purposes and safeguarded, as much as possible, from loss.

Using the banking system is a prudent and responsible way to ensure that charity funds are safeguarded, and that there are appropriate audit trails of the sort which trustees must keep for the receipt and use of charity money. This toolkit looks at the need for charities to have and use bank accounts; explains what the trustees’ duties are when using the banking system; and the particular issues which arise in connection with exchanging sterling for other currencies.

However, charities may need to use and work in cash to some degree. Charities may need to use alternative financial systems, although these are more inherently risky than using formal banking systems. These include Money Service Businesses, agents using alternative remittance systems, Payment Services, cash couriers, or even other charities and NGOs. This guidance provides Trustees with the advice they need to consider if they have to use cash and these alternative methods; the associated risk management factors; and the sort of financial controls which may be appropriate.

You may also want to look at our Charity Training workshop where we offer bespoke training on areas such as trustee roles and responsibilities and risk management.

You can also get more advice by following @bevanbuckland on twitter or register for our email newsletter

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