Audit Limit for Charites rises to £1m

Bevan & Buckland AccountantsAn amendment to the Charities Act 2011 has recently come into force which means that Charities with income below £1m will no longer require a statutory audit.

The changes affect all charity’s with a year-end of 31st March 2015 and so many will see a reduction in the regulatory burden (and cost!!) this year.

The income threshold was previously £500,000 so the increase is significant and should result in more than 100 charities across South Wales no longer needing an audit.

Charities will still be scrutinised and need an independent examination and some boards may choose to continue to have an audit to keep their funders satisfied.

If you think you might be affected by the changes please call us and we can confirm whether you still need an audit and what other options are available to you.

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Cardiff Tel: 02920 459960

What do we do? – The Audit Department

Bevan & Buckland AccountantsEver wondered what a firm of chartered accountants does? 

As one of the leading accountancy firms in Swansea & West Wales, Bevan & Buckland get asked this question on a regular basis.  We have therefore put together a short series of blog posts to explain the wide variety of work we carry out, starting with our Audit department.

What we do:

  1. Statutory accounts preparation for:
    • Charities
    • Sole traders (minimal)
    • Partnership (minimal)
    • Limited companies focussing on larger companies, research & development companies and groups.
    • IFRS companies
  1. Audit of the financial statements for:
    • Charities
    • Limited companies
    • Housing associations
  1. Other specialist audits:
    • Solicitor accounts rules (SAR) audits
    • Licensed conveyancers audits
    • Client money audits
    • Welsh European Funding Office (WEFO) grant audits
    • Communities First grant audits
  1. Other ad hoc work
    • Service charge certificates
    • Cash flow forecasts
    • Due diligence work
    • Company valuations
    • Risk assessments
    • Statement of affairs
    • Management accounts/reporting
    • Sage integrated reporting
    • Clients’ Sage re-builds
    • Assistance with software packages
    • Training courses for clients covering trustee training, basic book keeping, charity accounts etc

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Cardiff Tel: 02920 459960

 Bevan & Buckland Accountants Newton Abbot Tel: 01626 361484

Strategic Report and Directors’ Report

Bevan & Buckland Accountants logoWho does it apply to?

The Companies Act 2006 has been changed, accounts for medium and large companies ending on or after 30 September 2013 with require a strategic report to be included within the directors’ report in your statutory financial statements.

What companies are required to prepare a strategic report?

The directors of a company must prepare a strategic report if:

  1. The company is either a medium or large company i.e. you exceed 2 of the following:
    •  turnover exceeds £6.5m
    • gross assets exceeds £3.25m
    • more than 50 employees
  2. The company is a parent company, and you prepare group accounts.
    • The strategic report must be a group strategic report relating to the undertakings included in the consolidation.
    • The group strategic report may give greater emphasis to the matters that are significant to the undertakings included in the consolidation, taken as a whole.

What happens if we do not prepare a strategic report?

If the directors do not prepare a strategic report, an offence is committed by every person who:

  1. Was a director of the company immediately before the end of the period for filing accounts and reports for the financial year in question, and
  2. Failed to take all reasonable steps for securing compliance with that requirement.

A person guilty of an offence under this section is liable:

  1. On conviction on indictment, to a fine;
  2. On summary conviction, to a fine not exceeding the statutory maximum.

What needs to be included within the strategic report?

The purpose of the strategic report is to inform members of the company and help them assess how the directors have performed their duty under section 172 (duty to promote the success of the company).

  1. Whilst there is no set format, structure or layout for the report, it must contain:
    • a fair review of the company’s business, and
    • a description of the principal risks and uncertainties facing the company
  2. The review required is a comprehensive analysis covering:
    • the development and performance of the company’s business during the financial year, and
    • the position of the company’s business at the end of that year, consistent with the size and complexity of the business.
  3. The review must, for an understanding of the development, performance or position of the company’s business, include:
    • analysis using financial key performance indicators, and
    • where appropriate, analysis using other key performance indicators, including information relating to environmental matters and employee matters. “key performance indicators” means factors by reference to which the development, performance or position of the company’s business can be measured effectively.
  4. If a company qualifies as medium-sized the review only needs to include financial key performance indicators.
  5. The strategic report may also contain any other matters required under section 416(4) to be disclosed in the directors’ report if the directors consider they are of strategic importance to the company.
  6. The report must, where appropriate, include references to, and explanations for amounts included in the company’s annual accounts.
  7. The report does not require information about impending developments or matters in the course of negotiation if the disclosure would, in the opinion of the directors, be seriously prejudicial to the interests of the company.

If you require any more information regarding this please contact either Alison Vickers or Harri Lloyd Davies on 01792 410100 who will be able to assist you further.

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Swansea Tel: 01792 410100

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Haverfordwest Tel: 01437 760666

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Pembroke Tel: 01646 682383

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Carmarthen Tel: 01267 233115

Bevan & Buckland Accountants St David’s Tel: 01437 720352

Bevan & Buckland Accountants Cardiff Tel: 02920 459960

 Bevan & Buckland Accountants Newton Abbot Tel: 01626 361484

 

Free training on charity governance issues

Bevan & Buckland logoCHARITY GOVERNANCE

The ICAEW and the Charity Commission have recently completed a pilot project which offered free reviews of financial controls and risk awareness to charities. 

A summary of the findings throws up some interesting issues which are likely to impact on charities throughout Wales.  The twenty five charities involved in the pilot project were all relatively small charities with income of less than five million and many of them with income of less than a quarter of a million.  Currently ninety nine per cent of charities in Wales have income of less than £5m.  Their review found a number of interesting issues, many of which are likely to impact charities throughout Wales at present.  Some of their key findings were:- 

  • Many charities rely on one main source of income and are currently looking to diversify their funding sources.  There are several cases where a charity was reliant on one donor and this potentially was causing independence issues.
     
  • Many of the charities had found, in recent years, there was increasing competition on the high streets for charity shops meaning the income from this source was being eroded.
     
  • Several charities had been forced to reduce staffing levels and replace them with volunteers in order to cut costs.  
     
  • Many of the charities found that, trustees in particular, required additional training on financial management.

The review went on to assess the charities’ performance in the major governance topics.  The major topics are strategy and planning, risk awareness and management, internal financial controls, fraud and financial abuse management and information and communication of finances.  Their findings found out that 58% of the charities had some more significant gaps in these areas which could be improved.

We, at Bevan and Buckland, have now been working for a number of years with our charity clients to improve governance and offer free annual training on a number of governance issues.  If you would like to book free training sessions, please get in touch by either e-mailing charities@bevanbuckland.co.uk or calling Harri Lloyd Davies on 01792 410104

http://www.bevanbuckland.co.uk/sectors/charities

AWEMA HIGHLIGHTS THE NEED FOR GOOD GOVERNANCE


Bevan & Buckland Accountants
Over the past two months the spotlight has been shone on the quality of governance at the Swansea based charity Awema.

There have been several reports looking at the issues that have arisen within the charity and these highlighted concerns with the following areas:

– Governance arrangements in relation to Awema Management Board (ABOMA) and management;

– Financial controls and processes;

– An absence of key policies and procedures; and an organisational structure that does not adequately support the operations of Awema

These problems at Awema have highlighted an important part of the role of being a charity trustee and the responsibilities involved.

Over the past year we have provided training to a number of charity boards on what good governance means both in principle and in practice. 

It is vital, particularly for new trustees but also for people who have been trustees for many years as the Charity Commission guidance is always being updated.

For guidance on the Hallmarks of an Effective Charity follow this link: http://www.charity-commission.gov.uk/Publications/cc10.aspx#c

If you are a charity trustee and concerned that you do not fully understand your responsibilities we would be happy to deliver training on what is expected of you.

We offer free training to Charities so if you are interested please contact Harri Lloyd Davies on (01792) 410104 or email harri@bevanbuckland.co.uk

Full details of our courses can be found at: http://www.bevanbuckland.co.uk/sites/www.bevanbuckland.co.uk/files/documents/BB%20Charity%20training%20programme%202011%20%282%29.pdf

Triple success for our trainees.

Bevan & Buckland trainees are celebrating their recent success at the ACCA exams. Catherine Gwynn, and Alex Matthews (seated) and Daniel Allsopp (standing) have all passed their exams and qualified as chartered certified accountants.  

Bevan & Buckland exam successCatherine and Alex, both 26 from Swansea, and Daniel, 25 from Port Talbot, are all graduates from Swansea University who joined Bevan & Buckland’s three year training programme. This programme offers hands-on experience as well as a mentor scheme and assistance with fees and study leave.

As Alex explained “I choose Bevan & Buckland because they had a good reputation locally and their training package was excellent, they have a range of in-house course that supplement the College study days”

“The on-the-job training and support from my mentors has been invaluable” commented Catherine. “I choose Bevan & Buckland” explained Daniel “because I wanted to be a part of a larger firm and gain more experience” explained Daniel.

Managing partner Cuan O’Shea explained, “I’m delighted for Alex, Daniel and Catherine, their success is well deserved, and a credit to their hard work.  Every year we aim to recruit new students through our graduate training programme, it provides the hands –on work experience alongside the mentoring and study leave support that we provide to help them achieve their qualifications.”

Find out more about Bevan and Buckland’s graduate training programme here.